3 Ways to Train Your Dog to Use the Sandbox

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3 Ways to Train Your Dog to Use the Sandbox
3 Ways to Train Your Dog to Use the Sandbox

It may sound silly, but training a dog to do "needs" in a litter box is not much different than getting him used to doing them outside. Some people work late and live alone (or rather, with a dog), so there is no one who can take it out and allow the animal to relieve itself. Apartment dwellers also face this dilemma, as they have to take a "trip" with him to take him to a suitable excreta disposal site. Sandbox training can be very convenient for both the owner and the dog, requiring only the right equipment to familiarize him with the litter box.


Method 1 of 3: Assembling the Sandbox

Litter Train a Dog Step 1

Step 1. Buy a very large plastic tube to serve as the box

In fact, something is needed to retain the droppings, and there are even more expensive versions that have grass on top and an automatic cleaning system (with a lower compartment that collects urine and faeces).

  • The box should be big enough for the dog to be able to turn around inside.
  • The sides should be low enough for the dog to get in on its own, but they need to be of adequate height to prevent the dog from peeing out when lifting its leg.
  • When purchasing a "covered" box, it may be best to cut the top off to facilitate both the dog's use and cleaning.
Litter Train a Dog Step 2

Step 2. Get the casing liner

Dog sand works best because of the large pellets, which are good absorbents. There are also other variations, from simple clay boxes to activated carbon to control the odor. However, just put a little baking soda on the bottom (whenever you want to fill it) so that the smell does not spread.

Litter Train a Dog Step 3

Step 3. Buy a spatula and a trash can that can be opened by stepping on a lever

Whenever the animal evacuates in the crate, the owner should remove the droppings, if possible. Having a spatula and a trash can that don't need your hands to open will make this process a lot easier.

Litter Train a Dog Step 4

Step 4. Place the box in a private but easily accessible location

It should be positioned close to the places where the dog is most, while not interfering with circulation and giving the dog some privacy.

  • Never place it near food and water, as they will never "need" near where they eat.
  • Know that dogs are prone to digging in the box, especially when they start using it. It's also important to take this into account, so that he doesn't make too much of a mess with the content (sand, grass, etc.).
Litter Train a Dog Step 5

Step 5. For people who have a dog and a cat, it is necessary to buy a box for each

The cat needs to feel that it "owns" its own box or it will start urinating and defecating outside of it. The same goes for those who live with two dogs.

Method 2 of 3: Familiarizing the Dog with the Litter Box

Litter Train a Dog Step 6

Step 1. Teach him to enter the box after a command

Before the dog learns to evacuate in the crate, whether he is a puppy or an adult, he needs to know how to get into it. Teach him that it's a safe and even fun space.

Litter Train a Dog Step 7

Step 2. Place him inside the box and give him a command such as "urine in the box"

Please him if he stays inside.

Litter Train a Dog Step 8

Step 3. Wait for him to leave and put him back

Repeat the command and, once again, give him a treat or any treat, showing that you are happy for him to use the box. Keep training until you can get him there with just the order "urine in the box".

Litter Train a Dog Step 9

Step 4. Have the dog enter the crate after receiving the order "urine in the crate"

Once he's more used to being taken there, try just using verbal commands. Be patient and don't repeat yourself. If the dog doesn't come in, go away and try again later; otherwise, please him. Keep training until he always obeys the order.

Method 3 of 3: Training the Dog to Use the Box

Litter Train a Dog Step 10

Step 1. Be positive and consistent

Punishing the animal for evacuating outside the box will only make it more scared, making learning more difficult. Consistency is the best way to train you.

Litter Train a Dog Step 11

Step 2. Dip some newspaper in urine or put the dog's feces into the box

This will show him that it's okay to do the physiological needs in that place, increasing his chances of using it.

Litter Train a Dog Step 12

Step 3. Adopt a regular feeding schedule

Between meals, do not feed him. Thus, the dog's bowel movements will be more constant, happening at practically the same time.

Litter Train a Dog Step 13

Step 4. Watch for signs of adult dogs needing to evacuate

Whimpering, pacing and smelling like a house or going to the door are all signs that he needs to relieve himself. Send him into the box immediately.

Litter Train a Dog Step 14

Step 5. Puppies should be ordered to go to the box with the command "pee in the box" constantly, to avoid accidents

Very small puppies should go every hour as well as after meals and naps. All types of puppies should use the box when waking up in the morning, as well as before going to sleep and being left alone at home.

  • Puppies can usually hold urine for the age-matched hours in months during the day.
  • At night they hold urine more effectively. A 4-month-old puppy should spend the night without needing to relieve himself.
Litter Train a Dog Step 15

Step 6. Keep an eye on the dog to avoid accidents

The dog shouldn't get into the habit of doing "needs" around the house, so whenever he's around, watch him. Going to the door, pacing, whining, or not finding a position to lie down are signs that he needs to urinate or defecate. Quickly take it to the box.

Litter Train a Dog Step 16

Step 7. Keep the dog confined to a room when you cannot observe him

Place it in a small room or room with the door closed or blocked by a baby sack. Don't forget to put the litter box nearby so that he can use it when necessary.

Litter Train a Dog Step 17

Step 8. Whenever the animal urinates or defecates in the crate, reward it

During training, it is important that the owner accompany the dog, so that he knows he is being watched and, after doing what was asked, is rewarded with snacks, games or even a simple caress.

Litter Train a Dog Step 18

Step 9. Clean the box after use

Unlike cats, dogs do not bury the droppings – the owner must use a spatula to collect them. Once a month, empty the box completely and clean it. The dog will stop using it if the dirt becomes too much accumulated.

Litter Train a Dog Step 19

Step 10. Keep calm if you "catch" the dog in the middle of an accident

He can't be scared, and it's also unwise to give him a hard time because of the mess he's made. Clap a palm loudly to get his attention; this usually causes them to stop what they are doing. Then run quickly with him to the box, encouraging him to follow you. When the animal has finished urinating or defecating in the box, reward it. If he doesn't need to relieve himself after the accident, don't worry and leave him alone.


  • The litter box is great for giving the dog a chance to "need" when he can't go out, but it should only work as an alternative method. The dog must always urinate and defecate outside the house.
  • Smaller dogs are easier to be trained in using the litter box, as the larger ones end up lifting their leg and urinating out of the box.

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