I have a 5 year old chihuahua. I rescued him from his owner last year. He was abused really badly. I tried to potty train him to go outside but he is to scared to go outside. Today I made a litter box from a plastic storage tote for him but what should I put in it so he can use it?
By KristinaRay from Rushville, IN
Purina makes "secondnature" litter for dogs - you can get it at Petsmart. There is also a website - doglitter.com - that tells you how to train the dog to use it.
Maybe shredded newspaper, if you have a paper shredder, send it through that first, then to litter box. My sister has Yorkies, and they use pee pads....drsfosterandsmith.com has the best ones, in her opinion. I think you can use them for awhile before you need to start a new one. She doesn't use them in a litterbox, just on the floor, but I am sure a litterbox would be even better.
I'd get maybe 3 or 6 squares of indoor outdoor carpet---the green kind that looks like grass. You could cut it to fit in the bin that you've already got. 3 or 6 would give you extras so that you could change it out every day, rinse out the "used" one and let them dry to be re-used.
Once you've gotten him used to you and your family and he's secure enough so he's not so scared, you could take him outside in your arms for just a few seconds at a time till he feels safe, extending the time outside in your arms, till you are out there for about 10 minutes. You could hold him in your lap as you sit in a chair. Pet him, praise him, and give him extra special treats so that he starts to connect the treats with being outside in your lap.
Once he's good and comfortable with that, then put him on the grass for just a second. No more. As he gets used to that, then start lengthening the time, but only by a few seconds at a time till he's on the grass and not scared for a full minute. Then lengthen it by a minute at a time.
All this time you be right there with him, talking to him, praising him, and giving him treats. Once he's used to being on the grass and just standing there, start taking one or two steps at a time away so that he has to walk to come to you.
By doing this in this way, eventually he will get comfortable with being outside. And once he's good and comfortable, you can start leaving him outside for just a minute or two till he gets used to being there by himself. Now as scared as he is, all this will take many months, but you and he will both be happier in the long run. But through it all, I'd keep the bin with the indoor outdoor carpet in the house. But eventually he'll only use it on occasion when he needs to and you're busy or not home.
The pee pads are easier to use I think and my daughter's chihuahua uses the same one several times before discarding, but lays it on a plastic runner. I also like your idea of using a storage tote.
I also have a Chihuahua and I use newspapers. I don't shred them,just layer them. I have used the "pee paper" for years.I have had poodles my whole life and have always used newspaper. Shredding them would be a major mess I think. I bought a large metal pan at an auto parts store and I just layer the papers as needed. It's easy clean up. A lot of newspaper companies throw away left over papers and also give away newspaper roll ends. I would use some thing flat that the dog doesn't have to jump into. I have also used one of those plastic bread crate bottoms that bread is shipped to stores in. I slid a trash bag over the whole thing and them lined it with trash bags and papers. Good luck with your choices but most of all I would shoot for something flat.
I forgot to mention that I do have cats and while they cover up everything they leave behind, dogs don't. So using shredded newspaper might not be ideal. The dog won't be able to see where he's going. And lets face it, you can't be there every single time the dogs goes to clean up. With the papers being flat and a mess already there, he can see where not to step. Anyway good luck, and let us know what you tried and how it's going.
I have a 5 month old Yorkie puppy and I tried to get him to use a litter box, but he wanted nothing to do with it. First, I put the pelleted cat litter in there, but I don't think he liked the feel of it. Then I tried to put a pee pad in there and even with it in his cage, he still peed on the floor of the cage rather than in the box. Now I have found something that works. It may not work for all dogs, but it does for mine. I took the "litter box" and made it into a comfy bed for him. Then I look a pee pad and put tape on the bottom and taped it down to the back of his cage. I put the box bed closest to the door of the cage as that is where he spends most of his time, waiting for me to come home and let him out. This was very important because I didn't want him sitting on a wet pee pad by the door. I also used a puppy spray that encourages them to eliminate in the area it is sprayed which is on the pee pad. After several nights of him peeing on the floor of the cage, he used the pee pad the first night I set it up like this. Success! I work at a pet store, so I have a lot of different methods. Sometimes you have to try multiple methods and sometimes you just need to tweak it to the way your dog needs it.