Author Topic: Litter training a dog  (Read 3882 times)

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Litter training a dog
« on: January 02, 2016, 07:26:36 AM »
If you've ever litter trained a dog, I'd love to get some advice. I've done my research, but I still have a lot of questions. Please note that I don't have a pooch at the moment, but I plan to adopt within the next month or so. Right now I'm just prepping. (And yes, I'll take my little one out for walks for exercise, but litter training makes sense for other reasons.)

So here are a few of my questions:
1) Do you use litter or pee pads? And either way, how do you save on costs?
2) How do you train your dog to let you know when they have to go outside when you're not at home? (Example, if you're at a friend's house with the pooch.)
3) How do you dispose of waste without smelling up your home? I read one person uses a diaper genie. Thoughts?

I'd love any tips!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 12:00:43 PM by PFgal »

lbmustache

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2016, 10:41:13 AM »
1. Pee pads are the easiest. These ones are probably the best in terms of price/quality. My friends and I all swear by them: http://www.amazon.com/All-absorb-Training-100-count-22-inch-23-inch/dp/B00EI673B6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1451755743&sr=8-3&keywords=pee+pads

Watch out for some other brands because the pee will leak through and create a bigger mess. Some dogs will also tear up the pads (thank god mine doesn't) - I'll let others chime in on this! Never tried litter.

They absorb odor pretty well (from pee) so I don't have issues. If your dog poop is solid, you can pick that up, flush it, and continue to use the pad for pee (assuming there's not a ton on there). I use 1 pad/day when I have work.

2. I don't know why I would train my dog to tell me that if I am not home... how would this work? Or are you asking how to have the dog hold everything when you're not at home? The easiest method for this is crate training, since the dog (usually) won't soil their bed. I only do this if I am gone 2-4 hours.

In general potty training, my dog began to associate the door with going outside/peeing/pooping. So she now waits by the door if she wants to go. Also, EVERY TIME she would pee outside, I would say "good peepee" and give her a treat. Same for if she went potty ("good potty"). She learned the difference between the two in a couple of weeks, and now I can ask her, "do you want to go potty?" or "do you want to go peepee?" and she will lick my face for either. And she does know the difference which is crazy to me. And if she doesn't want to do either, she doesn't lick my face and walks away. Lol.

3. Diaper genie is the easiest. My friend has one and swears by it. I don't have one so I throw poop in the toilet, and if I throw the pad in the trash it smells :( I live in a condo with a community garbage down the way, so most of the time I just suck it up and walk all the way down to toss the pad.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 10:43:18 AM by lbmustache »

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2016, 12:03:02 PM »
Wow, lbmustache, this is fantastic! Thanks!

As for #2, my wording was way too vague. I meant, what if you and the dog are both out? Like, if I visit my parents, I won't have pee pads there, so she'll have to tell me if she needs to go outside. I'm impressed at how you trained your dog to know both! Which did you teach first? Was it hard to get her to understand that she had both options?

Do you have any other tips that you think a newbie should know? If it makes a difference, I'll be adopting an adult.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2016, 06:34:50 PM »
Train your dog to ring a bell to go outside.  Just hang it from the doorknob.  When you take her to someone else's house, bring the bell with you and show the dog where it is.  I'm currently working on this with my dogs, who don't know how to ask to go outside at all, since they came from owners with a doggie door.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2016, 07:44:09 PM »
That's a great idea 10dollars! Does it confuse them (at your home) if they also use the litter?

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2016, 10:19:59 PM »
Mine don't use litter.  They're huge dogs with apparently huge bladders.  We've never had an accident in the house.  We did, however, have one at my parents' last month, which is why we're working on the bell thing.

I don't think it would be confusing though, as long as your dog is trained to know that his options are the litter OR outside, so he's not just going outside when you're at another person's house.

The bell is specifically for going outside.  I make sure they go out every time they ring it, even if they were just sniffing around, so there is no question about what the bell is for.

lbmustache

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2016, 11:30:54 AM »
Wow, lbmustache, this is fantastic! Thanks!

As for #2, my wording was way too vague. I meant, what if you and the dog are both out? Like, if I visit my parents, I won't have pee pads there, so she'll have to tell me if she needs to go outside. I'm impressed at how you trained your dog to know both! Which did you teach first? Was it hard to get her to understand that she had both options?

Do you have any other tips that you think a newbie should know? If it makes a difference, I'll be adopting an adult.

Oh! Well if you are ONLY pee pad/litter training then I am not sure how it would work at others' homes since I would guess they would need the pads or litter to go. My dog is outdoor trained but uses pee pads when I am not home. She's only peed once in someone's house (they had 4 other dogs, and mine likes to be dominant) and in a hotel room (I think she smelled other dogs). It's not an issue usually - and most dogs should be able to hold their bladder long enough.

