can you train a dachshund to use a litter box

Can You Train a Dachshund to Use a Litter Box? [Everything You Need to Know]

Training a dachshund to use a litter box can be pretty challenging, but it answers the question of whether we can train a dachshund to use a litter box.

Thus, potty training a dachshund or training a dachshund to use a litter box can be a time taking process but can be turned into excelled results in terms of cleaning and discipline.

This is especially true when we potty train a small dog like a miniature Dachshund, as the small dogs more frequently urinate and need proper litter box training to maintain cleanliness everywhere.

Table of Contents

    Litter Boxes for Dachshunds

    Most of us are familiar with thinking of cats when someone mentions a “litter box for a pet.”

    Few dog owners would associate litter boxes with their pets, and even fewer would dismiss the idea as ridiculous. Is it really so crazy, though? Not really.

    So, can dogs who are accustomed to urinating and defecating outside the house be trained to use a litter box inside? And why, in the first place, would someone want to go through all of this trouble?

    Benefits of Training Your Dachshund

    dachshund covered in toilet paper

    There are several benefits to training your dog to use a litter box inside the house. Here are the main ones:

    • Smaller dogs, like dachshunds, have smaller bladders and require more frequent urination and defecation than larger dogs, making this particularly true.
    • A dachshund has two benefits that also make using a litter box practical: first, its small means you don’t need to keep a big box in your home; second, its intelligence means training it isn’t too difficult if done correctly.
    • Let’s quickly go over the main benefits of litter box training, then go over some crucial points to keep in mind when training your Dachshund with a litter box, and finally explain the proper type of litter box for dogs (note: it’s not the typical cat litter box).

    It’s essential to realize that the use of a litter box does not entirely eliminate the requirement for daily dog walks.

    However, if you live in an apartment and don’t have convenient access to a yard, it can be beneficial if your dog is happy playing inside rather than waiting for you to take it out in time.

    In this instance, this choice for the dog can save you extra cleaning effort, but more importantly, it can prevent the dog from getting a bladder infection from “holding it” for too long. This training is also helpful if you spend a lot of time away from home.

    If there is a litter box within the home, you are less likely to return to an unpleasant-smelling mess. Similarly, your dog won’t have to wake you up if it needs to relieve itself while you are sound asleep at night.

    Therefore, training your pet to use the litter box can simplify your life and theirs. Even litter box training itself is really not that difficult.

    Litter Box Training for Dachshunds

    Compared to cats, who are exceptionally skilled at using litter boxes, formal dog training requires some effort.

    However, the procedure is not all that dissimilar from the outdoor potty training your dog would go through in any case. As was previously mentioned, dachshunds are a little easier because they pick things up quickly and respond well to persistent, firm, and patient training. Never reprimand or punish your Dachshund if it takes a while to figure something out or makes a few mistakes while learning.

    A negative attitude, especially in a sensitive dog like a dachshund, might scare or frustrates a dog. Rewards for doing things correctly and performance appraisal are pretty helpful.

    Additionally, when the dog is still a puppy is the best time to start litter box training.

    Familiarize Your Dachshund with The Litter Box

    litter box for dachshund

    Familiarizing your Dachshund with the litter box is one of the most important steps to getting your Dachshund to use it. Here’s how to familiarize your Dachshund with the litter box.

    • Your dog needs to become familiar with using the new box before doing anything else. Start with a paper or pad in the box.
    • To train the dog to associate the command with the box, put it in it and say something like “go pee.”
    • If your dog escapes the box, pick it up, put it back inside, and repeat the sentence. Make it clear to the dog that you are pleased that it entered the box.
    • Your dog will gradually start adapting to being inside of this new item. Then, instruct the dog using only the sentence and without touching it.
    • Be patient and only use the phrase once.
    • Try again with gentle physical guidance if it hasn’t responded to the command.
    • As the dog learns to enter the box upon hearing your instruction, give him lots of praise.

    Help the Dog Understand the Purpose of The Litter Box

    • Not through instinct does a dog think of a box as a location to urinate itself.
    • Put a paper inside the box after soaking it in the dog’s urine to assist it in learning that it is okay to relieve itself here.
    • You can even bring some of the dog’s litter inside after picking it up outside.
    • Replace the paper with litter as the dog becomes used to the litter box.

    Look for Signs that Your Dachshund Needs to Relieve Itself

    dachshund staring into your soul

    Knowing the signs that your Dachshund needs to relieve itself is useful because you can bring it directly to the litter box when you see these signs. Here are the signs:

    • Whining, pacing at the door, and sniffing about the house are common indicators that your dog needs to poop or pee.
    • Most dogs, especially younger ones, will feel the urge to go potty for 5 to 30 minutes after eating.
    • Take your dog to the litter box immediately and apply the command you’ve been teaching it whenever you notice any of these indicators.

