Now my puppy does not come from a breeder who uses Litter Boxes like I have. My breeder uses paper training for her puppy. I have tried paper with my first litter...and I don't like it. But I also know that I can't just stick a puppy in a new situation with different smells, looks, and feel, and expect my puppy to know to go potty there. Whatever I do, I have to transition the puppy slowly from paper to her new situation.
You might ask, why not just teach your puppy to pea outside? Well, as you Virginians know, it is below freezing right now, and will be most nights until March. I don't want to take a brand new puppy into freezing weather conditions...its not safe. But even in warm weather, I feel a new puppy should always have an indoor potty spot. She will not have full bladder control for several months. Rather than risk an occasional accident, I want to give her a safe place to pee. It would be so much worse if she started a habit of peeing on carpets. That is an expensive nightmare!
So first I will lay out all the possible options that are available for a Indoor Potty System....old to new....
3 Whelping Pads are like a puppy pad but they are made of absorbent cloth with a nonabsorbent backing. You wash them so they can be used many times. They cost about $22.00 each (more for bigger ones)...and you need to get several, since they need to be washed daily and dried between use. You will need to have quite a few if this is your puppies only potty spot. Over time the waterproof backing fails and they need to be replaced. These pads absorb urine well, but the can get pretty yucky if poopies get all over them. The daily washing can be a drag after a while. I like the whelping pads to use around a litter tray...in case a puppy misses her mark. But I don't think it is good to train a puppy pee on the whelping pads.. After all it is just cloth...what is going to stop a puppy from thinking he can pee on some thing else, like a carpet, a blanket, your bed, or some clothes that he may find in your kids room?
4 The Puppy Litter Box is another method. Most of you are familiar with how well this has worked for me, from past posts on New Puppy Litter Box Training. I start with Wood Stove Pellets that are biodegradable, and absorb urine and feces very nicely. It is safe for the puppies and the puppies stay very clean. The only problem is that it can get smelly rather quickly and the wood pellets turn to sawdust when they get wet. Therefore there is a bit of mess when the sawdust gets tracked about by the puppies feet. Sometime the puppies run through the litter and kick it out of the box. Then you have sawdust or pellets flying all over the room. Nothing a broom and dustpan can't handle...but still a bit messy at times.
Second Nature Dog Litter.after they get their puppy home. These are paper pellets with an odor remover in them. It is less stinky and a little less messy. Though the paper pellets can also get messy as they are kicked about by the puppies. The litter also can get very expensive over time.
The Potty Patch for 39.99, or Spotty Dog Training for $63.00, or The Porch Potty for $225.00 ...just to name a few.
Its an interesting idea...These systems use artificial grass so the feel on the puppies feet is a little bit like real grass. The urine flows through the grass to the tray below where it can be emptied. The idea is that it will be easy to transition to the lawn later. (I think the feel and smell of real grass is so different, that a puppy wouldn't even associate it with grass....but who knows...we'd have to try it to see)
The main drawback with this system is that the artificial grass captures a lot of germs and bacteria. Even if you wash it out well with a hose, or soak it in a tub with bleach, reviewers complain that it still has a foul smell. This is not so bad if you keep it on the porch in the big city. But the idea for my puppy, is an indoor system. And indoors the turf does needs to be replaced a lot, there is a lot of clean up and the replacement of turf would definitely get expensive over time.
Fresh Potty. and for $19 a week, the company delivers fresh turf in a box via Fed EX. The turf and box is disposable...and you can opt to have it delivered every week, or every other week. This is definitely the best indoor potty spot to help a puppy transitions to the out doors!. When you wanted to start outdoor training, all you would need to do is put the natural smelling piece of turf, in the spot you wanted your puppy to use. He would recognize it as an acceptable potty option because of smell and feel right away.
And this system wins for ease of use as well. There is virtually no clean up. Just toss the turf in the compost heap, and throw the box in the garbage! The only draw back is that at $19/week, it would get expensive pretty quick... On the other hand, when you consider that a lot of people would only need this option for the a limited time period (until full bladder control at 7 mths) it doesn't seem so horrid. For the dog owner who has been unsuccessful at potty training pups in the past, this could save a lot of money in destroyed carpets and furniture....and frustration!!!
UGODOG. for 49.95 on Amazon.(You go dog!!) The system combines old fashioned newspaper...or potty pads, with a tray and grate...which eliminates a lot of the problems associated with paper training. The grate confines the paper away from the puppy paws, and the urine passes through the grate. Its easy to toss the soiled newspaper and rinse the tray, and cleaning the grate is much easier than the turf. There are two grates with each system...so you can put a fresh grate down, while you clean the other grate. If you use regular newspaper, there is only the one time expense of the system. So of all the methods (except for Paper training) this one would be the cheapest over the long term!
So as you can see there are a lot of interesting options out there. But all of these systems still require a little bit of training! Can you guess what system I choose for my puppy? (You know it won't be the Paper training!) I will show you how easy it is to train her to use her new UGODOG indoor potty spot, when I actually have her at home! So stay tuned! I promise, this will be exciting!