Litter box training
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Thread: Litter box training

  1. #1
    artemis-wilde is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultLitter box training

    [Edit: Guys, trust me I wouldn't do it if I had any other choice. If I could afford to move, I would, but I can't. Please understand this and help me.]

    I have read a lot on this and found both proponents and vehement opposers to litter box training a dog.

    However I don't really have a choice at this point. He's three months old now and for the next three months I can't take him out on the streets to do his business because his shots won't be done till then. In my country dogs get four of them.
    I also live on the second level of a house and if the weather is ever really bad or the street dug up (which it often is around here), I'll have to make him go inside.

    So by my vet's advice I'm trying to train him to use a litter box.

    The trouble that I'm facing now is with the sand that I was told to fill the box with. There's a thick layer of litter on top of that.
    It'll take my pup a while before he realises that he has to pee and poop inside the box to get his treat but for now I'm more concerned about the fact that he treats it like a play box. He digs out the sand and tries to eat some of the litter.

    I do know this is perfectly normal. I just want to know what I should do to train him out of it.

    Also, before anyone suggests pee pads to line the box with - they are hard to get here. Not impossible but hard. And by laws of scarcity that makes pee pads pretty expensive.

    Lining it with newspapers might have worked if he didn't love tearing the paper up so much.

    Help?
    Last edited by artemis-wilde; 04-18-2013 at 10:57 AM.

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  3. #2
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    nicole is offline Senior Member
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    Your vet's wrong. Take the puppy outside to potty.

  4. #3
    artemis-wilde is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicole View Post
    Your vet's wrong. Take the puppy outside to potty.
    Hi nicole. Even if he is wrong, taking the pup outside right now isn't an option. The street is the only 'outside' we have - no yard or green nearby. He hasn't had all his shots so I can't risk taking him down. There are too many mongrels on the street early in the morning and especially late at night - both times being his natural pooping hour.
    I suppose you'd say I shouldn't have got him then. Didn't really have a choice. It was either me or the animal shelter (he was deemed a handful by the prev owner) and the fact is in this city, I'm a much better alternative than anywhere else he might end up.

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    artemis-wilde, I've raised 2 Labs (Bess, 40 years ago and Puff, my current Lab) and with both I used litter boxes.

    When raising Bess, both my wife and I were working at a hospital within a few blocks of our home. We were able to spend our lunch hours with Bess and sometimes make very quick trips/look-sees on her during the day when she was a pup. I built a litter box for her but I did a terrible job of toilet training her. I was too punitive with her "mistakes" (i.e., her thinking and acting "outside the box") and we were away too much to effectively train her. As a result of my punishments, Bess became a very guilty Lab (see the write up, "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog" in my signature below if you want further descriptions).

    But in raising Puff, my current Lab, I was retired so I was around through most of the day. I "puppy gated" Puff to the kitchen area since it was the only room in the house (except a bathroom) without carpeting and an easily cleaned floor.

    It's not worth it to explain why, but in our home situation at that time, if I wanted to take Puff outside to pee-pee or potty, I would have had to go through the carpeted living room and out the front door. That was much too far, too time consuming, IMO.

    I got a large plastic tray (roughly .5 m X .8 m) with low sides and a very low side at its entrance end. While there are absorbent pads here in the USA one can buy to line the bottom of such a tray, I used newspapers. I replaced the used newspapers as soon as she used it although making sure that some of the odor of the previous use (especially urine) remained with the fresh newspapers.

    I spent a lot of time with Puff in the kitchen area and, when I saw her about to assume a urinating or defecating position, I whisked her to the tray and recited a mantra of either "Puff pee-pee!" or "Puff potty!" appropriate to whichever action she was doing. And I probably gave her small treat rewards for each mission successfully accomplished.

    It did not take long before being in the box and hearing the appropriate "Puff, ----- !" command that she complied.

    We didn't spend all of our time in the kitchen area. We went outside for walks and the commands were useful then also -- (as they remain to this day when she's almost 12 years old; I find it extremely convenient when it's raining or very cold, uncomfortable, to be outside, to be be able hasten our outside toilet time.)

    In my experience, a key to easy, comfortable (for you both) litter box training is in how much time you'll spend with your puppy. The more you'll be around, the easier it'll be to have successful training.

