How to Train Your Dog to Pee on Concrete

How to Train Your Dog to Pee on Concrete
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon2-4 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

So you have a lovely, big dog who pees a lot, and a not so big yard, with brown urine-damaged grass patches. Not only is your yard unsightly, but it is not pleasant to use the lawn for games or relaxing, when you know a dog has peed all over it!  Not only that, but when your neighbors see your big dog coming down the sidewalk and he lifts his leg on their lawn, creating urine damage to your neighbors' lawns, you are going to have some very unhappy neighbors. There goes your invitation to the next block party!

What to do?  Teach your dog to pee on concrete. You can create a concrete potty area in your yard, and teach your dog to pee on concrete while out on walks.  That will save your lawn and your neighbor's lawn.  No more ugly brown patches!

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Defining Tasks

Teaching your dog to pee on concrete in a designated potty area in your yard, and while out on walks, can be accomplished by teaching your dog to pee on command and giving that command when on a concrete surface, or by teaching your dog to pee only when on concrete surfaces. Sometimes a combination of both methods can be the most useful. You will need to spend time supervising your dog so that you capture a time when your dog needs to pee, in order to associate a verbal command, or ensure that a concrete surface is available for your dog to establish peeing on concrete, and reinforcing this behavior.

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Getting Started

Treats will give your dog a reward for appropriate bathroom behaviors, making the training experience fun for your dog. Avoid punishing mistakes, learning to pee on concrete can be confusing for your dog at first. Have patience--don't make the experience unpleasant for your dog. You can create a cement potty area in your yard by pouring cement or by using concrete blocks. Be sure to prepare the area first, and have it accessible to a hose, so that you can wash the area off regularly.

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The Pee on Command Method

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1

Prepare

Choose a command such as, “go pee”. Make sure your dog has access to lots of water so he has urine to pass. A dry dog is pretty hard to train to pee on command!

2

Go to concrete

Take your dog to go pee, on a leash, to a concrete area like a sidewalk or road, or a designated potty area prepared with cement surface.

3

Provide command

Provide the 'go pee' command and wait for your dog to pee. This may take quite a while. Ignore your dog while you wait. When he does pee, repeat the verbal command to reinforce the association, especially if a significant time period has lapsed since the original command. When he has finished, say “yes”, and give him a treat. If he does not pee, take him back inside.

4

Establish command

Repeat the process daily for several days. The time between giving the initial command and your dog peeing should decrease. When the behavior is well-established you can try taking your dog off leash. Call your off leash dog to a cement area, or to his cement bathroom area and give the 'go pee' command.

5

Use on walks

Once your dog is peeing on command you can use the command when on walks. Give the command on the sidewalk or in an alleyway, not in the park or a neighbor's lawn.

The Designate and Direct Method

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Create cement bathroom

Create a designated cement bathroom area for your dog in your yard. You can use cement blocks or poured cement. You can use a barrier of some sort, such as garden fence, plant pots, or portable fencing to create a barrier, that helps designate the spot, to help your dog distinguish it. If your dog already tends to use an area of your yard and it is convenient, make that area your designated bathroom area, this will contribute to training success.

2

Take dog to cement

When you let your dog out to pee, do not let him run around on your lawn, instead take your dog to his designated cement area on a leash, or carry him.

3

Direct as required

Wait in the area, either on leash to keep the dog in the cement bathroom area or if off leash, if the dog leaves the area before going pee, redirect him by calling him back or making a loud noise such as clapping to redirect him back to his bathroom area.

4

Reward for using cement

When your dog pees in his area, reward him with attention and a treat, take him to the grassy area to play or have free time. Supervise at first if your dog looks like he is going to relieve himself again in the grass. Immediately go take him back to his cement bathroom area.

5

Establish cement bathroom

Gradually give your dog more space and off-leash training in his cement bathroom area, continue to supervise and redirect him as necessary. If your dog has an “accident” and pees on the grass, take your dog inside, playtime is over. Do not punish him any other way. He will come to learn that play on the grass is a reward for using his bathroom and not peeing on the grass and that peeing on the grass means no playtime. Rinse cement off regularly so the area does not become soiled.

