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Litter Training for Dogs

September 15th, 2008, 11:01 AM
I have a 3 year old Shih tzu and she is already housebroken. I recently moved into an apartment and would like to litter train her. My problem is that she absolutely will not do her business in the house because she knows this as being the wrong thing to do. Any suggestions on what I can do to help the process?

September 15th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Litter training is terrible. Seriously. Why would you want to change this? You have the perfect dogs and to try to untrain this good behaviour of going outside is just not in their natures since they were properly trained in the first place.

Sorry if this sounds rude however I always instruct people on how to train their dogs to go outside and never paper train, pee pad train or litter train any dog.

September 15th, 2008, 11:38 AM
I understand your concern, however the reason why I am doing this is not because I don't want to bring her outside to do her business, I don't mind doing that during the day, however at night I do not trust the neighborhood I'm in (I also live alone therefore no one can accompany me at night) and as I mentioned before I am in an apartment building. Getting her litter trained would be much safer for her and I.

Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated.

September 15th, 2008, 11:44 AM
Ok I understand.

How many times does she wake during the night to ask for the door? How does the dog let you know when he/she needs to go outside.

Let me know and I will address further.

September 15th, 2008, 11:52 AM
Thank you for your understanding,

She's a very good dog, she never woke me up during the night because she had to go outside. When I lived at the house, her way of telling me she wanted to go outside was waiting at the door. At the apartment however she hasn't really developed a way of telling me, I would just take her outside every 2 hours or so.

I tried not taking her out for a little longer hoping she would have an accident in the apartment and then I could correct her on where to go, however she hasn't done anything. I'm afraid that she may be too much of a good dog (ironic) to do anything indoors.

September 15th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Ok - then infact you will not have to litter train but instead work towards keeping her clean during the evening (which she previously was). I take it that there have been changes in your life by which you are now living in an apartment. The dog infact is going through these changes with you - more than likely you both are trying to get into a routine.

I would tether her to you at night. Keep her close to you and when she goes to move - you will be aware. Most of the time the dog will get up to investigate at night, followed by a quick pee. Almost like people who wake up at night...followed by a quick snack.

When she goes to leave you, tell her to lie down and she should resume back to sleep. If she never asked before to go out at night - then you know that this is a temporary behavoural problem that is fixable.

Do you think you could try this instead of litter training?

September 15th, 2008, 12:40 PM
Not sure I see what the problem is here, to be honest, unless maybe I don't fully understand the situation.

You're home during the day and can take the pup out, correct?

She normally "holds it" until the morning (ie does not need a middle of the night potty break)?

Is it the TIME or the DARKNESS that you're avoiding (ie you don't care if it's dark but don't want to be out past 11pm, or you don't want to go out after dark)?

If you're able to take her out around 9 or so before bed, I don't see why she would need to go indoors during the night at all. However, if you don't feel ok going out after dark (which could be 4:40) then you will need an alternative..

do you have a small patio? You could try setting up pee pads or a litter box there, she might be more inclined to "go" if it's not right in the house. Another could bring the litter pan outside and put her in it during the day then praise like crazy when she goes in it, it might encourage her to use it once in the house.

September 15th, 2008, 05:37 PM
The problem is that I am home during the day but most of my classes are at night usually around 6pm -9pm, therefore I'd have to take her out after my classes so she could have a restful night.

I would like to avoid going outside when it's dark. So like you mentioned, it''ll be dark aroudn 5pm at some point and that's where the problem will begin.

I do however have a patio and I tried putting the pee pad there for her to be more inclined to go but have not found success yet.

She is really housebroken, and I don't remember the last time she did anything in the house (which is good in normal cases) but if she does not do anything in the house (which she is refusing to do so) I can not correct her.

Any suggestions or different alternatives, I'm always open to different ideas. Thank you.

September 15th, 2008, 08:55 PM
I would say take her out right before you leave for class, and if she's holding it, let her hold it. I have a dog who will hold it for HOURS beyond what I would expect from her just so she can "sleep in". If it's not bothering her or causing her distress, let her do it. If she has accidents, then work on fixing the problem then.

September 16th, 2008, 04:20 PM
I actually got a catalog in the mail not too long ago that had a 'dog potty' in it. It was kind of like a litter box, only it's bigger and has fake grass on it.

I can't remember the name of the catalog I saw it in, but it is similar to this:

What I am understanding is that the neighborhood you live in now is too dangerous for you to be outside after dark? Is that accurate?