Make your own free website on

litter box train dog

    How To Litter Box Train Your Dog

By Teresa Heath

Link To Next Page >>


Tips on Teaching Your Dog to Go On Command


This is what you want to do every time you take your dog potty on the paper or pad.


Your goal is to have your dog connect the words you choose (go potty, get busy, make potty) with the action of doing it.


4 Easy Steps For Recording Your Dog's potty habits.



  1. Make a record and study the times your dog needs to go potty. Write it down. This will help with setting up your daily schedule.

  2. Take him to the desired potty place. Set him on the paper or pad and keep repeating the chosen phrase you have decided to use, "good boy, go potty!" or whatever you like. Just make sure you stick with the same phrase. Do not let him off of the paper or pad until he goes.

  3. When your dog starts to go potty, keep repeating the phrase over and over with your big happy voice. After 5 0r 6 times of doing this he will begin to connect the action with the command.

  4. Half a second after he finishes, give him lots of praise...!!!

       Do this every time!


When Will Your Dog Go Potty?  Warning Signals!



Anytime there is a change in activity, such as after waking, playing or eating, puppy MUST be taken to potty! 


There are certain signs that will let you know when your puppy is needing to go potty:


  • sudden stop of play

  • circling

  • sniffing

  • running out of the room

  • a "look" on his face



You will soon learn to read these "warning signals".  Yes, I know, for a while it may seem that all you do in life is take doggie potty! 





Extra effort= SUCCESS


**It is never good to give your dog a large meal before an extended crating time, unless of course he is in an ex-pen.**


(You have most certainly by now realized how much better an ex-pen or small area makes training easier.)


Proceed to set up a schedule of feeding 2-3 small meals rather than 1 or 2 large meals. Your last meal should be given 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.




If you decide to use a crate, you will need to make a schedule of feeding times, play times, crate times and paper potty times to help your dog get used to a regular potty schedule more easily and help you be able to determine when he will  need to go.


Setting Up a Daily Schedule For Your Dog



  • First thing in the morning - before you do anything else, even have your coffee - take the puppy to go potty on paper. He can then play for an hour while you are closely watching.
  • Feed puppy breakfast in the crate and don't let him out again for 10-15 minutes to a 1/2 hour. Then carry him to go potty on paper. 
  • Now he can have another inside playtime for an hour or so. Don't give him free run of the house.
  • Only after he starts to show you that he will go potty on the paper on his own can you start to let him have increasingly more freedom of areas.
  • Use of baby gates or closed doors are necessary to keep him out of rooms he shouldn't go in in the beginning. (Puppies have a way of  finding out of the way corners to have accidents in - keep him in an area where you can watch him). If you give him too much freedom too soon, he'll probably have an accident.
  • After playtime, take him to go potty again then put him into his crate for a nap.

***One of my customers just gave me the greatest tip to mention at this point of the training and that is to get yourself one of those little kitchen timers to be able to set it for 15 or 20 minutes.


It is so easy to let the time pass by and then puppy might have an accident in his crate.


We want to prevent that at all costs!


Once a dog goes potty in the crate that can seriously delay your training.

For the first 6 months or so, you'll be feeding 3 meals per day.

Repeat the same procedure throughout the day:

  • potty 1st thing in the morning,
  • to 1 hour playtime, potty,
  • meal in crate,
  • potty,
  • playtime,
  • potty,
  • nap,
  • potty,
  • playtime,
  • meal, etc.

The playtimes can be lengthened as the puppy gets older and is more mature and dependable.

Eventually the puppy will be going to the paper on his own when he needs to go.

Make sure that always as soon as puppy wakes up or comes out of the crate, take him immediately to the paper or pad to potty.


Take puppy immediately to the papers, stay with him at the papers, not letting him off the papers until he goes potty.


(My new teacup pomeranian will keep trying to walk off and I head him off at every corner.)


For better control of keeping your dog on the paper until he goes potty, is to put on his collar or harness and leash.


This will give you much better control, just as if you were walking him outside to go potty.


After he goes potty give a lot of praise.


NOW, If he does not go potty after a while, then put him in the crate for 10-15 minutes and try again until he goes on the papers.


Do not let him play or be free until he goes potty on the paper. 


Clean up most of the soiled area, leaving a small area with remains on it to leave the scent on the paper. This works even better than the spray mentioned above.

I know this sounds like a lot of work and it is! Housetraining takes diligence. 

The results of your dog being completely housetrained to go potty in the litter box will be well worth it, I promise you.

Remember that some breeds are easier to housebreak than others and how the puppy was treated before you got it has a huge affect on how easily he will be trained, too.

Puppies who were from the pet store and kept in wire-bottom crates have less tendency to keep their crates clean.

Puppies that were raised in garages or other large areas where they could "go" wherever will also be a little more difficult.

Don't give up though - you can always train them, it will just take a little longer.

Sample Daily Schedule:

(Puppy using a crate: Owner Home All Day)

Please adjust your puppy's schedule to what you recorded above.

  • 8:00 AM Wake up, take to paper to go potty
  • 8:10 -8:30 AM Play time in Small Area
  • 8:30 AM Food and Water
  • 9:00 AM Go Potty Again
  • 9:15 AM - Play Time In Small Area
  • 9:45 AM Crate Time
  • 12:00 Noon - Food and Water
  • 12:30 PM Go potty on paper
  • 12:45 PM Play Time in Small Area (like kitchen where you can see well)
  • 1:15 PM Crate Time
  • 5:00 PM Food and Water
  • 5:30 Pm Go Potty on Paper
  • 6:15 PM Crate Time
  • 8:00 PM Water
  • 8:15 Go Potty on Paper
  • 8:30 PM Play Time in Small Area
  • 9:00 Pm Crate Time
  • 11:00 PM Go potty on paper


 Sample Daily Schedule

(Puppy in a confined area (like ex-pen or small area blocked off) other than a crate - Owner Working All Day)



6:30 AM Wake up

6:45 AM Play time out of confinement

7:15 AM Food and water

Can go potty whenever he needs by himself.

6:00 PM Play time out of confined area only if you are watching him like a hawk!

6:30 PM Food and water

Go potty when he needs to!

9:00 PM Food and water

Can go potty

9:45 PM Play time before bed time

10:00 PM Back in confined area for night.



**Make sure that when you have your puppy out for play times that he has easy access to enter his confined area to go potty if he needs to.

So it is better to play close by his potty area.

Make up your schedule for your dog and as he gets older make sure you adjust it accordingly to how many times a day he needs to eat.


Until the dog is completely litter box trained, you will need to make sure that you provide constant supervision and limit his freedom.


You can see why I stress the importance of the crate or confined area.


 Using the crate can be quite exhausting because all of his potty needs are your responsibility.


He is dependent on you totally to:


Let him out to get to potty place

Making sure he stays there until he goes

Return him to the crate when finished.





There is EXCITING News For Those Who Have to Work During the Day and Are Gone For Several Hours or ....


Those Who Are Not Wanting To Do All the Extensive Work it Takes With the Crate Method Above!!


Like ME~!