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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

New here and getting my little 8-week old boy, Ollie, on Saturday. I have been reading lots of info and feel that I have a training plan sorted out (crate training, x-pen, chew toy training, consistency, etc, etc.), but trying to firm up indoor potty training options. Our breeder has started getting the pups outside and they go on shredded paper indoors. We want to encourage outdoor training, but need an indoor solution when needed (when working and also have some nasty winters here some years).

The more I read, I am leaning toward trying out wood pellets. I have read that some folks like litter boxes, some use the grate/mesh tray systems with the pellets under the grates, and some seem to use both . Being a male pup, I'm wondering if the grate (e.g Paw Traxx) would work as well, or if I should opt for a higher sided litter pan (3 sides a bit higher, maybe a homemade one with a Sterlite container). Also, if potentially both could work, which would be best to train to first or can both be trained too at the same time somehow (in different rooms or one for visiting other houses, etc)? My plan would be to start with paper and move to more and more pellets (for the litter box. With the grates, the pellets could probably be under the grates, regardless, and paper on top at first?).

It would be great to hear about your experiences, preferences, and any advice.

Bonus questions:
-Anyone know the best place to buy smooth-grained pellets in Canada with no additives? Saw some at Canadian Tire but not sure how pure (the softwood seemed all natural)?
-Hardwood vs softwood pellets?
-What about ash content? Saw some with a very small amount of ash - is that expected and okay or can I find some without?
-Best grate potty system?

Thanks,
Kathy
 

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My breeder uses both UgoDog and Piddle Place, she no longer uses litter. I've purchased both for my house to see which one the little guy prefers. I plan on training him to go outdoors but want him to have a back up option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Cmward! Yes, apparently a back up option is great to have with small dogs and small bladders. The Ugodog is similar to the Paw Traxx but I think the Paw Traxx is easier to get here, not sure. Would love to hear how things work out for you.
 

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I use UGoDog with a pee pad underneath. I know some people object to the pee pads but for me it is super easy. I can just throw it away (like a used diaper) and wipe out the tray with a kitchen wipe. Periodically, especially after he poops on them, I wash the grates. He is 16 months now so he only uses it occasionally (I have a walker come in midday) and if we are home he only wants to go outside. He figured it out immediately as a puppy. I let him go on a pad and then put it under the grate so he would smell it. Lots of parties and treats when he used the UGoDog.
 

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Hi all,

New here and getting my little 8-week old boy, Ollie, on Saturday. I have been reading lots of info and feel that I have a training plan sorted out (crate training, x-pen, chew toy training, consistency, etc, etc.), but trying to firm up indoor potty training options. Our breeder has started getting the pups outside and they go on shredded paper indoors. We want to encourage outdoor training, but need an indoor solution when needed (when working and also have some nasty winters here some years).

The more I read, I am leaning toward trying out wood pellets. I have read that some folks like litter boxes, some use the grate/mesh tray systems with the pellets under the grates, and some seem to use both . Being a male pup, I'm wondering if the grate (e.g Paw Traxx) would work as well, or if I should opt for a higher sided litter pan (3 sides a bit higher, maybe a homemade one with a Sterlite container). Also, if potentially both could work, which would be best to train to first or can both be trained too at the same time somehow (in different rooms or one for visiting other houses, etc)? My plan would be to start with paper and move to more and more pellets (for the litter box. With the grates, the pellets could probably be under the grates, regardless, and paper on top at first?).

It would be great to hear about your experiences, preferences, and any advice.

Bonus questions:
-Anyone know the best place to buy smooth-grained pellets in Canada with no additives? Saw some at Canadian Tire but not sure how pure (the softwood seemed all natural)?
-Hardwood vs softwood pellets?
-What about ash content? Saw some with a very small amount of ash - is that expected and okay or can I find some without?
-Best grate potty system?

Thanks,
Kathy
My dogs use both high sided open litter boxes and grated systems without problems. I haven't had any problem with my male using a grate... He lifts his leg to mark outdoors, but when he just needs to pee, indoors or out, he does not. Most puppies either squat or stand, without lifting a leg, and that is the posture I would encourage (HEAVILY) in any indoor potty situation. :)

As far as grate vs. no grate, the advantages of a grate is that no litter gets kicked out with a grate, and the dog can't get at the litter with a grate. MOST dogs don't dig the way cats do, but with an open litter box, a long haired dog is likely to pull a few stray pellets out when he jumps out. It's not big deal unless you step on them with bare feet!:grin2: We did have one, (Pixel) who found great joy in burying her toys in the litter box as a puppy. Thankfully, I keep my litter boxes very clean, so it wasn't the end of the world, but still, it was something I discouraged. (she has always been a digger, though, the only one of mine who also digs in the gardens. Not a lot, but enough that she comes in with dirty feet!) The other problem with an open box is ingestion of litter. Swallowing a piece of litter here and there won't hurt the puppy. However, Kodi has tummy problems from time to time, and his way of "dealing" with a stomach ache is to swallow anything he can. If he's outside it's grass, if he's inside, and can get to it, he would gorge on pellets. Obviously THIS is not a good idea. We do have one uncovered litter pan, but it is in our bed room, and he is never up there unless we are with him. So he couldn't ever gorge on pellets up there. Anyplace where he spends time unsupervised (we gate them in my office when we are out, so there is a litter box in there) the box has a grate on it, so he can't get to the pellets. He is the only litter box-trained dog I know who does this, but it's something to keep in mind.

