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litter box train dog

    How To Litter Box Train Your Dog

    By Teresa Heath



B. Ex-pen?  What is that?

    1. Ex-pens or exercise pens or puppy playpens


My favorite and the easiest to implement with your litter box training!

Ex-pens or exercise pens or puppy playpens can run anywhere from $50 to $150 depending on the size.


This may seem like a lot of money, but it is an excellent investment for your dog and family. 


We have found it to be ideal for when we have a litter of puppies as they reach the ages of 5-6 weeks and are too big to stay in their whelping box. 



You will find many uses for this wonderful training tool.  We have even used it for when friends have come over with small children who are frightened of our dogs.



   2. Great alternative to the Ex-pen....blocking off a small room.


A small room, such as a bathroom, laundry room or kitchen can work very well for your confinement alternative.


The only negative side to using a small room as suggested may be the possibility of puppy chewing on cabinets or etc.


Overall this can be a very good way to confine your puppy or dog during the times you are not able to watch him like a hawk.



C. How To Use the Chosen Confinement Properly



This section of the book is dedicated to helping a dog become comfortable with its crate, or confinement area.

If you properly train your dog right off the bat to being used to some type of confinement, he'll think of it as his safe place and bed  and will be happy to spend time there when needed.

It is vital that you get your puppy or dog used to his crate or ex-pen before you can really get down to the business of following the steps to litter box training.


 ***NOTE** The following steps for adjusting to a crate are beneficial for any type of confinement you decide to use.


If your dog is having no problem whatsoever going in the crate or other type of confinement, GREAT!


Then you can gladly skip all the following steps referring to crate adjustment.





Introducing Your Dog to Your Chosen Confinement.



1.  Place the crate, ex-pen or etc. in an area of your house where your family spends most of their time, like the family room.


     Put a piece of cloth or towel in the crate with your scent on it. 


     Bring your dog over to the crate with a happy voice.


2. Try first placing a treat right beside the crate , then next place it right by the door,  then try just inside the door, then all the way inside to get him to go inside the crate.


3. Do not ever force or push him to go in if he does not want to.


     Just keep throwing treats inside or maybe even a favorite toy to get him to go all the way inside.


     This step may take some dogs a little longer than others.


     It could take a few minutes to a few days, it depends on the dog.


Feeding Your Dog His Meals In the Crate, Ex-pen or Other Confinement Area


The following tips work with either a crate or other type of confinement




1.  Being to feed your dog his meals near the confinement area after you have introduced him to it. If he has no problem going inside place the dish all the way in the back or far side.


Otherwise, place the dish as far as your dog will go into the area . Gradually moving the food back farther until he is standing comfortably inside.


2.  Close the door while he is eating the food. Open the door as soon as he is finished eating and take the food and water out.  If you are using an expen or small room you can leave the water bowl in then close the door.



3. Leave the puppy or dog in the area for a few minutes at first. Take him to the paper to go potty.


Each meal leave the door closed a little longer than the previous time until he is in the area for 10 minutes after eating. Always making sure he goes potty very soon.


If he starts to whine or cry to be let out, you may have left him in there a little too long, so reduce the time the next time.


Do not let him out until he stops whining.



Adjusting to Longer Periods in the Confined area or crate.


When your dog is eating his regular meals in the confined area or crate without any problems. You can begin to put him in there for short periods of time while you are home.



Call him to the area or crate and give him a treat. Tell him to "kennel up" or "go to bed". Point inside the crate or area with a treat in your hand.



After your dog goes inside, give him a big praise, give him a treat and close the door.



Sit near the crate or pen quietly for five to ten minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes.



Come back, sit quietly near for a few minutes, then let him out of the area or crate.



Do this several times a day. Each time lengthening the time your dog is in the crate or area.



When you get to the place that he can stay in his crate or pen area for 30 minutes with you out of the room, then you will be able to begin to leave him crated for short periods of time while you leave the house.



 Your Dog in Crate While You Are Gone


1. Put your dog in the crate and make sure you don't make a big deal out of your leaving the house. You can put a toy or two in the crate with your dog.


    Also, when you return if your dog gets excited, do not respond to him at all, especially if he is excited. Do your best to ignore him, this will enforce the habit of it not being a big deal of your leaving or going.


2. Continue to lengthen the times your dog is in the crate for housetraining purposes.



Later in the guide you will find detailed instructions concerning times to take your dog out of the crate and when to take him potty.



Every time you take your dog or puppy out of the crate you must take them immediately straight to the place where they are supposed to go potty.




When the crate is properly introduced to the dog it becomes something that is enjoyable not a punishment.



The primary use of the crate is to prevent the dog from doing something wrong and not being disciplined for it. It is a very valuable preventative tool.



It all around makes life easier with your dog. A young dog specifically should be in the crate any time it cannot be watched.



Puppies and untrained dogs will need extensive crating at first.




It is for your peace of mind (saves you so much time and trouble) and their safety.  It will make potty training so much easier, you won't believe it!




Every dog I have litter box trained actually becomes partial to their crate and it becomes their bed and they go there on their own for privacy and to sleep. 




He should be allowed to go in and be left alone when he wants. It should remain a place of rest and security for him.




Our male Pomeranian, Smokey, will even go their instead of sleeping in our bed, imagine that! 




It's probably because I kick him while I am sleeping. No, not on purpose! I don't realize I am doing it. My husband has notified me of this.




 " Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. 

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,  where doing nothing was not boring -- it was peace. "

-- Milan Kundera


Don't forget to keep you toilet lid down!!!


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