Cleaning up doggy mess from cement is a whole lot easier than cleaning it out of grass. Plus, dog urine can discolor grass. By using gentle positive reinforcement techniques, you can not only discourage your dog from using the grass as his toilet, but make him really want to go on the concrete. Once he’s learned what you want, your dog will most likely go in the right place without any prompting.
Observe Toilet Routine
Observe your dog for a week and note down his toilet habits. Pay special attention to the amount of time after eating, drinking and waking that typically passes before he needs to go. By understanding when he is likely to go, you can time your corrective interjections to perfection.
Note down the signs that indicate your dog needs to go. These typically include pacing, pawing at the door and if ignored, whining. With your understanding of his routine and the signs of him needing to potty, you can react promptly.
Let him out when he needs the toilet and watch where he goes. He may have a preferred spot or he may choose a place at random. While the point of observing Lucky is to arm yourself with useful information, you should never miss an opportunity to reward desired behavior. So if he goes on the concrete, verbally praise him.
Create a Trigger Word
Put a toy or food treat on the far side of the spot where you want Lucky to potty. This will hopefully entice him to walk over the concrete. Don’t put it on the concrete, as this may cause Lucky to associate the spot with food, reducing the chances that he’ll want to eliminate there.
Leash Lucky and take him into the yard. Let him walk on the grass, but gradually guide him toward the patch of concrete you want him to use. Wait a minute to see if he voluntarily steps onto it. If he approaches the concrete, start saying the trigger word or phrase, for example “in your spot.” Gently guide him toward the spot if he doesn’t appear to be interested in it.
Reward Lucky with a treat and verbal praise as soon as he goes to the right place. With sufficient repetition, Lucky will learn that good things happen when he goes to that spot, so when he hears the trigger word, he’ll voluntarily get there.
Open the door to the yard at roughly the time you suspect Lucky will need to potty.
Observe his behavior and get him into the yard just before he is likely to eliminate.
Give Lucky the command to get into his spot. If he doesn’t make it and eliminates on the grass, ignore him and go back inside. Never punish Lucky for going in the wrong place; this will cause toilet anxiety.
Reward Lucky with a food treat and give him lots of verbal praise if he eliminates while standing in his spot. With sufficient repetition, Lucky will learn that eliminating in that specific spot has good consequences.
Items You Will Need
- Food treats
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.