An Owner's Guide to Dog Litter Training

Dog litter training can be a great choice for those who don't have an outdoor space where their dog can relieve himself. It's also a great alternative dog house training method for those who live in city apartments, and may not be able to walk their dogs regularly for healthy reasons. Dog litter training is especially ideal for small breed dogs. Here's a step-by-step guide to dog litter training.

1) Set Up Your Dog's Litter Box

The first thing you'll do, naturally, is find a good spot for your dog's litter box. Most people choose a bathroom, laundry room, basement or garage. Any room will do, as long as you don't mind your dog relieving himself there.

You'll need a large cat litter box (the size can vary, depending on your dog's breed). He should be able to get in and out of it with ease, and it should be big enough for him to move around comfortably inside. Once you've selected a box, just put it in the spot where you'd like your dog to use it, and fill it with dog litter to contain the smell.

2) Introduce Your Dog to the Box

Let your dog get used to the litter box slowly. Let him sniff, touch and otherwise examine the area at his own pace. Put the box in a spot where your dog will feel comfortable, preferably someplace quiet where he won't be disturbed by other pets or members of the household.

3) Put Your Dog In the Box When He Needs to Go

Remember that training of any sort is easiest to accomplish with puppies, but even if your dog is already an adult dog trained to go outside, you can re-educate him to use a litter box. Whenever your dog or puppy shows signs of needing to go to the toilet, put him in the box. Eventually, he'll catch on; be patient, and don't punish him if he uses the wrong spot. Just clean up the mess and ignore the dog.

4) Praise Your Dog When He Does Well

The key to any form of dog potty training is to praise him when he does well. Positive reinforcement is a very effective house training technique. Shower your dog with praise and affection; give him a tasty treat.

5) Don't Make A Fuss Over Accidents

If your dog has an accident outside the box, don't make a big deal of it. Accidents happen, and dog litter training is a long process. Be patient, ignore the dog, and clean up the mess.

6) Keep the Box Clean

Keep your dog's litter box clean to make using it more appealing. Put yourself in his place; if the box were dirty, would you want to use it? If you have a very small breed of dog, self-cleaning box could be a solution, especially for those with limited mobility. These boxes quickly and quietly scoop themselves, through the use of a motorized raking or sifting mechanism; they are hygienic, safe, and affordable. They also help to greatly reduce smell.