    In time, you'll be able to anticipate your pup's eliminations. As I recall, Puff's were fairly regular for a month or so and then, as she grew a little older, they shifted to a slightly different schedule and that kept happening every month or so until she reached adulthood. (And now that she's in senior status, it's changed slightly again.)

    This also reminds me of a church worker and her puppy who lived in an apartment above the student activity area where a number of us hung out. Mimi had a Dachshund puppy, "Rheinie" (named after Rheinhold Niebuhr) that she trained to urinate and defecate on newspaper on the floor (no box). When it came time to introduce him to the outside, at first Rheinie wouldn't urinate or defecate outside. I suggested that Mimi take newspaper outside for him to use and that worked well. Then I suggested that she use smaller and smaller areas of newspaper and within a week or so, Rheinie was weaned away from newspaper.

    Hope these experiences give you some useful ideas.

    Good luck.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  7. #5
    artemis-wilde is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Pr. View Post
    artemis-wilde, I've raised 2 Labs (Bess, 40 years ago and Puff, my current Lab) and with both I used litter boxes.

    ...
    Hope these experiences give you some useful ideas.

    Good luck.
    Firstly, your dog's adorable. I hope my lab grows up to look like that, though he's pretty handsome already. =)

    So I guess I should do away with the 'sand box' and just go with plain newspapers. I supposed if I stop him from chewing the paper enough times and replace it with other toys he'll eventually get it. (Can't wait for that. =)
    Thank you for narrating your story, because now I feel slightly less guilty about training him to go inside. I don't intend for it to be permanent, only till he grows up and the times when it's impossible to take him out - but I've read enough to know that many dog-lovers disapprove.
    I work from home and have a few months before I start classes for my masters degree. Usually he pees and poops in an area I've marked out for him, but refuses to do it on paper (as I said he chews them up). I'll keep working on this.

    Thanks again!

  8. #6
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    OH!! (slaps forehead with hand!) Something VERY IMPORTANT, very CRITICAL I forgot to tell you!

    Every time your pup "goes" in a wrong place, while -- of course -- you must clean it, it's EXTREMELY important to you and your pup's frustration level and the success of training that you ALSO immediately go over the cleaned spot with hydrogen peroxide to thoroughly remove any trace of the odors that continually broadcast to your pup -- "Here's a great place to pee -- pee here!"

    (In the USA, there's a fairly widely available product called "Nature's Miracle" that many people use for this purpose but I doubt it's available in India and Hydrogen Peroxide is a very acceptable substitute (and much cheaper).

    Just cleaning is important to remove the visible residue from urine and stools.

    But, no matter how thoroughly you clean, our Labradors' sense of smell is thousands of times keener than that of ourselves so the residual odor of pee and/or poop will remain VERY noticeable to them UNLESS & UNTIL you kill ALL its odor traces by using ---> HYDROGEN PEROXIDE <--- over EVERY spot your pup has used for that purpose.

    Terribly sorry for having omitted this critically important action from the body of my main recommendations.

    Good luck.

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 04-18-2013 at 09:45 AM.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  9. #7
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    How many rounds of vax are in this puppy at 3 months old? In the US he's be close to complete. Its not necessary to wait until ALL vax are done usually. Do you know that you actually have a problems with whatever viruses are prevalent in your area? If there are not cases of those viruses happening locally and you have a couple of doses in the puppy, I'd have him eliminate outdoors.

    I think expecting a 4 or 5 or 6 month old puppy to eliminate indoors is very extreme. First - this is not a poodle - there is a lot of volume to the urine. Second - having to walk down from the second floor to take him out is not a reason to avoid going outdoors. When I lived in an apartment I was in a 3rd floor walkup a block away from any greenery. I took my dog out multiple times a day every day to that green area. In all kinds of weather (pouring rain, showstorm, heat wave).

    Aside the fact that it makes no sense to delay housetraining until the puppy is 6 months old - how are you providing the kind of exercise this young puppy needs if you won't let him leave the apartment???
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  10. #8
    artemis-wilde is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBrownDog View Post
    How many rounds of vax are in this puppy at 3 months old? In the US he's be close to complete. Its not necessary to wait until ALL vax are done usually. Do you know that you actually have a problems with whatever viruses are prevalent in your area? If there are not cases of those viruses happening locally and you have a couple of doses in the puppy, I'd have him eliminate outdoors.