The flip side is, it's easier to keep the box clean without the grate. You can see immediately if they have peed without a grate, and if poop is a bit moister than usual, it sticks to the grate, meaning you have to hose it out.

As far as the type of pellets is concerned, we mostly use "Equine Pine" (or a generic equivalent) horse bedding. This is specifically made fort animals.and there is nothing in it that could hurt them. (unless, like Kodi, they fill their stomach with them! LOL) You CAN use wood stove pellets (hardwood) but I am a bit uneasy about those just because I DON'T know exactly what is in them, and some hard woods can be toxic to horses... not sure about dogs. So if I have to get the wood stove pellets, I ONLY use them under a grate, where the dogs can't reach them. You can get the pine horse bedding pellets at any feed and grain store. (here in the US, the chains that carry them are Tractor Supply and Agway. I don't know about Canada) I wouldn't be concerned about ash content. That is a "thing" in dry cat food, but wood pellets aren't meant to be ingested, by cat or dog. :)

Litter boxes options. For open litter boxes, you can buy "dog litter boxes" from the big chain stores. They have a shallow lip in one place for the dogs to walk in and out. They tend not to like jumping over a high edge like a cat will. But you can also get big potting trays like this one from Amazon: Amazon.com : Table-Top Gardener Portable Potting Tray - Argee RG155 : Plant Germination Kits : Patio, Lawn & Garden

For grated ones, unfortunately, the VERY BEST ones aren't being sold in the North America anymore. But it would be worth a look on Ebay to see if you could find a used one. Rascal Dog Litter Box, Puppy Big Squirt, Dog Toilet, Dog Little Squirt Now, they suggest using it with the fake grass on the top. Take my advise and SKIP that!!! It starts to stink, VERY fast, and there is NO WAY I was able to get enough of the smell out to want it in my house. But my dogs have had NO problem walking on the grate to use it without the grass mat. But the Rascal dog has plenty of room for litter under the plastic grate. It has sides, and the larger sized one gives the dog room to "circle" before pooping and still stay in the box. (ALL our "accidents" with other systems have happened because "circling" takes the dog out of the box when the "moment" hits)

The other system I like... not quite as much, but it's all that is available now, is the UgoDog. This system is designed to work with a pee pad, but there IS room under the grates for a thin layer of pellets. And I like pellets better because they are completely biodegradable. I have a big problem with all the plastic waste involved with pee pads. (litter is also cheaper ;) ) The only problem is that the UgoDog doesn't have sides, so some puppies tend to wander off of it. This CAN be trained... Kodi just BARELY fits on the UgoDog as an adult, but will CAREFULLY position himself so he hits it. :) But it's more work than a box that just makes the dog WANT to stay inside it. We use the UgoDog in our camper for bad weather, because it's smaller and weighs less. But we also don't have any little puppies in training at the moment. We use either the Rascal Dogs or an open box at home.

If I were buying something now, I think I'd try to find some sort of grate material that I could use and cut to fit the big potting trays. That would be most like my Rascal Dog boxes.
 

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I use UGoDog with a pee pad underneath. I know some people object to the pee pads but for me it is super easy. I can just throw it away (like a used diaper) and wipe out the tray with a kitchen wipe. Periodically, especially after he poops on them, I wash the grates. He is 16 months now so he only uses it occasionally (I have a walker come in midday) and if we are home he only wants to go outside. He figured it out immediately as a puppy. I let him go on a pad and then put it under the grate so he would smell it. Lots of parties and treats when he used the UGoDog.
Pee pad ARE super easy. But they are not very environmentally friendly. I also find that they STINK after a single pee on them.
 

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Pee pad ARE super easy. But they are not very environmentally friendly. I also find that they STINK after a single pee on them.
I change it as soon as I get home from work if he has used it. Luckily, we are down to once or twice a week at most. Loki, like Kodi, always squats for a real pee. He only lifts his leg to mark outside...we are blessed that he hasn't even tried to mark in the house. I also have the UGoDog in the crate so that might help too. The picture below is how it is set up now. I had it this way when we first brought him home but a couple of times he peed on the floor outside right by the UGoDog so I moved it to the end by the door. As soon as he was reliable and little older, I moved it back so he wouldn't have to walk over the UGoDog to lay in the crate.

