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Litter Training:

We only know of a few breeders who do this but we have had success in training our dogs to use a litter box.

Purina has pursued this concept, making litter from recycled newspaper compressed into pellets. We find that the litter they sell is far too large to use with a Papillon because the dogs think it is great to chew on (and frequently swallow).

We have experimented with just about every kind of litter and have been using a litter made from pine sawdust. It is compressed into small pellets that dissolve back to sawdust when wet. We use a large spoon to pick up the solids and then a cat litter scoop as a "sifter" and sift the sawdust into a pail. This litter is "Feline Pine," but we have found there is a similar product made for horse bedding that is FAR less expensive. There are several brands of it but they are all about the same, sold in feed and farm supply stores. Look in the horse bedding section.

There is also a pelleted oak product made to burn in wood stoves. The pellets are the same size as the pelleted pine but we prefer the pine because the pine has a nice fragrance.

There are a couple of brands made for cats that we have used and think are OK, made from recycled newspaper. One is called “Yesterday’s Mews,” compressed into small pellets. The other is "PapPurr" that resembles ordinary cat litter. The clay-type cat litters work very well but the particles tend to stick on our dog’s coat and get spread around and become very messy so we no longer use it.

A dog bred and raised by us will be litter trained. We do it very simply by placing a small litter pan at their whelping box when they begin to move out of the box. The very first thing they encounter is the litter and they naturally learn to use it.

A dog is not as reliable with litter as a cat. We generally say that they are about 80% trustworthy because they will still miss. They are also not totally aware of where their back end is, so frequently, they will stand in the litter box and go over the side. Also, it depends on how large an area they have in which to make mistakes. If we have a box in the laundry room, for example, and the dog is in some other room, he may or may not think to go to the laundry room box. If he is confined in a smaller area, he is more likely to use the box.

We have a litter pan sold by Purina for the larger dog room, but use individual pans made for cats, bought at Dollar General. They work just fine traveling in our RV, and in larger crates at home. Deeper pans are best to keep litter from scattering out in the floor.

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Month-old "Classy" using the litter box. This dark colored litter is recycled newspaper.

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