    Maintain a Schedule

    Next up is creating some sort of a schedule. Here’s how to do that:

    • Even though dogs must go potty on an irregular basis throughout the day, there are some times when they are more likely to do so.
    • Teach your pet to use the litter box right before bedtime, when they get up in the morning, and before they are left alone for a long time.
    • Puppies need to urinate more frequently, approximately every hour. However, after they are 4-5 months old, they can hold their urine through the night.
    • The dog needs to maintain a regular feeding routine if you want to develop regular potty habits.

    Keep the Litter Box Easily Accessible

    Keeping the litter box accessible is likely to increase the usage of the litter box. Here’s how to do that:

    • A dachshund prefers to stay out in the middle of the house, where it can keep an eye on everything.
    • If possible, put the litter box where the dog can see it and close to where it spends most of its hours.
    • Placing the box next to the door also aids in strengthening the association because the dog tends to move in the direction of the door whenever it feels the need to relieve itself.
    • Keep the box in the room where the dog is most likely to be found if you leave the dog alone.
    • To avoid confusing the dog, avoid moving the box around too often. Keep the box private but easily accessible.
    • Dogs dislike having

    Reward Your Dog

    Positive reinforcement is a great way to train your dog to use the litter box. Here’s how:

    • When your Dachshund uses the litter box to urinate or defecate throughout the training phase, reward it with treats, praise, or play.
    • During this time, always walk your dog to the bathroom with you.
    • Don’t stop rewarding your dog after it starts using the litter box on its own. Reduce the dog’s reliance on goodies gradually while keeping up the praise.

    Clean the Litter Box Regularly 

    A lot of people get repelled by an unflushed toilet – and so are dogs with litter boxes. So, maintaining a clean litter box is just another simple step to getting your Dachshund to use the litter box more often.

    If the litter box becomes too dirty, your dog won’t use it. Each time your dog uses the litter box, scoop out and discard the waste.

    This is made simple by having a trash can with a step-on lid and a litter scoop nearby. Every two to three weeks, empty the box and thoroughly clean it with water and soap.

    Stay Calm in Case of Accidents

    Don’t yell at the dog if it poops or pees outside the litter box.

    Never point the finger at the mess. It only needs to be told “No” firmly and directed to the box for the dog to understand.

    A few quick claps can stop the dog from relieving himself if he has just started. Run beside it to the box, assist it in using it, and praise it for listening to you.

    Making a Litter Box for your Dachshund

    So, now that you know how to train your Dachshund to use a litter box. How do you make one? Let’s find out right now.


    Although dog litter boxes are of various sizes on the market, you may also easily build your own. For this, all you need is a straightforward plastic tub or a travel crate that has had the top and front removed.

    When purchasing a litter box, choose more sophisticated models that feature a self-cleaning feature, a cover or a layer of grass on top, and waste collection below.


    The box’s size is determined by the size of your dog. Dog litter boxes should be a few inches deep and spacious enough for your dog to wander about and choose the ideal location.

    The box must get bigger as the puppy develops into an adult dog.

    The box should be simple to enter. The box walls should be high enough to prevent the spray from spilling outside because male dogs lift their leg to urinate.


    For your dog’s litter box, never use cat litter. If your dog consumes the litter, it could have adverse health effects. The particles in dog poop are bigger and more absorbent.

    Clay and activated charcoal are two biodegradable materials used to manufacture dog litter.

    The latter aids in odor management, but it is also strongly encouraged to add baking soda before putting litter in the box to further reduce odor.

    Finally, once your dog becomes used to one kind of litter, don’t switch to another.


    As we’ve discussed, put the litter box in a prominent yet private location.

    You should also avoid putting the box near the area where your dog eats. Dogs frequently dig in their boxes before, during, or after going potty, so avoid placing the box where litter is dumped because this could lead to a mess.

    Additionally, to prevent dirt from spreading throughout the space, you might consider enclosing the trash area with plastic sheets.

    The litter box should be placed on a tiled floor for ease of cleaning, but if your home has carpeting, place some paper under the litter box.

    Final Thoughts

    Training a dachshund to use the litter box can be a little time-consuming, but it will be beneficial, especially when you go to the office or are on vacation and cannot afford a pet sitter, so you can leave them at your friend’s place or relative.

    Also, they adapt the instructions very quickly if they are trained more patiently and apply the physical practice of the command said. This training will make your Dachshund become more disciplined and obedient.

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