Emerald Acres



LITTERBOX: You can buy the largest size that Petco/Petsmart sells for about $30.00 OR you can go to Home Depot (in the contractors' aisle where they sell cement, stucco, etc) and buy the black plastic tub (which is actually bigger than the litterbox at Petco/Petsmart and costs about $5.00). You choose!

LITTER: You have two options here. You can go to Petco/Petsmart and buy dog litter (about $14.00 for 20 lbs). This size bag will fill the litterbox once and it will probably last about 5 days. The second  option is to use horse bedding (pellets NOT SHAVINGS). Horse bedding can be found at a feed store and the one I buy comes in a 40 lb. bag for $5.50. Personally, I prefer the horse bedding as it seems to absorb better and lasts a little longer than the pellets for a wood burning stove.

When you bring the puppy home, DO NOT give him the run of the house! Keep him in a VERY confined area (i.e., small kitchen or large bathroom). An area such as a garage would be WAY TOO BIG! Place your crate (with the door open) in the room and put the litterbox somewhere nearby (but not too close to the crate) where the puppy can see it. If the puppy consistently uses the litterbox with no accidents after several days, you may increase the area SLIGHTLY (i.e., maybe give it the room adjacent to where it has been staying - but no more!) Do this for another week or so. If the puppy has an accident, you will have to go back to step one and keep it only in one room.

In the meantime, I would also start trying to housebreak the puppy. Obviously, as the puppy gets bigger (and that happens quite quickly), it will no longer fit in the litterbox. If you keep to a RIGID feeding schedule (i.e., 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.) potty training is much easier. You should CARRY the puppy to the outside potty area every hour to hour and a half. Speak a command such as "Go potty" and reward the puppy with a treat as soon as he does something. Immediately bring the puppy back inside - do not let him play outside. After you've been inside for 15 mins. or so, you can then take him out to play. At this time, you can tell him "Playtime". It is important that your puppy learns to establish the difference between "potty time" and "playtime". Needless to say, it will also make your life much easier!



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