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If you live in an apartment or an area where you don't have easy access to the outdoors, you can housebreak your small to medium sized canine with a litter box. Once used only for cats, commercial litter is now available for dogs as well. The concept is similar to paper training your dog, except with litter. The pellet-sized litter is scented specifically to attract your pooch to eliminate there. And the bonus is that you can scoop away the mess to make clean up much easier.
Occasionally, you might get a dog who thinks the pellets are for chewing and not an area for elimination. However, many dogs will learn to eliminate in the litter box if taught with consistency.