Litter Box Training

Most families are amazed at how easy their Habibi Bear is to house train in comparison to other puppies they have raised, thanks to our litter box training while they are with us. We have spent decades studying hundreds of puppies and teaching them a correct place to go potty.  This is the first step toward house training. Your Habibi Bear will be several steps ahead of most puppies in that they have already learned the concept of eliminating in a designated area. 

Using a Litter box helps acclimate puppies to going potty outside.

Our potty training system
At Habibi Bears, we train our puppies to a litter box with either pine or paper pellets, and the pups do great!  When they head to their new homes, you can either use the same system or you can give  "The Bark Potty" a try!  It's pawfect for single dog homes! 
Bark Potty is a convenient, clean, natural, and disposable dog potty solution. It’s made of real bark, and like real grass contains the natural smells that compel dogs to “go”. Give your dog a place of their own to use when you’re not home and they’ll love you even more!

I'm so impressed with how simple it was to incorporate into our potty training program. The company is awesome to work with, and they sent us two Bark Potties to try before signing up for our delivery service. Score! It arrived quickly and was packaged beautifully. The potty is disposable cardboard lined inside to prevent leaking. It's filled with natural Bark and the top is covered with a mesh netting to prevent messes and digging. It even has doggy potty bags that dispense on the side so you can easily pick up waste as you would on a walk! So cool! 

Bark Potty has their own official  Habibi Bear!

Our Experience 

I happened to have 7 week old pups who had never seen or used one- so this was a tough test. They immediately went to it after setting it up in a smaller X-Pen, to help them adjust to the new potty (as pictured). Within seconds, they were peeing on it and we had a couple poo accidents beside the potty. Hey- that's an impressive first try for the little tykes. By the second morning, we had all pups successfully using the Bark Potty. Not a single accident, and the puppies adapted effortlessly. At this age, without the typical acclimation that begins at 3 weeks old,  I'm thrilled.

As a breeder, keeping pups clean is a constant challenge and the older they get, the messier they are. My typical day is filled with continuous cleaning and washing bedding to prevent accidents and keep things spotless. Pups go potty where they smell waste- so even when they poo in the right spot- if they step in it, roll in it, etc,  the bedding gets soiled too. Then they all start going potty on their bedding instead of in the litter box.   I was concerned that starting out this late in the game would include some chewing on the cardboard or ripping up the netting. Nope! They sniffed around and explored, tried to chew some bark  ( as all pups do at this age- no biggie, once they have a taste they stop.  They all do this with the pine pellets as well).

Final opinion? It's a yes!  Love it! Thanks Bark Potty !!

Pro's of using the Litter Training Method

  • Teaches puppy to be clean

  • Starts puppy out with good potty habits

  • Puppy is naturally drawn to the scent and texture of the  bark/pellets  for eliminating- and will also be easy to transition to outdoor training

  • Bark and pellets are both something that is not found indoors, so there isn't worry of the puppy learning to potty on pee pads, which confuse them and encourage peeing on rugs!

  •  Paper gets torn up by playful pups!  The bark in the Bark Potty is contained in cardboard and plastic mesh

  • Bark Potty is disposable - Simply toss  and replace with the handy delivery system.

2 week house training system

We also have a proven 2 week system that if followed exactly as written, will help you train a dog that never has accidents in the house.  Whether you plan to continue using a litter box, plan to train your pup to go outside to potty, or want them to do both the litter box system is a wonderful starting point!

Here at Habibi Bears, we have perfected a system to successfully Litter Box train our puppies.  Below you will see pictures and a video featuring our setup we use with the puppies in our homes.  We recommend to our families to duplicate our puppy area set up in their homes for a smooth transition. Then puppy has a safe place to go while you start training!   If you opt to start out right away at 8 weeks old with the crate-training schedule, that is fine, just allow a little time for puppy to acclimate to the schedule, as it is so young.


Note to New Families

We have found that all puppies tend to regress or have setbacks throughout the training process.  Especially the first few days in their new home, or at different developmental stages. If you find your puppy (who was using their potty like a champ) begins to have accidents, there is probably a reason for this.  

  • The  Potty needs to be cleaned: It needs to be kept very clean so they have enough room to walk around and potty in a clean area

  • If you are not using the Bark Potty, is the box too small and puppy is not able to turn around in the box well? (Sometimes they get their little front feet in the box and think they are all the way in)

  • Have you cleaned the floor and bedding well so there is no residual odor from accidents? Puppies go where they smell any feces or urine.  Many times when they have accidents, it's simply because they stepped in their potty and tracked it to the bedding.  I keep lots of old towels and blankets around and switch them out often! We recommend using Nature's Miracle for cleaning odors.

  • Have you changed the set up?  Have you made the area bigger? This is another trigger for regression. They are little babies and tend to really thrive on all things familiar.  Make the area smaller for a day, and see if that helps.  IF not, then you decide to either make the set up as it was before, or graduate to outdoor training.

  • If all else fails, perhaps puppy is trying to tell you he is ready for outdoor training! Get out your crate training schedule and start to go that route!

Regression Quick Fix

Here is a quick fix to help remind puppy which is the proper place to go.  Puppies are easily confused, so it is a good idea to address this asap.  We recommend limiting the puppy's area for a day.  Close up the pen so puppy only has room for the litter box and the bedding.  This gives your Habibi Bear a high chance of success. Once the puppy is using the Bark Potty again, you can re-open the pen to the full size.

Remember, a puppy thrives on routine.  Keep everything simple and on schedule.  No full access to the house until puppy is completely trained.  USE a PEN to help you teach your new puppy.   If you are not actively holding or playing with your puppy, he needs to be in his puppy safe area, AKA his pen.   Puppy's success will rely completely on how well you are able to maintain consistency.  Training issues are human, because we have not given the puppy good direction.  Be sure to read the Habibi Bear Handbook you receive with your puppy so you can give the correct direction and have positive results!


Our Puppies in their Puppy Area

When our puppies are ready to go to their forever homes, they are successfully eliminating in their litter boxes and acclimated to using a crate and x-pen.  For specifics on ordering these items, please visit our shopping list  and  shopping cart pages on this site!


Pictures of Our Puppy Area

These are pictures of the same set up.  We use the small Iris puppy pen, with two extra panels to give the pups room to play, creating a rectangular shape that is 3 x 6 (this fits our whelping boxes we use to whelp our litters).   In our home, we use whelping boxes to keep newborn pups off the floor, which you won't need for your area.  (The setup is what you will duplicate)

What you need for your puppy area:

  • Iris Pen and 2 extra panels or an X-pen configured into a rectangle.

  • Crate for resting – pups love the 'Den' environment

  • Litter Box choice and either paper or wood pellets (or Bark Potty)

  • Food and water dishes

  • Extra bedding for your puppy to lay on

  •  Toys and Chewies to keep puppy's mind active

  • Don't forget your Habibi Method Training  book and training!

  • Print and Read our Training info in Habibi U

Additional Info
Some families report back that their puppy is climbing out of the area after a few weeks.  To eliminate this, you can set up the area in a laundry room, or purchase  a topper, or try the taller Iris pen or X-pen that they can't climb.  We find the smaller Iris pen is fine for our home, as the puppies are smaller.  You can put a top on the pen to eliminate climbing if necessary.  One family emailed us that they purchased plastic lattice (small slats) and tied it to the top. Thanks for the info, Pat!

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