iTrixie

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  Litterbox training

5 months oldI know, litterboxes are for cats. But smart little doggies can learn to use them too: I have!

It might sound silly but trust me, when it's wet or cold outside, or when I really have to go and my person is gone or sleeping, it's just the ticket.

My litterbox was already here when I got here, and my person showed it to me many, many times when I arrived. She said "go outside" every time she showed it to me - that's the same thing she says when I poop or pee in the real outside.

When she showed me my box, she'd put me in it when she said "go outside". Pretty soon I'd start stepping into it when she said "go outside", and I'd get lots of praise. But she wanted more from me.

If my person found I'd peed or pooped on the floor, she said "Uh oh" and then said "go outside" as she took me to my litterbox. Sometimes she'd put a little piece of my poop in the box for a little while to show me that's what it's for. Also she used a special spray where I'd gone on the floor so it didn't smell like my pee or poop anymore.

A few times my person caught me in mid-pee or mid-poop and she carried me to my litterbox, saying "go outside". When I finished my business in there (I had no choice at that point), she got all excited! She gave me a treat and lots of pats, and said "Good girl! Go outside!" a lot. That's when I started to catch on.

My box has regular clumping kitty litter and I'm about the same size as a cat (so my pee & poop is too), so it's easy for my person to keep my box clean for me. One time she got "multiple cat" litter and it was kind of perfumey - I didn't like that much. They make special doggie litter too if you want to try that. Whatever kind works best for you, be sure your person always uses that kind of litter, especially when you're getting started.

almost 7 months oldI'm a little girl doggie so it's easy for me to pee in my litterbox. If you're a boy doggie and old enough to lift your leg, your person can look for a litterbox with a hood so you don't spatter all over. Make sure it's tall enough for you to stand up inside it. If you don't like the hood, your person can start you off without it (put some plastic or something on the wall), and learn to go inside the hood as a separate game, using treats. Your person can put the hood onto your litterbox when it doesn't scare you anymore.

iTrixie trivia
My person says this is the nicest pic of me she's got at this age (almost 7 months), but I'm in my litterbox - not so suitable for framing!

A doggie litterbox doesn't smell any more than a kitty box does. Sure, we don't bury our stuff like kitties do, but clumping litter takes care of the pee. Poops are kind of stinky at first but no worse than picking them up on walkies, and their litter "coating" makes them not so stinky in the garbage. (The litter also makes them not so good for flushing.) If your person can't scoop out your poop right away, the smell goes away pretty fast. (If your poops are extra super-stinky, maybe your person should adjust your diet.)

I'm still learning and not 100% yet, so I still get a treat and lots of praise whenever I use my box. I do my business on walkies too and I also get a treat and praise out there, but my person uses the same "go outside" word whether I go inside or out. That way, I know it's about what I'm doing and not where I'm doing it. Your person can use any word they want, as long as it's the same word all the time.

Litterbox training is the same as all housetraining: all doggies are different and some learn faster than others. Your person must be patient and consistent! We all have accidents. Your person should give you lots of praise for doing right, and not get angry when you goof.

You can transition to using a litterbox from puppy pads, newspapers, or crate training just like you'd transition from any of those to going outside. If you decide to try using a litterbox, you & your person will be glad you did when it's wet or very cold outside, especially you doggies who live where it snows or those of you whose persons can't always go walkies. Good luck!

Talk about litterbox training for dogs on my comments page!

iTrixie trivia
I wasn't a bit interested in using puppy pads when I got to my new home, but my person had some anyway to protect the carpet from accidents. When I first started being taught about my litterbox is when I started using the puppy pads sometimes - go figure.

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