I adopted mine as an adult too and I taught her outside first. She picked that up very quickly and I think her previous owners had potty trained her (I adopted her from the shelter). When I would leave her alone I noticed she would pee on my rugs. Even though if I was home she could easily hold everything in. -_- So I started putting pee pads up and gating her off to a certain area (e.g. my hallway).

So now she pees on them. It's weird - but when I tried to train her to use them when I was home (like if it's raining outside and I don't want to go out) - she would not go on them. No matter what. She will only use them if NO ONE is home and watching her. She still doesn't go on them if people are home. I've just accepted it as a weird part of her personality.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 09:16:24 AM »
You have a smart pup! She seems to be getting exactly what she wants :) It's great that she'll do both, though. From everything I'm hearing, it sounds like I should train mine to go outside first, then do litter training. I'll have to give that a shot.

Easye418

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 09:18:28 AM »
Pee Pads with our 4.5lb Pom.  She is 85% trained, sometimes that little rat pisses on the floors (I think to spite me sometimes).  Overall, she is a sweetheart. 

As for pads, get em at Costco. 

ooeei

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 10:07:33 AM »

So now she pees on them. It's weird - but when I tried to train her to use them when I was home (like if it's raining outside and I don't want to go out) - she would not go on them. No matter what. She will only use them if NO ONE is home and watching her. She still doesn't go on them if people are home. I've just accepted it as a weird part of her personality.

It could be that her previous owners punished her for peeing in the house.  A common consequence of the "rubbing their nose in it" type of potty training is the dog will only pee in the house with no one watching.  That's why it's not a recommended training practice.  Instead of learning "don't pee in the house" the dog learns "don't pee in the house while the owner's watching," so they end up hiding their accidents.   

SeattleStache

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 12:27:50 PM »
My dog will stare at me all creepy-like when she needs to go outside. You and your dog will start to learn each other's body language and you'll be able to tell when they need to go. Something I've found to be incredibly useful is I've trained my dog to pee on command. This is helpful when we're on a road trip and may be somewhere where she would prefer not to pee, but I know it's her one shot before we get back on the road. Also helpful when it's pouring rain and I'm running her out for a quick bathroom break (we live in a condo so no backyard). I did it by saying "go pee" every time she went pee and now when I say it, she squats and goes right away.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 04:21:08 PM »
SeattleStache, that's excellent! My parents did that and I hope to do the same. They had a puppy, but I'm hoping an adult dog will learn it too.

Yes, I will definitely be avoiding that "rub their nose in it" approach - how terrible! I've read a couple of books about training adopted dogs and I'm trying to learn the mindset. Like, "down" can't mean to lay down and to jump off a couch. I'm trying to get inside the canine mind, sort of :) But aside from obvious commands related to safety, I'm mostly concerned about starting off with house training. It's great to hear that others have litter-trained their pooches.

I'll check out Costco, thanks!

1967mama

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 04:50:15 PM »
We are using wood pellets with our tiny pup. She came trained to that. She has had just a few accidents in the house. Otherwise using the litter box. I'm delighted. We put her in the laundry room with her bed and her box and her food overnight or when we are out.

SeattleStache

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2016, 08:04:19 AM »
SeattleStache, that's excellent! My parents did that and I hope to do the same. They had a puppy, but I'm hoping an adult dog will learn it too.

Yes, I will definitely be avoiding that "rub their nose in it" approach - how terrible! I've read a couple of books about training adopted dogs and I'm trying to learn the mindset. Like, "down" can't mean to lay down and to jump off a couch. I'm trying to get inside the canine mind, sort of :) But aside from obvious commands related to safety, I'm mostly concerned about starting off with house training. It's great to hear that others have litter-trained their pooches.

I'll check out Costco, thanks!

I got my dog from a rescue when she was 4 years old so it is definitely possible. I've found positive reinforcement and clicker training to work great. You can look around to see if classes are offered in your area. This is the trainer I used just to give you an idea of what positive reinforcement training means: http://www.ucladogs.com/Default.aspx?area=instructors

Honestly, it was a rough transition with my dog but she (and I) really thrived in those training classes and with consistency - it was completely worth the monetary and time investment for me. Often shelters or rescues will include a training class or two with your adoption but even if it isn't included, going to a positive reinforcement training will improve your quality of life both for you and your dog. They taught a lot of non verbal cues as well. Dogs mostly just want to be near you and to know what their job is.

Have fun!

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Litter training a dog
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 08:39:00 AM »
1967mama, that's fantastic! I'm glad it's worked out so well for you!

SeattleStache, thanks for the link! I'm planning to do positive reinforcement training. I'm still figuring out how clicker training works. It's good to hear it went so well with your 4-year-old. I know the transition might be tough but I figure it will be worth it for both of us.

Now, to find my new pooch! I can't wait :)