How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?
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Thread: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

  1. #1
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    DefaultHow do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    My 7-month-old puppy, Spot, only pees or poops on our lawn. Not only that, he perfers a different, fresh spot whenever he 'goes' or he will hold it in. He has been like this ever since we got him 5 months ago.

    Now I realized that this is a big problem as we have a lot of brown spots in the lawn where the grass is completely dead. Also having dog poops everywhere on the lawn is just not a pretty scene!

    I am guilty of not doing a good job reinforcing good 'potty' habits in the first place. But how do I start now?

    Thanks for any advice!
    My dear boys <br /><br /><br />The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.&nbsp; - Andy Rooney

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  3. #2
    ks02 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is what dogs are supposed to do??? I mean, you could always dilute the spot he pees with a little water after he goes, but of course he is going to want to go on the lawn. Where are you wanting him to go? Also, it is your responsibility to clean up the poop! Otherwise, yes, it will be in your lawn, and he will eventually step on it. Be glad he's not going potty in the house.
    This is completely normal and a part of having a dog (in my experience), and I doubt you will change it. I am having a very hard time understanding why you would want to. If you don't want him to go potty in, say, the front yard, just take him to the back where you don't care about the grass as much. I guess to me, my dog is much more important than the way my lawn looks... ???

  4. #3
    imported_Canula2000 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    It is very time consuming but you must take him out on a leash and wait with him until he goes...then praise, praise, praise.
    <br />Dogs&#39; lives are too short.&nbsp; Their only fault, really.&nbsp; ~Agnes Sligh Turnbull

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    Some people have had success training some Labs to pee & potty in one place -- say a 10 ft x 10 ft "river pebble box" -- but probably many more have not had success.

    Certainly some of this is because of individual differences in Labs and trainers. But I think much of what lies behind the failures is because pooping and peeing serves three important functions for dogs.

    Pooping is used not only to eliminate poop (an important thing) but also to establish and mark that dog's territory -- "This land is my land, this land's not your land..." What self-respecting dog wants to be master of a territory no bigger than a sheet of typing paper?

    Peeing is used not only to eliminate (an important function) but also to send and receive messages to and from other dogs in the area. It's pee-mail. Wherever one dog pees, it leaves a message about its gender, health, reproductive readiness, etc., and other dogs passing by leave their messages, too. What normally alert and active dog wants to send all its messages in a place where they won't be read or responded to by other dogs?

    You'd do best to go out with your dog when it pees -- I keep a gallon jug of water by the door and pour it over the pee spot. Read: https://www.justlabradors.com/forum/i...topicseen.html

    Also, I use Glad thin film sandwich bags and pick up Puff's poops whenever and wherever she makes them while they're fresh. (Slip you hand in the bag like a mitten, grasp the poop, reverse the bag and capture it.) Gives you advanced warning of any health problems.

    Hint: Your Spot is old enough to be settling into some "time ruts" for when peeing and pooping are most likely to occur. Vigorous exercise helps a GREAT deal in hastening poops just before they happen. For instance, my Puff's favorite afternoon time is at 2 PM. We go out front, I bowl a softball for her to chase about 3X on the sidewalk in front of the house, she fetches it, and is then ready to poop.

    Also, once you see Spot's back beginning to arch for his pooping position, start saying a mantra your dog can hear -- mine is "Puff -- Potty! Puff, Potty! Puff, Potty!" Before long, it'll begin to take effect and will become a Conditioned Stimulus and provoke expelling (the Unconditioned Response) any fecal material that's stored in the right place for dispensing.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    ks02, your post really rubs me the wrong way.

    I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is what dogs are supposed to do??? I mean, you could always dilute the spot he pees with a little water after he goes, but of course he is going to want to go on the lawn. Where are you wanting him to go?
    A lot of dogs can be trained to 'go' at a designated spot instead of everywhere around the property like my Spot does. I have a designated 'potty' area for him in the backyard close to the woody area, but he refuses to follow my lead. I need advice on how to do that and that is why I started this thread.

    Also, it is your responsibility to clean up the poop! Otherwise, yes, it will be in your lawn, and he will eventually step on it. Be glad he's not going potty in the house.
    You do NOT have to remind me that and yes, I do scoop and clean the yard every week if not daily. Spot is very smart and never steps on his own poop, instead he makes every effort to avoid the 'tainted' area and that is why he goes to a different spot every time.

