Crate training is the most preferred housebreaking method in general, as even adult dogs respond well to it when it is done right. Still, crate training doesn’t work for every canine, particularly for adult dogs with medical conditions. In such cases, litter training is a better option.

Advantages of Litter Training

photoThere are many reasons to consider teaching your pet how to use a litter box. Dogs that are left alone daily for long periods may not be able to hold it in until their owners get home. So if you work full time, it will be easier on your dog if he can relieve himself indoors. This is certainly more humane than making him wait. It will also be more convenient for you since the waste will only be limited to a single, easy to clean area.

Litter training can also be helpful if your pooch has a health issue, which can make it difficult for him to go for a long time without relieving himself. (Keep in mind that accidents can be a symptom of a medical condition.) Chances are your dog doesn’t want to make a mess in the house, and you definitely don’t want to clean it up every day. A litter box provides a humane solution in this scenario.

Finally, litter training can make your life easier if you’re an apartment dweller. Taking your dog out on demand can be inconvenient and tiring if you have to use an elevator or go down the stairs each time. You can avoid this by having your pet use a litter box instead.

Teaching Your Dog to Use a Litter Box

Litter training your adult pooch is no more difficult than regular housetraining; however, you may need more patience when working with a grown dog than with a puppy. Your pet is probably already accustomed to doing his business outside, so it will take some time to convince him that using a litter box inside is fine.

You might want to consider covering the litter box with some grass turf at first. This will make your dog feel more comfortable using it if he’s used to relieving himself in the yard. When introducing the litter box, take your dog to it on a leash. This is the same technique you might apply to teach him to do his business outside. So just as you would take your dog for a short walk in the yard, lead him to his litter box. If he knows that a short walk on a leash means a trip to the bathroom, it will be easier for him to learn that the litter box is his new toilet.

Reward your pooch as soon as he shows some interest in the box. A treat for getting in will encourage him to do it again. Continue to do this as you would with any other training. Praise him and offer a treat whenever he does something right. If you catch him starting to relieve himself in the wrong spot, interrupt him, take him to his box, and reward him when he goes in it. Your dog needs to know that he can only do his business indoors in his litter box.

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