Litter Training a Dog?

Updated on October 20, 2011
D.C. asks from Bowling Green, OH
6 answers

We recently got a 2 year old Shi Tzu from a shelter. We were told he was housebroken. He's not. He's also afraid of the wind, rain, dark, and I can only assume the snow as well. Since I live in OH, we have at least one of those every day. I'll take him out to walk him and he either flat out refuses to go, or stands there shaking and whining. It's very rare that he actually goes potty outside. I can take him outside for 15 minutes and he never goes. I bring him in and he immediately pees on the floor.

I've looked into the puppy pads, but they seem expensive. My husband is hell bent on litter training the dog. I never even knew such a thing was possible until he mentioned it. I've looked into it a little online and it seems like something that might work. I keep reading about a special dog litter that I have to use. My husband thinks we can just use cat litter.

Has anyone ever litter trained a dog successfully? What products and methods did you use? Is this even a possibility or should we keep forcing the dog to go outside and potty?

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So What Happened?

He's not a bundle of nerves or a basket case. He just prefers to not be outside when it's raining, dark or windy. I can't say that I blame him, I don't like it much either. Other than this issue with not peeing or pooping outside, he's a fantastic dog. He's not afraid as long as he's in the house.

Yes, he gets daily walks. I walk him several times a day. Two of the walks are at least 10-15 minutes each. I try to get him as far away as I can from the house so that he's not lunging at the leash to get back inside. That doesn't help the issue of him peeing on the floor though.

It's like he doesn't understand that outside means go potty.

More Answers


answers from Lansing on

I have heard of this with smaller breeds. Like training any animal, it takes time, patience, consistency and treats!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My first thoughts are "man! that sure would be convienent!" I say go for it. I googled it quickly and this is the first link that came up. I skimmed through it and it looked fairly thorough.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

haha.. Never heard of that one...
Here's a good suggestion for you: My friend lives in NYC and walking the dog isn't always easy.. She buys at Walgreens "underpads", pads that would be used for the elderly (its for wetting the bed).. It does the SAME EXACT THING as puppy pads at half the price... (about 18.00 for 30 of them)...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I'm not sure if the litter training will be possible for your dog. However, there are those grass pads that they advertise for people with apartments and for times like you've mentioned when it's raining or snowing outside.

I would also suggest looking into Cesar Millan's website about your dogs behavior. He's does that show on tv called the Dog Whisperer. He does amazing things with training and rehabilitation. Here is his website for you to look into. :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If you can litter train him, that's great. But don't forget that you still must walk him daily even if he uses his "toilet" indoors. Even small dogs need exercise every single day. Bored dogs who lack exercise turn into dogs that destroy the house and behave badly.

Besides the litter training, please deal with the bigger issue -- his intense fears of everything. Find a local trainer who will work with not just the dog but with YOU and your family to train the dog out of those fears as far as possible and help you cope where it isn't possible. The dog's previous owners probably gave him up because he wasn't the fun, easy dog they hoped for -- and they didn't bother to invest in training him and working on his fears. You can help him and have real pet instead of a quivering bundle of shivers, if you're all willing to put in the work and get the help.

Look for episodes of "It's Me or The Dog" on Animal Planet to see what I mean about dogs that lack exercise or are allowed to go on and on with their phobias....And how some training (for the humans, not just the dogs) really can turn things around.



answers from Chicago on

I know this is a painful process but I would continue to work with the dog to go outside. Are you walking the dog? I know when it's rainy and cold and dark it's no fun but if you give into his fear he will continue to go potty in the house. After awhile litter...pee pads...fake grass pad etc..etc..would smell and be terribly inconvenient. Keep working with him and if necessary look at some obedience training to work through his hang ups...Obviously he's been traumatized and doesn't know what's proper dog behavior. good luck

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