BTW, I will admit I am a crate training failure. He is babygated in the family room where the crate is during the day. He is isn't destructive and every thing else is puppy proofed. I unplug the one cord he MIGHT get to during the day. Of course, he has decided that the coffee table is comfortable to sleep (I can see him on the puppy cam).
 

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I change it as soon as I get home from work if he has used it. Luckily, we are down to once or twice a week at most. Loki, like Kodi, always squats for a real pee. He only lifts his leg to mark outside...we are blessed that he hasn't even tried to mark in the house. I also have the UGoDog in the crate so that might help too. The picture below is how it is set up now. I had it this way when we first brought him home but a couple of times he peed on the floor outside right by the UGoDog so I moved it to the end by the door. As soon as he was reliable and little older, I moved it back so he wouldn't have to walk over the UGoDog to lay in the crate.

BTW, I will admit I am a crate training failure. He is babygated in the family room where the crate is during the day. He is isn't destructive and every thing else is puppy proofed. I unplug the one cord he MIGHT get to during the day. Of course, he has decided that the coffee table is comfortable to sleep (I can see him on the puppy cam).
I really like the looks of that pen Barbara, do you mind if I ask what brand it is?

BTW I was also a complete crate training failure with my last Hav Apollo lol. He just wore me down!
 

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I change it as soon as I get home from work if he has used it. Luckily, we are down to once or twice a week at most. Loki, like Kodi, always squats for a real pee. He only lifts his leg to mark outside...we are blessed that he hasn't even tried to mark in the house. I also have the UGoDog in the crate so that might help too. The picture below is how it is set up now. I had it this way when we first brought him home but a couple of times he peed on the floor outside right by the UGoDog so I moved it to the end by the door. As soon as he was reliable and little older, I moved it back so he wouldn't have to walk over the UGoDog to lay in the crate.

BTW, I will admit I am a crate training failure. He is babygated in the family room where the crate is during the day. He is isn't destructive and every thing else is puppy proofed. I unplug the one cord he MIGHT get to during the day. Of course, he has decided that the coffee table is comfortable to sleep (I can see him on the puppy cam).
Why is that a failure?!? My guys are gated in my office when I'm not home. They don't HAVE to be crated if they are reliable in the space you designate as "theirs". :)
 
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I really like the looks of that pen Barbara, do you mind if I ask what brand it is?

BTW I was also a complete crate training failure with my last Hav Apollo lol. He just wore me down!
Richell Expandable Pet Crate. I really like it. ShamaMama also has a really nice 2x6 crate but I can't remember what brand hers is.
 

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I have never used a litter pan and am curious how many of you that do, do you take your dogs to other peoples houses much and do they ever get confused and pee in the house either at home or someone elses house? I have never done it because I know of dogs that do get confused where it is ok to pee since it's under the same roof where you aren't allowed to pee and not outside. It would be handy but I wouldn't want to chance it since we do go to a lot of peoples houses.
 

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Why is that a failure?!? My guys are gated in my office when I'm not home. They don't HAVE to be crated if they are reliable in the space you designate as "theirs". :)
I would like him to be happy and settled in his crate when I have workmen, others, etc. or if we are traveling. I have a barking problem when I leave him behind the babygate, except when I leave for work, that I think would be better if I had succeeded at crate training him or maybe it really is just separation training.
 

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I have never used a litter pan and am curious how many of you that do, do you take your dogs to other peoples houses much and do they ever get confused and pee in the house either at home or someone elses house? I have never done it because I know of dogs that do get confused where it is ok to pee since it's under the same roof where you aren't allowed to pee and not outside. It would be handy but I wouldn't want to chance it since we do go to a lot of peoples houses.
I use the UGoDog and haven't seen any evidence of Loki being confused. He won't use it if we are home and that seems to be the same at other places. The first time I took him to my mom's he was 5 months and I was nervous because she lives in a 7th floor condo. He wouldn't use the UGoDog I got to have there but he decided on his own that if he sat by the balcony door I would understand he needed to go out. At my sister's, he rings the bells she has on the door for her dog. At class the other night, he started pulling me got distracted and started pulling me to the door. I took him out and sure enough he had to pee. Then, he turned around and headed back inside.

I was afraid because everyone said how hard Havis can be to potty train but he has been really easy. I either did a really good job at the beginning or more than likely I just lucky!
 

