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Teaching your dog to poop in one designated area is beneficial for the grass in your yard as well as making clean up easy for you. You can reserve special spaces in your yard specifically for your dog to poop. Giving your dog his own bathroom space will keep the rest of your yard open and free of poop so you will not have to worry about children playing in or stepping in your dog's mess before you can clean it up. Keeping your dog's poop in one area of your yard can save your grass too.
You can train your dog to poop in one area of a grassy space, or you can teach your dog to poop specifically in rocks away from social spaces within your yard. City dwelling dogs or tiny breeds can also be trained to poop in one area of your home or apartment to avoid concrete walks outside or extreme weather conditions.
Giving your dog a designated space to poop takes repetition, treats, and a little bit of time for your dog to get used to new routines. Plan a particular area before you begin to train your dog and avoid changing this particular pooping spot. Especially within your home or your apartment, be sure to designate a special pooping spot for your dog, so he does not have accidents elsewhere where you do not want him to go. If your dog is already house trained, teaching a designated area may require a little bit of extra time because you are retraining and asking your dog to forget old habits. However, if you have a puppy who is house training for the first time, setting your expectations with a place for your puppy to poop all the time instead of having free reign of your yard or home will be much quicker and part of the normal housetraining process.
You will need a leash to direct your dog to the proper location for designated pooping. Also, be sure to have on hand a supply of special treats specifically for training your dog. As mentioned above, have your designated pooping area already planned out and decided upon before you begin this training, so you do not confuse your dog by changing spaces mid-training. If you are training a new puppy, this may take up to six weeks to house train your dog. However, part of the house training process will include using this designated space specifically for going potty. If you have an older dog used to having free reign of your yard or your home and you are trying to teach him one specific designated area for pooping, you may require a little more time and patience before he understands the new habit and comprehends exactly what you expect each time he needs to poop.
The Poop Spot Method
Pick a spot
Once you have picked your designated poop spot for your dog, place a scoop of your dog's poop in that spot and leave it in the area. Be sure other areas of your yard or the space where your dog will frequent for play are clean of urine and poop.
Take your dog to the spot where you have left the poop and use it command such as “go potty.” If your dog begins to sniff around, reward him with praise, repeating the command “go potty.”
Avoid letting your dog play in this area and avoid letting your dog into other areas to play until he has pooped.
With the scent of the poop you have left in the area, your dog should begin to sniff around with interest and potentially poop there as well.
If your dog can poop when you show him his designated spot, give him verbal praise as well as a treat.
Avoid punishing your dog if he poops elsewhere. Offer verbal praise and a treat when your dog poops in his designated spot.
While your dog is learning that this is his special place to poop, keep at least one pile of poop in the area. However, keep the area clean otherwise because too much poop will deter your dog from wanting to go there.
If your dog has an accident elsewhere, clean it up quickly so he does not sniff and relate the space as a spot to use. Give your dog zero attention, praise, or treats. Be sure you are consistently taking your dog to the right area every time he needs to go potty.
Watch your dog after meals after waking and after playtime and be sure to visit the designated pooping spot with your dog during training, so he begins to understand that is his spot for pooping specifically.
The Leash Training Method
With your dog on a leash, walk him to the designated poop spot and let him sniff around.
Every time you take your dog outside, use the leash and walk him to the designated spot. Avoid letting your dog play in this area and use the leash to keep him confined to the specific space you have designated as his pooping spot until he has pooped.
Meals and naps
Be sure to take him to the designated spot on his leash after mealtime, playtime, and waking from sleep.
Over time, your dog will get used to going to that specific spot every time he needs to poop. As your dog begins to walk himself to your designated pooping spot you may begin to let him go off his leash.
The first few times your dog is off his leash be sure to walk with him, encouraging him to use his designated poop spot. After several days of escorting him to the poop area off leash, begin to let him go on his own.
If your dog begins to play in that area, encourage him to go elsewhere to play, and if your dog has an accident in a zone that is not the designated poop spot, clean it up and take him to your designated area.
If your dog has accidents elsewhere, clean up and ignore the behavior.
Reward your dog's positive behavior with praise and treats every time he poops in your designated spot.
The Desginated Area Method
Choose a space specifically for your dog’s potty needs. This area should be free of any distractions and kept clean. Take him to his specific area and use a verbal cue such as “Go potty.”
Stay in area
Keep your dog in that area until he eliminates. Offer your pup a reward in the form of a treat and verbal praise.
If you are trying to train your dog to go in one spot, bear in mind you may only want to offer the reward if he uses that spot.
Rest and play
Carry on with your day allowing your dog to play and rest.
After meals, when you return home from being away, and anytime your dog goes outside, take him to his special potty area.
Using your command words such as “go potty,” leave your dog for a few minutes in this area and wait for him to poop.
The more your dog uses this space for pooping, the more the area will smell like him and remind him that this is his special potty place. However, be sure to keep it clean because if left with more than one pile of poop, your dog may begin to refuse the area and want to go elsewhere.
Reward your dog for good behavior and repeat the steps above. Pay attention to your dog during normal activities and watch his body language. Your puppy may spin around, pace, or wag his behind a little more when he has to eliminate. Knowing these signs will help you to get your dog to his potty place within an appropriate time.
If your puppy has an accident or poops outside of his designated area, clean it up quickly without punishing the dog.
Take your dog to his special potty place and repeat the steps above, rewarding him if he eliminates again.
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 01/01/2018, edited: 01/08/2021
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