Can Dogs Be Trained to Use a Litter Box

Litter training is usually associated with cats, but this doesn’t mean that only felines can be trained to use it as dogs can be trained as well. Of course, it’s a bit more difficult to train a dog that is accustomed to doing the business outside to do them in the litter box, but it’s not impossible. To do this, you need to buy the right equipment and take your time to familiarize the pet with the box, teaching the dog how to properly use it. If you want to learn exactly how you must proceed to litter train the animal, read the rest of this article.

How to Set Up the Box

As we have already said, it’s possible to litter train the dog, but a bit of patience is required. In this section of the article, we will explain how to properly set up the box and what you need to buy for the procedure to go smoothly.

What You Need

  • A tub – You can either buy a large plastic tub to place the litter inside, or go for a more modern approach, investing in a quality automatic self-cleaning dog litter box that makes it easier for you to clean up after the pet, or a box that has grass on top.
  • Litter – It’s best that you buy dog litter as it has larger pellets that absorb better. When you go to the store to purchase the dog litter, you will encounter various different types, ranging from clay to activated charcoal. We recommend that you go for activated charcoal as it controls unpleasant odors, thus ensuring that no funky smells will be present in the room that you place the box in.
  • Liter scoop – You need the scoop to remove the waste that the dog leaves behind after using the litter box. By using the scoop, you don’t enter into direct contact with the waste, thus not getting your hands dirty.
  • Trash can – A trash can comes in handy as you will be able to more easily get rid of the pet’s waste when the dog eliminates in the box.

Setting Up

Now that you have all you need to set up the box, it’s time to move on to the actual set up procedure. First of all, you must find the perfect location for it. What we recommend is for you to place the box in an area that is easily accessible to the pet, preferably near a place where the dog spends a lot of time. Just make sure that you place the box in such a way for it to be private as the dog won’t like doing the business when a crowd is present. Also, don’t forget to place the trash can that you have bought close to the box so that you will have an easy time cleaning up after the pet.

Familiarizing the Dog with Littering in the Box

Before you move on to actually training the pet to use the box, you have to accustom it with this new environment. Patience is required for this step, especially if the dog is used to eliminating the waste outdoors. To start off, you need to teach the dog that this is a safe environment by commanding it to enter the box until the pet will do this on his own. What you need to do is to put the dog in the box and give him a command, preferably “use the box”, praising the pet or giving it a treat when it’s in the litter box. When the dog leaves the box, put it back in and repeat the command until it gets accustomed with the command and this new environment. You know that you’re done with the familiarization of the pet with the box when you use the command and the dog immediately enters the box.

Training The Pet

Once the dog is accustomed to this new environment, you can move on to the training procedure. Whenever the pet eliminates waste anywhere else in the house, avoid punishment but rather persist with familiarizing it with the litter box. Also, you can take the dog’s waste and place it in the box when the pet is watching for the animal to better understand what is the correct way to eliminate waste. You should also pay attention to the pet and when you see signs that the dog is prepared to eliminate waste, give it the “use the box” command. When the pet uses the box, praise it or give it a treat so that the animal associates eliminating waste in the box with good behavior. If the results don’t appear as fast as you would like them to, confine the dog with the box in a small space, the pet eventually learning what must be done if you proceed this way. All that you need is patience and perseverance, and the results will be great, not having to take your dog outside anymore but rather have the pet do the business in the box.

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