How to Train Your Older Dog to Poop in One Place

Medium
1-2 Months
Behavior

Introduction

Maybe you have rescued or adopted an older dog, and you need to train him to use one spot in your yard to poop and only that one spot. Or maybe after years of living in a different home, you have moved into a new home and have decided you want all the dog poop in your yard to be in one place. Picking up poop in one small area and saving the rest of your yard for poop-free running and playing is a great goal to have. You might be retraining a dog you've been picking up after for years, or you may be training a rescue dog who is getting used to his new home anyway. Either way, If you have an older dog, you're going to have to train him to recognize the area where you would like him to poop every time he needs to go. Training older dogs is not difficult but will require some commitment from you both and lots of repetition and love.

Defining Tasks

Training your older dog to poop in one place will require you to first decide where you would like his special spot to be and introduce him to that spot and only that spot during potty time. This might also mean making your older dog hold it for a little while so when he has to go, he goes rather quickly instead of searching for the perfect spot across your yard. Consider the first several times taking your older dog to his spot on a leash to better control where he goes throughout your yard. As he gets used to the special spot, he can eventually go without the leash. You will need to do things like keep the area clean, especially if this is a smaller area than your dog may be used to, but consider keeping one pile around for a physical reminder and sense for your dog to remember where his special spot is.

Getting Started

To start training your older dog to poop in one spot, you will need a leash and an area reserved in your yard for your dog's poop. And lots of treats. Be prepared the first several times to walk with your dog to his special place, reminding him of the new rules and where to go. Every time you go out with your older dog to teach him or remind him of his special pooping spot, take some extra treats with you so you can reward him for remembering on his own or just for pooping in the right place once he's successful.

The Repetitive Scent Method

Most Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
Clean yard
Clean all areas of your yard and give your grass a good soaking it with a hose before you take your dog out to introduce him to his new designated pooping spot.
Step
2
Special place
Choose a special spot for your dog to poop all the time. Be sure this spot is one you are happy with time and time again and avoid changing the spot and causing confusion for your older dog.
Step
3
Walk to It
Take your dog on a walk to his special spot. You can choose to do this on a leash or off leash. If your older dog is eager and energetic and wants to walk away from you, consider putting him on a leash. If your older dog stays with you, walk around his designated spot and talk about going potty. If he knows key phrases such as "go potty", begin to use those here.
Step
4
Practice and redirect
Stay outside with your dog and encourage him to go potty in that spot. If your dog begins to walk away from you to explore other areas, redirect him and call him back. Continue to use keywords to get him to connect those commands with the action of using the potty in his designated area.
Step
5
Pooping
When your older dog does poop in his designated spot, give him a treat immediately and celebrate with excitement.
Step
6
Scent
Keep his first pile of poop in this designated area and keep the rest of the yard clean. When your dog needs to go potty or after meals or upon waking , walk with him to this special area and let him sniff around until he finds his previous scent and has the urge to poop again.
Step
7
Keep it clean
Other than the potential of keeping one pile of poop there to mark the scent of the space, be sure to keep this area clean. Your older dog is not going to want to step in poop in his special area before going. If the area is not kept fairly clean he will choose to go somewhere else.
Step
8
Practice
Keep practicing taking your dog to the special spot over and over until he gets, with repetition, this is his spot to go potty. Once he is going on a consistent basis on his own you can keep the area clean and remove the one pile of poop you have been keeping in place to mark the spot.
Step
9
Rewards
Be sure to reward your older dog every single time he uses his designated pooping spot. This will remind him if he needs to go there and there only. Do not reward if he needs to be redirected.
Recommend training method?

The On Leash Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Choose
Choose the perfect pooping spot for your dog. You may want to pick a special spot with some physical markings such as a tree for your dog to easily remember this area. Also, this spot should also be different from the comfortable shady places where your dog likes to nap in the afternoon. Be sure to consider how you use your yard and its space and pick a spot you don't use often.
Step
2
After meals
Wait about 10 minutes after your older dog has eaten a meal. He is more likely to need to go potty during this time. If he heads to the door or shows you he needs to go outside before the 10 minutes is up, certainly head out before then, but don't head out too soon because he might think he's outside to play or sniff around
Step
3
Leash
Attach a leash to your older dog and walk him directly to his special pooping spot.
Step
4
Control
Be sure to utilize the leash to control where your dog goes. Keep the leash tight enough that he can't leave your designated spot to sneak off somewhere else to poop.
Step
5
Key phrases
Stand very still with a tight leash while your dog explores his boundaries. While you are waiting for your dog, use some key phrases he might be used to such as "you need to go potty" or "let's go potty."
Step
6
Poop
Once your older dog poops in this spot, make a big deal out of it. Be his cheerleader and congratulate him with lots of enthusiasm, excitement and verbal praise. Walk away from this designated area and give him a treat. This will remind him that he's done a good job by staying in his special spot.
Step
7
Repeat
Repeat this several times with your older dog, taking him out on the leash to the same spot over and over again and rewarding him for pooping and one spot every time he is successful.
Step
8
Practice
Eventually, your dog should head in that direction when he needs to, even though he's leashed. Continue to escort him until you can trust he's going to go to his designated pooping spot on his own.
Step
9
Redirect
Keep a close eye on your older dog as he is training to poop in his designated area, especially as he begins to go to his spot unescorted. If you watch him leave this area to go poop in another area, get his attention by clapping your hands or say his name to redirect him back to the spot where you would like him to go. This might mean going back to practice more before he's able to go on his own.
Recommend training method?

