Housebreaking and Litterbox Training Your Small Or Toy Breed Puppy Or Dog
Life is absolutely wonderful, right? Ha ha ha.
It doesn't take you very long to figure out that your adorable little fur ball has a bladder the size of a teaspoon, the holding power of a tea strainer and the attention span of a gnat.
He's lucky he's cute.
But don't abandon all hope just yet.
Luckily, you have certain advantages in housebreaking that owners of larger breeds don't.
Tiny dogs are easy to confine and what's more they can be litter box trained.
Yes, that's right, litter box trained.
It's not as easy as litter training a cat but it can be done.
And, it does not mean that your puppy can never be trained to go potty outside.
As for an appropriate litter box you can get a doggie litter box at your local pet store or you can improvise.
I use an old over-sized dog crate.
It helps keep them from kicking the litter all over.
I start with the pelleted paper dog litter that has an attractant in it.
The scent encourages the puppy to go there and it stays put in the box well.
I have tried cat litter after the dog is well trained but I find it kicked out and tracked everywhere.
You can experiment yourself later.
Now, confinement is absolutely critical.
Free run of the house or even a full sized room is out of the question.
If there is enough room for your puppy to potty and then move away from it there is too much room.
You will need to use a kennel or a playpen of some sort to limit his space.
You can also use a tie down for some situations.
A tie down is a length of rope or cable with a clip on the end that you attach to the puppy's collar.
It is attached to a piece of furniture and is just long enough for the puppy to stand up turn around and lie down.
Next is the routine: As soon as the puppy wakes up in the morning he needs to be taken to his litter box to go potty.
When he goes he should get treats and praise while he is still right there in the litter box.
After that he can have about fifteen minutes of free play time.
Keep an eye on him though because some puppies don't do all of their business all at once and he may have to go again in just a few minutes.
After he's been playing for a little while take him back to the litter box and praise him for any success.
If nothing happens give him a chew toy and put him in his crate for a half hour or so.
Take him back to the litter box.
Again praise him for any success.