Potty Training Small Dogs in Kitty Litter

Litter box potty training can be just the ticket for little dogs.
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For many small dog owners, kitty litter potty training can be a viable alternative to outdoor housebreaking. This method would be particularly attractive option if you live in a high-rise building or frigid climate. It's just a matter establishing and sticking to a routine.

Set Up Box

The litter box can be the bottom of a plastic dog carrier or an actual kitty litter box set up in a private, preferably ventilated location in your home. Your pup's litter box should be appropriately sized to enable her to move about as well as accommodate her anticipated growth. Her box should be filled with fresh kitty litter, or paper pellets made especially for dogs and cleaned after each successful visit.

Introduce Her to Box

Start off just as you would begin conventional housebreaking your dog on newspaper -- except introduce her to a box filled with kitty litter instead. As soon as she wakes in the morning, encourage her to use her potty area -- offering praise and treats when she does. Repeat this process after meals, before bedtime or any time she appears to be ready to go. Decide on a special phrase like “potty time” to describe her special achievement, and use the phrase before, during and after each successful episode.

Stuff Happens -- Be Positive

When she has an accident -- and she will surely have many -- keep it all positive. Don’t punish her for messing up, just calmly whisk her off to her litter box to finish up, while repeating special “potty time” phrase. Follow up, as always, with praise and treats to reinforce the positive behavior of her going to her box.

Maintain Routine

Stay consistent, and maintain your dog's potty routine. Moving her to the litter box every 2 to 3 hours during the day is recommended, in addition to regular trips following each meal and before and after bedtime. Even when she appears uninspired, keep her occupied in her litter box for about 5 minutes. After about two weeks of this routine, give her a little freedom to go on her own. If she has an accident, simply return to the routine. In time, your dog will use her special rest room with confidence and comfort. You may want to place a copy of Bark Magazine nearby.

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