The Fence it Off Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Boundary
Create a temporary boundary with a doorway so your dog can easily get in and out of this area but there is a visual separation from the rest of the space – the space you do not want your dog to poop in.
Step
2
Potty time
Wait until a time when your dog usually poops to introduce the area. This could be about ten minutes after a meal or upon waking for the day. Take him across the area you’d like to keep free of poop and into the fenced off area.
Step
3
Poop
Leave your dog alone for a bit but do not let him out of the fenced off area. If he’s left alone during a time he has to poop, he should begin to sniff and poop. This will work especially well if this area is a natural area for him to poop, such as the yard where he’s always pooped, but one special spot.
Step
4
Treat
Once he poops, give him a treat.
Step
5
Clean
Keep the area every time he poops so he’ll keep coming back. If you leave poop in the fenced off area, he’ll likely go elsewhere.
Step
6
Repeat
Keep practicing using this spot for pooping. At some point, you should be able to let your dog out on his own to go. Once he’s going into the area on his own to poop often, you can remove the temporary fence. He may need your reminders to use that area by walking with him once the fence is down, but he should be conditioned to use that spot each time.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Willow
Mini Goldendoodle
16 Months
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Question
0 found helpful
Willow
Mini Goldendoodle
16 Months

Willow was perfectly potty trained to pee and poop indoors on her peepad just as we wanted and still want her to be because we want her to go potty on the pee pad indoors and we've had great success. However, we wanted to teach her to potty outdoors too because she may not have a chance to potty indoors at her potty sometimes like when we go on road trips. So we began training her to go potty on our walks outside too and this was going well for the past 2 months. She never had accidents and always used her potty indoors and pooped or peed on our walks outdoors. About 10 days ago, she started pooping anywhere in the house AND on all walks but won't poop on her potty indoors. We take her to it often, we've smeared a bit of poop on the peepad to help her along, but she will only pee on it. She qon't poop on it. She jumps past it and poops right next to it or anywhere else. Nothing happened to make her fear her indoor potty and we always praise her for using it. She is not hiding when she poops in the house anywhere...she poops right in front of us but anywhere in the house in random spots each time. We always clean thoroughly with Nature's Miracle enzyme cleaner. When she has used her potty to poop we shower her with praise, love, and treats! We're at our wits end now!!!! Please HELP!!!!!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
124 Dog owners recommended

If you have a kennel for her, I would start utilizing that to help re-establish her potty training. If not, you will have to figure out a small space to keep her confined in for about a week. I know this may seem un-kind but it's the only way to help when dogs suddenly lose their potty training skills. You will want to continue doing what you are doing with treats and praise. When she doesn't go on the pad, put her in her confined area and then try again 30 minutes later. Do not give her the opportunity to go elsewhere. If she doesn't go, it's back to confinement. You will want to repeat this process until she goes on the pad. Then praise the heck out of her. I know this seems tedious. Some dogs pick it up in a day or two, others take a little longer. But you should have her potty training back within a week or so of practicing this.

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Question
Tony
German Shepherd
2 Years
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Question
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Tony
German Shepherd
2 Years

I recently adopted TONY from my friend like 2 days ago but i am worried as he hasn’t pooped yet i have been taking him for a walk early morning as well as at night but still he hasn’t pooped.
Also whenever I leave him alone on leash he shouts, I want to make a habit of staying alone for him . How do i do it?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
124 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. To help him go to the bathroom, you may want to pick up some canned dog food. Feed it to him for a day or two to stimulate his digestive system. As far as his behavior when you are not home, sometimes dogs do best in a confined space. So closing him in a bedroom with toys is a good place to start. Sometimes this type of thing takes trial and error, but usually they just need some things to occupy them while their owners are away.

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Question
Princess Zoey
toy poodle
12 Months
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Question
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Princess Zoey
toy poodle
12 Months

Zoey is inconsistent when she has to go potty. She goes on her potty pad but runs off before finishing and leaves some on the floor. Sometimes she goes on the carpet. Anytime I take her to work or a new location she will poop.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
124 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Unfortunately for your situation, dogs have a hard time transferring learned behaviors to new settings. We know how to read and write at work, at home, on the go, etc. Dogs need little refreshers any time you enter a new setting. Or make any sort of change. My suggestion to fix both issues, is to really fine tune her potty training. Start over as if she is a puppy and start giving her lots of praise and treats when she does go to the bathroom. You also may want to put a few pads down to make a larger space for her to go on.

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Question
Scoobie
Malinios
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Scoobie
Malinios
3 Months

Hi! So when I first got Scoobie he was 7 1/2 weeks and I wanted him to poo in the backyard on the grass. He now does that very well and doesn’t poop on the cement or anything. But now I would like for him to go poo in a different spot. My other dog Chai goes to poo by our orange tree which is where I would like them both to poo. Is there any way for me to have my dog poop in a different spot and not poop on the grass? What can I do? Thank you!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
92 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would create a fenced in area for Scoobie to go poop.You can place this fencing around the orange tree Make the area large enough that Scoobie has plenty of room to walk around, sniff, circle - whatever he likes to do before going potty. Don't hover around him if you think he wants privacy but stay close enough that you can praise him for going and give him a treat. Keep the area clean and free of poop because if it gets too soiled, he may not want to enter the area at all. You can use a potty encouraging spray as well, which you purchase at the pet supply store. It is to be sprayed before you take him in, not while he is in the fenced area. Once Scoobie is used to going in the orange tree area, then you can remove the fencing if you like. Good luck!

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Question
Serius
Border Collie
7 Years
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Question
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Serius
Border Collie
7 Years

Our dog poos everywhere in our back yard.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Georgia, In order to train a dog to only poop in certain locations pup must be brought to the location you want them to go potty in, and rewarded for going potty in the correct location only, for several months. This also means limiting access to other locations in the yard when pup may need to go potty. Potty training is based on dog's developing habits of keeping certain areas clean, which is accomplished overtime through consistency. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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