Save your lawn from dog feces and urination! Potty Area How To

Creating a potty area for your dog is easy, convenient and your lawn and shoes will thank you for it!  The nice weather makes this the perfect time of year to get this small project out of the way.  So roll up your sleeves and say NO MORE to yellow lawns and poopy shoes.  Here is the perfect dog potty area, Lola tested, Johanna approved.

How To

  1. Find a small rectangular or square section of your backyard to designate as the “Potty Area.”  It does not need to be a specific size, just big enough that your dog can move around in it and pee/poop once.

  2. Try to make the land as level as possible and remove any grass/plants that might be growing there.  Use a pet safe grass killer like BurnOut if necessary.

  3. Cover the area with a nice one to two inch layer of cedar mulch and your done!

  4. Optional: You can add finishing touches like garden trim if you would like.

Training

The next step is to teach your dog to go potty in that spot and that spot only.  This might take a little while especially if you were previously allowing your dog to use the whole backyard as a dumping ground but don’t get frustrated.  The time it takes to train is well worth it.  Here are some key points:

  1. Every time Lola needed to eliminate, we took her to the potty area and did not let her step out of the area preferably until she went potty (if necessary, use a leash to keep your dog contained to that area).  This step took some time because Lola wasn’t used to going to the bathroom on mulch (be prepared to wait).  When necessary, we took Lola back inside our house for five minutes than took her out to the potty area again; we repeated this until she went potty.  Once she started to go to the bathroom, I would say “Go Potty” and praise her as if she were a puppy just learning to potty outside (if you have a new puppy/dog click here for more guidance and training techniques).  Patience is key!

  2. Before every play session in the backyard, we took Lola to the potty area to eliminate first.  This decreased the chances of her using other portions of the backyard for her disposal purposes.

  3. If we caught Lola peeing/pooping in the backyard, we would quietly take her collar and guide her to the designated spot.  Then praise if she finished “going” on the mulch.

  4. We used lots of praise when Lola used the appropriate spot.

  5. We NEVER reprimanded her for using the rest of the backyard.  This could send incorrect signals and make her think that going potty outside is not the right thing to do.  Refer to point 3 above.

  6. We stayed consistent throughout the training process.

Eventually Lola learned by habit that when in the backyard, she needs to eliminate in the designated potty area.  We still always take Lola to her potty area to eliminate before she is allowed to play in the backyard.  There have been times that she is playing in the backyard and will run over to her potty area to eliminate.  She gets praised every time :) .

Have you already done this with your dog; how long did it take to train?  Suggestions, comments?

I love comments :) .

*Johanna*

 

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2 Responses to Save your lawn from dog feces and urination! Potty Area How To

  1. Kathy Skipper says:

    This sounds like a good idea. But what do you do about the odor when the urine soaks into the mulch and sits there for days in the summer? How often do you have to rake the whole mulch mess out and replace it with clean mulch?

    • admin says:

      Great question Kathy… How often you replace it depends on how many dogs you have, their diet, whether they are male or female, etc. In other words, it’s going to vary by household. In our experience, a home that has 1-2 dogs can easily get by with only changing the mulch out every year or two. Since the areas don’t need to be very large, the cost and labor will be minimal.
      Thanks for your question!
      -Andrew Wildesen

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