NOTE: I DO NOT use Kitty litter! Because Kitty Litter is clay based it would cause an intestinal blockage if the puppies happened to ingest it. Instead I use WOOD PELLETS for the puppy litter. Wood Pellets dissolve to sawdust when they get wet. Therefore, they would pass through the puppy intestines more easily if ingested. The puppies do not normally eat the wood pellets but we wouldn't want to risk using anything else right now.
Here is how I set up the litter training box: I take an XL dog crate and remove the screws that hold the top to the bottom. Then I put the two sides end to end so the door openings match up. A small amount of wire runs through two holes in the crate and securely keeps the two sides firmly together. Where the openings meet there is a little space that a puppy could possibly climb into....so I tape that up securely with duck tape and then drape a towel over it. I roll the towel up on each end and drape the middle over the lip. The rolled ends of the towel give the puppies something to climb onto to easily get over the lip into the other side. (Without the towel in place, the puppies would have a hard time climbing from one side to the other).
One side of the crate is the puppy bed. I line it with a pee pad. Then I place a carpet on the end. The carpet will now be a permament bed for this litter in their puppy quarters.
Why do I use a carpet for the puppy bed? This is so the puppies grow up to understand that carpets are for sleeping...not peeing. If you give puppies an appropriate place to soil from the beginning it will be so much easier to potty train.
|The puppy blanket fleece from Walmart|
I also send a little fleece blanket that they can snuggle in. Here is the cool puppy fabric that I found (Walmart carries it, if you want more.)
|The puppies like the carpet, its so comfy. I take the collars off during nap time since they don't like them too much.|
When we first put the puppies in their new quarters, they go to sleep pretty quickly on their little carpet. As soon as they wake up from their nap, I immediately place them on the wood pellets. They pee right away since puppies always need to go potty after a nap. This is perfect since now the litter has the right smell of a potty place.
Litter training a young litter is this simple! From this point forward the puppies do what comes naturally. They walk away from their bed to use the potty ...and that lands them in the wood pellet litter. The pellets have the right smell and the puppies know its a good place to potty. If a puppy has an accident while he is on the pee pad, we just exchange it for a clean puppy pad right away, so there bed side is always kept clean and fresh.
On the other hand, we do not clean up the litter too often. Once a day is enough. And we always sprinkle some soiled saw dust into the fresh wood pellets so they always have the right smell.
It is pretty exciting to use this method, within one day the puppies are consistently using the litter box. It won't be long that they are strong enough to jump out of this crate box....but by that time, they will know what wood pellets are for, and a regular doggy litter box work just fine in their puppy pen.