    I guess to me, my dog is much more important than the way my lawn looks...
    I just resent the implication that I care more about my lawn than my dog! My dog is my child and I LOVE him to pieces. But in the mean time I prefer not to have a dead lawn - not if I can help it and train him to use his potty area instead.
    My dear boys <br /><br /><br />The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.&nbsp; - Andy Rooney

  8. #6
    ks02 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    I did not intend to offend you. However, I personally have not had the experience of having a dog trained to go where I say. I guess I misunderstood your post. Like Bob Pr said, my dog also starts to look for a place to go when I say, "Riley, potty." I do it so that he knows that's what we're doing out there as opposed to playing around in the yard, so I suppose you could take your dog out to your designated area and begin training in that way. Maybe he will eventually start to associate the area with "potty."

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    regarese is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    We got a little metal pen and put it up in our yard. Everytime we take Shelby out we take her to her pen, telling her "in your pen", she goes in and does her thing. She's 4 months now and does pretty well with going in that one spot. When we first started doing this we would give her lots of praise when she peed and pooped in her pen. Still do, but the exuberance isn't as necessary anymore. When she is peeing I keep repeating, "go peeps" and "go poops" for the other. And we pick her poop up right away. I figured we would use "potty" for our infant when she starts training and I didn't want any cross contamination-so to speak-if I used the same term for both. Just had visions of telling my daughter, "Go potty Sabrina" and Shelby cops a squat in the living room outside the bathroom door. LOL.
    Anyway-it's not a foolproof method but it has worked for us. If she really has to go and she is not near her pen she will go in the yard where she's at (the fenced part of the yard where she can run free is in a different area than her pen so she can't always get to her pen on her own), but I've "caught" her going in her pen on her own to go when we have her leashed in the unfenced part of our yard. And she will wait to go in there until after we're home from her walks-she won't go while we're out. The downside of this, and a lesson learned for us, if you don't water down the area the grass gets damaged and it does get a little icky so we had to move the pen and provide a little more maintainance to the area.

  10. #8
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    You might try the method regarese used.

    However, I've been a member of JL forums since November, 2001, and seen this topic come up many times. For every report of a success in training a Lab to pee and potty in a particular place, there have been at least five -- maybe ten -- reports of futility. At any rate, so many that it strongly inclines me to believe that it's not just the method of training but that Labs have strong individual differences among them so that some easily adapt to training on some things BUT for other Labs, it goes very much against the grain and it becomes nearly impossible.

    IMO, Labs are not "tabula rasa's"/blank slates upon which one can write anything with the right training.

    Hope you and your Lab have good luck on your training and that neither of you gets too frustrated, bent out of shape, or ____________.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  11. #9
    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    Dogs develop a "substrate preference," that is, a type of surface that they like to use to go on. If you don't want your puppy to go on the lawn, for example, you could *constantly* and *consistently* bring him to a small, designated area with a different kind of surface (e.g., wood chips) and ask him to go potty there. Over time, he probably (but no guarantees) will develop a preference for that surface.

    The problem with substrate training is that you can end up with more trouble than it's worth when you're traveling or otherwise off your regular schedule. What do you do when you're in the car and have to stop at a rest stop, and there are no wood chips (or whatever) around? You're in for a world of frustration (both you and the dog). That's why seeing-eye dogs are trained to go on a number of different surfaces, including concrete and asphalt.

    In general, I agree with BobPr. It can be done, but there are no guarantees and it requires an extraordinary amount of consistency to get the results you want.


  12. #10
    regarese is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do I train my puppy to 'go' in the same place (away from the lawn)?

    Yeah-and we're not hard core with her on this either. We wanted to do it to try to keep the waste in one area that we can keep our daughter away from and guests will know to avoid. She will go if we are out somewhere, but it does take a little coaxing. Like theocongrio said, it is a little trying in those circumstance because she is used to going in her pen. But the upside, for instance, is that we are going away Memorial Day weekend to a friend's house and bringing Shelby with us. We'll be bringing her pen for 2 reasons-1) She'll be comfortable in a strange setting 2) and our friends hopefully will appreciate she is only using one area of their property. If you're not looking for perfection from your dog and something to make bathroom duty a little more convenient-give it a try.

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