In the past I have trained my litters with the artificial grass. While it worked well it was a lot of work to clean up from a litter of pups. The grass needed to be hosed down and than soaked in clorox and water to disinfect and then rinsed, drained and left to dry.
I am trying a new method with the litter of pups I have on the ground now. I know a number of breeders doing this with great results.
Use a litter pan that is 3″ high. Size of pan depends on the size of your litter. I have a litter of 8 pups so a 30″ x 30″ pan works well.
Fill the pan with horse pine pellets (tractor supply carries them and they are cheap). If you can not get these near you, you can use feline pine pellets. Be sure and buy the “non clumping” formula.
You will need to scoop the pan like you would for a cat litter box and change the pellets about every 3 days.
When you start feeding your pups food, wait till they are done eating. Remove the food pan and place the litter pan in the box. Keep a close eye on the pups and when you see one start to squat pick it up and place it in the pan. It may climb out and look for another spot in the box because the pan is foreign to them.
Pick that pup up again when it starts to go and place it back in the pan. Eventually they get it.
Be diligent and they will catch on. Mine are catching on quick. First day with pan and some are using it on their own already.
You will notice the pellets break down to dust. This happens when urine hits it. This is normal.
My concern at first was that pups would eat the pellets but if they have just been fed and have full bellies when you start the training this should not be a problem. The pellets do not swell when they get wet, they break down so they will not swell in the belly if a pup ingests a few.
These were originally designed for horses as bedding. The horse pellets are poured on the floor of the stall and water is added to create saw dust bedding (like shavings, which many horse people use). But the pellets are easier for cleaning the stall.
I hope this info is helpful to anyone out there with a litter of pups. It sure makes for easier clean up when they learn to use the pan rather than going all over their bedding.