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I have never used a litter pan and am curious how many of you that do, do you take your dogs to other peoples houses much and do they ever get confused and pee in the house either at home or someone elses house? I have never done it because I know of dogs that do get confused where it is ok to pee since it's under the same roof where you aren't allowed to pee and not outside. It would be handy but I wouldn't want to chance it since we do go to a lot of peoples houses.
Mine have never peed in anyone else' house. (even as little puppies, because I supervised them VERY carefully at other people's homes! LOL!) They did, of course, all have an accident here and there as young puppies. But once they were potty trained, they have never gotten "confused" about where to go. I generally don't bring a litter box with me when I'm visiting... I just make sure they get outside often enough that they don't have a problem. I DO take a litter box (actually a UgoDog) when staying at a hotel, so I don't have to get up and get dressed for early morning potty runs.

It's a matter of choice and a matter of TRAINING, not just expecting it to happen. (but "expecting" it to happen doesn't get you a reliably trained dog no matter what system you are teaching) I KNOW that someone who can teach her dog to "mail herself" could teach her dog to use a litter box if it were a priority for her. ;)

And to be totally honest, Kodi HAS marked in another person's house exactly twice. Both times were in houses with intact males AND females, (breeder's homes) and in both cases, he overmarked where another intact dog had marked. But those aren't "potty accidents", it's a different behavior. Panda ONCE marked where a friend's female in heat sat down on my kitchen floor too. In each of those cases, I "had words" with the perpetrator. :) I think they've gotten the message, but since it's not something we are exposed to often, I will watch carefully in the same circumstances in the future.
 

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I was afraid because everyone said how hard Havis can be to potty train but he has been really easy. I either did a really good job at the beginning or more than likely I just lucky!
Some are a little harder than others, but if puppies are raised well by the breeder, I do NOT think that Havanese are any harder to potty train than any other small breed dog.

Panda took the longest of my three, but she had two UTI's that really set things back, and I can't blame her for that. Pixel ALMOST trained herself she was so easy. Kodi took longer than Pixel, but probably also took longer because he was my first, and I didn't confine/supervise as well as I did with either of the girls.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Krandall, this is amazing info!!! Actually, since I went back to look, I think it was threads between you and a Tom (?) that actually got me looking into the pellets in the first place. Your answer to my grates vs litter box is just what I was looking for - that they don't have to be exclusive but the grates can be of help when needed. I like your idea of trying to find some sort of grate material. I'm trying to do that as I might start out with a plastic container - since I don't have enough time to order an appropriate litter box and it's next to impossible to find dog litter boxes in my area. I have been reading that Sterilite boxes can be lowered on one side as an entry way, if needed. I have a 24 x 16 x 6 (appromately) As for grate material for when/if needed, not sure. Maybe plastic garden fence / hardwire mesh?
 

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There is no confusion about whether they have something over their heads or not. It's all about habit of finding the right texture under their feet, that they are trained to. There is no confusion about going outside, as well as the right surface inside.

All ours prefer to go outside, that is, unless the grass is wet, and long, or deep snow on the ground, or raining hard, or thunderstorm close, or some other reason that I'm not thinking of right now. In those cases, anyone is welcome to not have trained to an inside option, but we always will.
 

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The reason I was asking is I started to train my Hallie to go on litter (this was many years ago now) and she was 100% housebroken. But we went to a friends house who had a cat with a litter box, when Hallie went over to it and smelled it she peed on their floor. The box was clean although I'm sure she could smell old kitty roca. But that was enough for me to stop the litter training for her. It sounds like now they have a lot of different things for the dog pans different from cat litter.
 

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Krandall, this is amazing info!!! Actually, since I went back to look, I think it was threads between you and a Tom (?) that actually got me looking into the pellets in the first place. Your answer to my grates vs litter box is just what I was looking for - that they don't have to be exclusive but the grates can be of help when needed. I like your idea of trying to find some sort of grate material. I'm trying to do that as I might start out with a plastic container - since I don't have enough time to order an appropriate litter box and it's next to impossible to find dog litter boxes in my area. I have been reading that Sterilite boxes can be lowered on one side as an entry way, if needed. I have a 24 x 16 x 6 (appromately) As for grate material for when/if needed, not sure. Maybe plastic garden fence / hardwire mesh?
I wouldn't use metal mesh, but sure, look around at hardware stores and see what you can find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Plastic Hardware Mesh for Pellet Litterbox

I wouldn't use metal mesh, but sure, look around at hardware stores and see what you can find.
Sorry for the late reply, it's been pretty busy since Ollie came into our lives. I'll give a proper update soon in a better thread. Reguarding the litter box mesh. This is what I was thinking of and have successfully used since. I'll try to include a picture soon and more details.

Plastic Hardware Cloth/Mesh: Select Plastic Hardware Cloth, 3x15-ft | Canadian Tire

This would likely work for your planter's trays too maybe? I'm using it in a Sterilite container so it's not as easy to pull out. :)

Kathy
 
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