    I think expecting a 4 or 5 or 6 month old puppy to eliminate indoors is very extreme. First - this is not a poodle - there is a lot of volume to the urine. Second - having to walk down from the second floor to take him out is not a reason to avoid going outdoors. When I lived in an apartment I was in a 3rd floor walkup a block away from any greenery. I took my dog out multiple times a day every day to that green area. In all kinds of weather (pouring rain, showstorm, heat wave).

    Aside the fact that it makes no sense to delay housetraining until the puppy is 6 months old - how are you providing the kind of exercise this young puppy needs if you won't let him leave the apartment???
    We have a large roof. I take him upstairs twice a day to play chase and fetch (okay, I try to play fetch, he just pretends I want to chase him around). By the time we come down, he's tuckered out enough that he doesn't mind sitting on my lap and chewing on his toy while I work.

    See, I would actually prefer to take him out now, but the problem isn't the walk downstairs it's twofold:

    1) The street dogs here are pretty aggressive and you have to carry a stick to chase them away. There are too many of them for me to chase away and I can't expect people to come to my aid every time, especially not at night when the streets are human-empty. There are a few other pet dogs on my street and their owners all had the same problem till they outgrew puppyhood. The two small dog owners that I know almost never take their dogs outside, and I'm not sure how they get their exercise. Let me be clear this isn't the case all over the city, but the administration in my borough is incompetent to say the least. We're trying to change things but it'll take a while.

    And so,

    2)My vet's from my area and knowing how few of these streets dogs have had vaccine shots, he's warned me to keep my dog off the street till he's 5 mo. old. The anti-rabies shot is the last one they get at about that age (there are four shots in total).

    I promise I'm not being lazy. I've seen the fight these dogs get into when owners take their pets out to walk with the result that most owners can only take them out in the middle of the day when there are a lot of cars and people on the street and they're taking a break from office work - which means minimal walking time for the dogs.

    I have a solution to this. As soon as I can take him out to do his thing, I'm going to start driving us to a park nearby everyday, so he can run around for a couple of hours in the morning. I hope it's a good idea. It'll have to do till the municipal people do something about the number of unvaccinated dogs in the neighbourhood.
    (Of course now that I have a pup, I feel bad for the street dogs and can't really complain about them when I know they wont get a home anywhere.)
    Last edited by artemis-wilde; 04-18-2013 at 10:51 AM.

  11. #9
    artemis-wilde is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBrownDog View Post
    How many rounds of vax are in this puppy at 3 months old? In the US he's be close to complete.
    Forgot to answer that. Here you give them the first shot at 7 or 8 weeks, then three more with minimum 21 days of gap in between. He's due for his second shot next week.

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    artemis-wilde is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Pr. View Post
    OH!! (slaps forehead with hand!) Something VERY IMPORTANT, very CRITICAL I forgot to tell you!

    Every time your pup "goes" in a wrong place, while -- of course -- you must clean it, it's EXTREMELY important to you and your pup's frustration level and the success of training that you ALSO immediately go over the cleaned spot with hydrogen peroxide to thoroughly remove any trace of the odors that continually broadcast to your pup -- "Here's a great place to pee -- pee here!"

    (In the USA, there's a fairly widely available product called "Nature's Miracle" that many people use for this purpose but I doubt it's available in India and Hydrogen Peroxide is a very acceptable substitute (and much cheaper).

    Just cleaning is important to remove the visible residue from urine and stools.

    But, no matter how thoroughly you clean, our Labradors' sense of smell is thousands of times keener than that of ourselves so the residual odor of pee and/or poop will remain VERY noticeable to them UNLESS & UNTIL you kill ALL its odor traces by using ---> HYDROGEN PEROXIDE <--- over EVERY spot your pup has used for that purpose.

    Terribly sorry for having omitted this critically important action from the body of my main recommendations.

    Good luck.
    Thanks. =D I use white vinegar but I'm beginning to think he's got super-nose. I'll try hydrogen peroxide.

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