If your dog consistently uses your backyard as his potty, it might become hazardous to walk though and its aesthetic value can suffer -- Fido's feces and urine can burn the grass, resulting in brown, dead patches. To avoid this, pretend your yard is another room in your house and go back to housetraining basics -- stop Fido in his tracks and redirect him to an area where he's allowed to do his business. With patience and consistency your pet companion can be housebroken in no time.
Create a backyard potty area for your dog. Select an area of the yard that's big enough for your dog to circle and walk around in. Manually remove grass and plants growing in this area or use a pet-safe grass killer. Cover the ground with a 2-inch layer of pea gravel or cedar mulch and place a large boulder or other lawn ornament in it to serve as a marking post. Pick up some of your dog's feces and place it in this new potty area to act as an attractant.
Watch your pet companion each time you allow him in the backyard. When he starts circling, squatting or sniffing profusely, bring him to his new bathroom area, because these are signs that he's about to go potty. Wait patiently for him to do his business, and when he does, immediately give him a big hug and treats so he associates eliminating in this new area with pleasant consequences.
Clap your hands or shake a can that's partially filled with coins and say "na-ah," when you catch your dog eliminating in an area that's off-limits. This startles him and makes him stop what he's doing. Bring him to his potty area and say "go potty." When your pet companion uses the area, overwhelm him with hugs and treats.
Repeat this training method every time your dog is in the backyard. Don't allow him to go outside if you can't supervise him -- be consistent. Make all family members aware that you're training your dog to go potty in a designated area, because if one person allows him to go potty elsewhere in the yard it might interfere with your training and confuse your dog.
Items You Will Need
- Pet-safe grass killer
- Pea gravel or cedar mulch
- Lawn ornament
- Dog treats
- Can of coins
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.