What is Litter Box Training?
Overview of Training
Litter box training is not just for cats, and is indeed possible with puppies! It has been a series of trial and error to understand what method will work best with puppies, and how they think. Dogs are pack and den animals similar to their distant relatives the wolves. They prefer to eliminate in a specified area if given the opportunity. We have developed a system of training our puppies that is patterned after the way wolves teach their young. By creating a separate 'whelping area' and 'weaning area' the puppies learn to eliminate away from their bed. In our home, we use a whelping box to create this area---it has a separate whelping side, and weaning side. We introduce them to the Bark Potty litter box in three stages, appropriate to their age and development. The puppies naturally want to be clean, so our system works very well! The fact that our mommy dogs also use litter boxes helps too, as she will teach them to go in the box, while keeping the whelping area clean during this initial stage. As puppies start to understand eliminating in the litter box, we are able to give them more space to explore, and once they master that area, they finally graduate to the third stage, and have full access to the entire puppy pen (as seen in our videos and pictures) This is when they are now ready to go to their forever homes, and the pen area will be duplicated for a stress-free transition.
Below are the items we recommend purchasing to make the easiest, stress-free transition for puppy--- from our home to yours. When duplicating our puppy pen area, you are able to keep the puppy in a safe environment until it is older and has a stronger immune system. We feel that the first month in the forever home, a puppy is not quite developmentally ready to begin regimented house training, and puppy still needs to be isolated from unknown dogs for risk of catching parvo or other diseases. Use this time to bond, allowing puppy to become acclimated to you and your household before serious training begins. We have given them a wonderful head start and have worked very hard to teach them valuable potty skills!
Litter Box Choices
One of the biggest challenges as a breeder in rearing puppies is dealing with their mess. Yep, it is challenging keeping those fluffy little puppies CLEAN. The old method of raising puppies involves lining the floor with newspaper and constantly picking up poo all day long. You can imagine how often you are bathing babies when they end up stepping and rolling in their messes all the time!
After years of being fed up with the mess, we researched several methods, we follow the Misty Method, yet have tweaked it to fit our needs and set up.
Litter Box Training
This is the cornerstone of our successful potty training system. All the puppies are litter box trained. We use the Bark Potty or a litter box with litter or newspaper, as it has been the most successful product for us--- so ask us which option the puppy is accustomed to before purchasing something else. Any change will confuse puppy. If you choose pellets and a box instead, there are a couple options, either inexpensive pine pellets or paper pellets (Exquisicat brand from Petsmart). You can purchase a large jumbo sized pan, (The Puppy Go Here box from our Amazon Store or Sterilite Modular boxes work like a charm!) You can purchase these items for a very small investment.
Many families ask if they have to use a litter box forever. The answer is, "it is completely up to you!" The beauty of this method is that we have taught your puppy there is a specific place to eliminate. This training makes the transition to going outdoors a breeze for our families, as the puppies have already mastered the litter box concept in their puppy safe pen. Many families have their dogs cross trained, meaning they use a litter box and also go outdoors. Some families live in RVs, High Rise apartments or simply choose to use the litter box exclusively. Which house training method you choose for your home is your choice, and we provide assistance to all of our families with our 7 day schedule and a specific 2 week house training plan (included in your puppy packet when you bring home your puppy), for those that want to teach their dog to go outside exclusively. Are Habibi Bears completely housebroken at 8 weeks old? Heaven's no, but they are leaps and bounds ahead of the average puppy. Many families report back that their puppy has very few accidents if any, so while we would love to boast they are housebroken, the reality of it is they are still babies, they can still regress. Cleanliness and routine will make all the difference in how well your puppy is house broken.