Can You Train A Pug To Use A Litter Box?

Potty training your Pug can seem like quite the feat. Especially when taking your Pug out for a walk isn’t easily accessible. The idea of taking them down a flight of stairs every hour or so to relieve themselves becomes an almost unrealistic approach to potty training. Yet the idea of using pee pads and stories of dogs accidentally going beside the pad may sound just as unappealing.

Can You Train A Pug to Use a Litter Box?

Yes, litterbox training is similar to indoor toilet training. With positive reinforcement, patience, and routine your Pug can be taught to use a litter box. Canine litter boxes come in many different designs. Can can be a great asset when potty training small dogs such as Pugs. 

We’ve set up a potty training Pugs resource page for every Pug parent. Regardless of what stage you are in the potty training cycle. Whether you have a young puppy or a senior Pug, they can be potty trained. 

can you train a Pug to use a litter box

Now, let’s take a look at training your Pug to use a litter box and what it is.

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What is a Canine Litter Box?

When most people think of a litter box, they mostly think of cat litter boxes, with the sand-like litter that gets kicked out or carried out by their little paws. That is not what we are talking about here (though that design does exist). With the omission of unavoidable puppy accidents, the right litter box will leave your house mess-free.

Unlike cats, who like to bury their pee and poo. Your Pug will not need the use of the actual litter except for it to soak up their mess. The way that many dog litter boxes are designed makes it so that your Pug will not come in contact with the litter. Some dog litter boxes do not use litter at all.  

I’ve written an in-depth article on some of the best litter boxes for Pugs. So be sure to check it out, if you’re considering litter training your Pug.

How Are Dog Litter Boxes Designed?

Dog litter boxes come in a variety of designs and features. Some dog litterboxes will look very similar to a cat litter box. The biggest difference will be a higher siding to accommodate your Pug’s height. They may even require your Pug to step into the litter to do their business. 

If you are looking for a doggie litterbox where they do not step directly into the litter, then this design is likely not for you and your Pug.

For a less messy experience and to keep your Pug’s feet dry and clean, a raised platform litterbox would be the way to go. Some brands utilize a grate as the raised platform, allowing your Pug’s urine to fall through while catching solids for immediate removal. 

This allows the bottom part of the crate to act as a catch pan with the dog litter soaking up and neutralizing the smell.

Then there are canine litterboxes that take potty training to the next level. Instead of a grate, the raised platform is designed with fake grass on top. It will give your Pug the illusion of going on grass. 

If you have a puppy, this is a great feature to get them used to the idea of stepping in the grass. If you have ever owned a puppy of any breed, it is not unusual for them to feel somewhat skittish and reluctant to step on it. Feeling grass beneath their paws is a new sensation. That is what makes the fake grass such a great feature. 

It may not be as cold or flexible as real grass, but it gets them accustomed to the general feel of it so that when potty training is brought outdoors, the transition is much smoother.

Can A Pug Use A Cat Litter Box?

Avoid letting your Pug use the same litterbox as your cat, as they may be tempted to eat both the feces and litter. Not only is this gross, but poop can cause your pup to contract harmful parasites and bacteria.

Keep your cat’s and dog’s litter box separate to prevent your dog from contracting internal parasites when ingesting poop. Unlike cats, dogs don’t need to use a litterbox with litter.

That said, some pet owners prefer using litter boxes (similar to cats) especially for smaller dogs.

How Do You Potty Train a Pug to Use A Litterbox?

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Potty training your Pug to use a litterbox is very much the same as when you teach them to go outside or on a pee pad. It will take a lot of positive reinforcement, patience, and a regular schedule to teach them properly.

Before you start training, however, you will want to show it to your Pug first. They will be both curious and hesitant to approach it and don’t forget they may not like the feel of it beneath their feet. 

Whether it be dog litter, a grate, or the fake grass, it is better to get its newness of it out of the way before its acts as a distraction when you bring them to use it. 

The goal will be to help your Pug become familiar with it. Once your Pug seems less hesitant and steps onto it without fear, you should begin potty training. 

First things first, you will want to get your Pug on a schedule, where you consistently bring them to the bathroom area (the litterbox) and encourage them to do their business. 

Staying on a daily schedule lets your Pug know that they will get an opportunity to go to the bathroom. 

How Often Should Your Pug Use the Litterbox?

Usually, you will want to allow your Pug an opportunity to relieve themselves first thing in the morning, about a half-hour after they eat and drink, and just before bed. 

This will give their food enough time to move through their bowels and urinary tract so that you are not waiting there with them for too long. 

It will also help prevent you from waiting too long to bring them to the bathroom, resulting in an accident.  

What to do When Your Pug Uses the Litterbox?

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Whenever your Pug goes pee or poo in the litterbox, you will want to reward them. Let them know they did a good job going where they should. 

You can reward them with a little praise, affection, and the occasional treat. The more positive reinforcement, the better.

As your Pug gets older, they will need to pee and poo less often, having gained better control of their bodies. 

You may also want to combine crate training into the mix. It will help encourage them to go longer between bathroom breaks. Whenever you take your Pug out, be sure to immediately place them in the litterbox so they can do their business.

Once they go to the bathroom, it is recommended that you clean their litterbox. 

You will want to discard their excrements after each use. If the litter box has fake grass, pour a little water on it to rinse away any urine.

Once your Pug is able to hold it in for a decent amount of time and does not require as many bathroom breaks, taking them out for walks to meet those needs won’t be anywhere near as daunting. 

Final Word

Pugs are a small breed that can be trained to use a litterbox. That said, it will take time for them to get used to peeing and pooping in the litter box.

Ensure you clean the litterbox after each use. Once your Pug learns how to use the indoor potty area, they will start going regularly without any problems. 

If you’re still struggling to teach your Pug to use the toilet, check out this guide on How to House Train Any Dog, for the proper steps on training your pup.

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