The Create Associations Method

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Provide cement bathroom

Create a designated bathroom area with cement blocks or using an area of a cement patio. This will be used to teach your dog to pee on cement only.

2

Reward using cement bathroom

Contain your dog in his cement area in the yard with fencing or on leash until he goes pee. Do not give access to grassy areas. When your dog pees on the cement, reward him and give access to your lawn. If the dog pees on the lawn, take him inside immediately.

3

Take it to the streets

Start taking your dog out on a leash in the neighborhood. Give a command to pee if you have taught your dog to pee on command on cement surfaces, or keep your dog on cement until your dog goes pee on the cement. Reward for peeing on cement.

4

Reinforce using cement

Give your dog access to grass after peeing on cement. If your dog pees on the grass, end the walk.

5

Create association

Eventually your dog will learn to associate peeing with cement surfaces and reward and avoid peeing on grass or lawn, as this ends walks or outside time. You will need to ensure that your dog has access to cement surfaces in order to relieve himself regularly. It is unfair to restrict his urinating behavior and then not provide him with the opportunity to relieve himself.

By Laurie Haggart

Published: 11/09/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Ella

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Goldendoodle

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Two Years

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Question

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My dog is leash trained, and only goes potty outside. But she will not go to the bathroom if the grass is wet, or if it’s raining, or if there’s wind, etc. I got a Bark Potty, hoping that she can use that on weather days, but so far no luck. Now I’m wondering if I should concrete train her? She’s so stubborn, and I’m worried she’s going to give herself a bladder infection one of these days…. Please help

Sept. 29, 2022

Ella's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello, Concrete tends to be a very hard surface to teach, so if you are already struggling with more likely surfaces I would probably try something else first; however, if you know she is comfortable pottying on the concrete and already does that occasionally, in that case it would be worth teaching. I would consider which types of surfaces she currently is comfortable peeing on - such as grass, pinestraw, mulch, ect....I would choose to teach her to potty on whatever is most similar to what she is used to currently. With the current bark potty. If she is comfortable peeing on bark in the yard, then you may need to place the bark potty in the yard and cover the edges with real bark to make it seem like an outside surface, then gradually remove the extra real bark once she is peeing on it well, rewarding her peeing on it with a treat each time, taking her there on leash each time. When she is peeing on is consistently, then, just a 2-6 inches at a time, gradually move the bark potty back toward the covered area you want it to be in during bad weather, continuing to reward pottying on it during the progression. If she doesn't pee on bark in the yard either, then the issue might be the bark like surface, and you may want to grass disposable real grass pads, if grass is what she is used to, using the same 'start with it in the yard and gradually move it back toward the house' training method for her when weather is good, so she will be ready to use it near the house when weather is bad later on. www.porchpotty.com www.freshpatch.com A dog also won't use a potty if the potty isn't at least four times as long and wide as the dog is. So sometimes you need to purchase a bigger size or put more than one potty next to each other to create a larger space to go on. Finally, you can purchase a potty encouraging spray to spray on the area you want pup to go, and most dogs need movement to stimulate the urge to poop, so pup might need to be walked slowly across the potty or in a circle for a bit too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Oct. 3, 2022

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Remy

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Rat Terrier

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1 Year

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My dog Remy has been trained to pee on pee-pee pads since he was 2 months old because we live in an apartment building and the sidewalks were not safe for him until he was fully vaccinated. Were trying to housetrain him but he only goes pee inside the house even though we have taken away all of his pads. We have also taken his pads down onto the street but he still will not go. He only wants to go home so that then right after he can go pee. Lucia.

July 9, 2021

Remy's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello Luca, I recommend crate training him so that he is only given freedom in your home after going potty outside, since accidents inside need to be stopped through management before pup will begin to feel motivated to want to go outside on his own. The crate also utilizes a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean, which can help pup start generalizing that desire to the rest of your home. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. You want him to get into the habit of holder his bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever he feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he is not already used to a crate, expect crying at first. When he cries and you know he doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give him a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If he continues protesting for long periods of time past 3-5 days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If he disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at his side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If he stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

July 12, 2021


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