12 answers

Training Our Dog to Poop in One Area of the Yard


Has anyone trained there dog to poop in just one area of the yard? I know people do this but am not sure how. We're moving to a new home and would like to zone off an area for our dog to use. He is 3 and had full run of our current yard because we didn't think ahead before we had kids - he WAS/IS our first kid. Norman is a 90+ pound yellow lab so you can only imagine the land mines he can leave behind!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Treat it the same as house breaking, but just focus the 'yay, good boy' and the rest of the praise when he goes in the proper destination. When he goes in the wrong area, lotsa 'bad boy.'

The problem with getting the dog to go in one little area, is that occassionally... when at someone elses house, they won't know where to go when they're outside.

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In addition to the advice given, make sure you use a command to tell the dog to go to a certain area. Our 85lb Rott/Doberman was killing our grass with his urine so we trained him to go to the back of the garage. We use the command 'BACK' so when we let him out, we say BACK and he goes to the back (or side) of the garage where there is river rock. It does take a few weeks of going out there with them so they know so be patient. We didn't give treats, just praise when he went where he should.

Treat it the same as house breaking, but just focus the 'yay, good boy' and the rest of the praise when he goes in the proper destination. When he goes in the wrong area, lotsa 'bad boy.'

The problem with getting the dog to go in one little area, is that occassionally... when at someone elses house, they won't know where to go when they're outside.

Hi N.,

My advice is on the activities to keep your little girl busy while your going through morning sickness (I have a 3yr old son and 2yr old daughter and had morning-noon-night sickness with both!)

Try the Hallabaloo game by Cranium (with dvd)both my children love playing this game and will keep them occupied while you rest. The Aquadoodle pad and musical instruments will also keep her occupied (the key is to not the games out all the time, so she doesn't get bored of it). Crafts are always a hit. Cut out shapes from construction paper and/felt, give her a glue stick and colorful paper and have her keep herself entertained by gluing things. Adding stickers to her art is alway a plus. She might get a little sticky, but what I do is give my kids a damp cloth to clean their hands in case they get too sticky.

Good luck with your pregnancy and I hope the nausea passes soon.


I have the same issue! I would love to hear the guidance others give you. We just moved to the burbs fromt he city and the dogs love it, but i am not crazy about my 15-month old walking/crawling through dog poop. We sectioned off a corner in the back yard with railroad ties, but often they won't go there. They are 10 and 5-year old boxers, so maybe they are past being trained! ;-) We walk them out to this spot when we take them out. Once they pee, they go off leash, and that is when they poop. argh!

We had the same issue with our chocolate lab. For the 1st year or so he had full reign of the yard, then after ruining our grass we went back to taking him our on a leash to the area we wanted him to go. Every time he went either #1 or #2 he would get a treat. We kept this up for about a month or so. Now if we're out with him or we just let him out he goes in the desired area. It was a pain at first and now it's not even an issue.

I am in the same boat. We have a chocolate lab who also weighs 90+lbs. He currently goes wherever he wants but when we move to a new house, he is going to be restricted to 1 area. Here is what I read for an inside dog: You take him out on a leash to do his business. No just letting him out to go. You take him right to where you want him to go and praise him when he does. If you see that he is trying to go somewhere that he shouldn't you just give him a gentle reprimand and take him to the approved spot. It's a lot like housebreaking. Of course, if you have an outside dog, then I have no idea.

We just did this with our black lab - the advice given already seems good and like what we did. We took her out to her one spot on a leash and walked her aroudn the little space until she would go. Then she got a pet and praise. Continued this for about 2 weeks and she started going there on her own when we'd let her out. Sometimes she gets excited and starts trying to go elsewhere in the yard, at which point we yell at her and she runs to her "spot". We also tried chaining her in her spot to make her get used to it, but she's not so bright and just kept cow-tying herself with the tieout.

As already posted, keeping it clean in the spot is very key. OUr dog gets closer and closer to the edge the longer we leave the space unpicked up.

Good luck!

Hi N.,

We have 2 big boys (dogs) that were our first babies too. We eventually dug up a planter area when we moved into our last house and put pea gravel in it for a dog area after the dog urine was burning our entire small grass yard. We taught our boys to "Potty in the rocks" with a lot of persistance and patience and of course treats. You will want to lead them out to that area (likely on lead)when you know they need to go to the bathroom. We label everything with the boys so we would say as we were doing it "Go potty in the rocks". They also had a "Go potty" and "Go dukie" (poop) command, so that helped but it definately is not necessary. Give treats like crazy at first when he/she does it. You can work your way up to having them go out on their own, but make sure they always go in that spot otherwise the habit is too easily broken.

Good luck. It is a lot easier having one designated dog spot. Oh, we also tried one of those plastic things you can buy that are suppose to be scented to help them go in a certain area, it didn't work. The best thing was having them use their own scent and being really really consistent and give lots of treat. We now can tell them before they go out the back door and if we see they are heading to the grass can say, "no grass, potty in the rocks" and they readjust thier direction and go in the correct place.

Good luck,

I would clean up the yard everywhere and only walk your dog in the new area you would like him to go. If you can't walk him...... since your dog is already older, I would even get a short tie out that only allows him so far from your new designated poop area for a very long time so he will create a
new pattern. When you have a dog pooping in a small area, you
need to clean it often. Dogs have an aversion to going in the poopiest spots and will spread out away from that if they can.

It is much easier to get the pattern of pooping in one area from early on as you probably know. R.'s Dog Stars Dog Training

We have a 120lb black lab and recently moved from a condo to a house. We have an area in our yard that is "his area" (probaby 10X5 feet)for poop, he seems to pee anywhere on our flowers/bushes. We took our dog to that area and told him to go potty. Just like we did when training him. If he tries to go anywhere else we yell at him and direct him back in his area. We put mulch down and keep it clean. As soon as there are 2-3 piles, he will not go there. I'd say it works 90% of the time. Good luck!

its just repetition. if your dog learns things quickly, this should be no problem. you have to take the dog to the area you want him to go, and say go potty or what ever phrase you would like to use. keep him there til he goes and then reward him with a treat right there. do this over and over until you can let him out and say go potty, with out showing him where to go or standing there with him. after he does that, he can then run the yard if you let him. when he comes in, give him a treat.

My suggestion would be to take the dog out to the desired spot on a leash, then, when he does poop in that spot, give him a treat for a reward. Be consistent and it should work.

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