Cleanliness, Housetraining and the Puppy Litterbox

Posted By on June 26, 2015

Here at ArticCross we believe that teaching young puppies
how to be clean is very important. We believe it aids in having pups learn to keep their area waste-free which later helps us in crate training and house training.

There are two major components to this – the first is
clean bedding and the second is a teaching puppies where
to eliminate – ie a litterbox.

The bedding we use consists of multiple layers, including
fleece that allows urine to wick through down to washable
incontinence pads. Because it is done both in layers and
sections, it allows us to remove portions of the bedding
without having to remove all of it. This cuts down
drastically on the amount of laundry we have.

We add a litterbox at 18 days or so. This is comprised of
a low rabbit cage pan, lined with a disposable
incontinence pad and then sprinkled with equine stall
pellets. The pad offers good footing to young puppies
and contains a scent to draw them to eliminate there.
Introducing the litterbox at this age makes it, to some
extent, a part of the scenery and not terribly
interesting. This helps to eliminate any mouthing,
digging in or intentional scattering of the pellets. The
pellets break down into sawdust as they are dampened. As
the pups get older we stop including the pad and just use
the pellets. The pellets are biodegradable and can
composted.

We spend a lot of time between weeks 3 and 4 just sitting
with puppies and helping them to the litterbox if we see
them start to potty elsewhere in the box. Pups, just
after 2 weeks, are getting the hang of pottying on their
own. Often, pups figure out that the litter box is the
place to “go” after a time or two and will sometimes
even line up to potty in the box. We “name” the activity
by saying “Go pee now” when we see they are peeing or “Go
poop now” when we see they are pooping. This later
translates into teaching puppies to go on command.

When pups are sent to their new homes we include a gallon
Ziploc baggie of pellets to scatter in the area new
owners would like their pups to potty. If the owner so
desires they can even make an outdoor “litterbox” area
with small fencing and teach their puppy to go only in
that area. This can be accomplished by simply keeping
the puppy in that area until they eliminate (naming the
activity) and then having a playtime or cookie outside
the area as a reward.

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