Murphy is about 9 months old now and starting to become quite a handful. We have an 18 year old cat who uses a hooded litter box with clumping litter. I clean the litter quite often but the other day I heard my boyfriend yelling - he caught Murphy with his head in the cat box. We disciplined him and put him in a down stay for 10 minutes. Last night, I caught him again - did the same thing for discipline. Murphy knows he's being bad - i can tell by his body posture as he slinks toward the bathroom where the litter is. Someone told me I should use an electric collar and when he goes near the litter box, give him a zap. Does anyone have advice on how to get him out of the litter habit, or advice on using an electric collar on a young dog?
Whoever told you this deserves to have one strapped around their necks to be "zapped" themselves. For an issue as trivial as this, NO WAY do you need to even think about using one of these contraptions.Someone told me I should use an electric collar and when he goes near the litter box, give him a zap.
For starters, you should move the litter box. It is not the dogs fault he is getting into it. Although poop eating seems disgusting to us, for them it is completely natural. I compare that to leaving a kid with a box of candies alone in a room and asking the kid not to touch them. It's not going to happen, so you must remove the temptation.
I'm with Trickster. You certainly don't need an Ecollar for something like this. No matter how often you discipline him, he will probably do it again. Your best bet is to move the litter box. We had a cat for 17 years and the dogs all tried to get snacks from her litter box. We just moved the box higher up so the dogs could not reach it and Mattie could. If your kitty is too old to jump up, find a room where the dogs can't go and put it there.
He really isn't being naughty, he is simply being a dog.
I agree with everyone; dogs for some reason love the poop in litter boxes. I tried the powder in the cat food to ward off Legend; however, to no avail. I just keep the laundry room door closed so that he can't make the dash for the litter box or the cat food. Just one of those things. But please... no Ecollar!
I have the same problem. My two labs think cat litter is a great treat. The clumping litter can also be very dangerous to the dog and cause a blockage. We ended up moving our litter box into another room and putting a baby gate across the doorway a few inches up so that the cat can get through but the dog can't. I don't think there's any way to train a dog not to do this because it's self-rewarding behavior as disgusting as that sounds.
Thanks for the replies. Since my cat is unable to get up stairs much anymore and certainly can't jump, the baby gate is a great idea. I'll lift it up enough from the floor for her to crawl under. The e-collar was posed to me as a behavior modification tool - sounds like it's not the best tool in the shed!
I agree - e-collars will not work on kitty-cookies. And as noted elsewhere, it really isn't harmless - if you use clumping litter it could be a big problem for your baby.
Baby gate sounds like the way to go! We ended up getting a hooded one with a flip door - and turning it toward the wall and stuffing it in a corner - so its hard for him to contort to get into it.
I love the idea of the baby gate - we too have had a couple "issues" with the litter box. I came home one day and it appears that he was digging for treasures. I will definitely give this a try!