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I live in the suburbs of Chicago on a corner lot. I have a large side and front lawn, but my back yard is relatively small and grass is not abundant since I have a sizeable patio. Due to this, and my being a little OCD with my lawn and landscaping I am toying with the idea of making a 10'x10' or so area a "potty place" for my dogs and training them to just go there in effort to get some relief for my poor back grass which is in shambles. My questions are...

1. Who has had success in training to go in one spot? Other than taking them out on leash repeatedly and showing them where to go and praising when they go what else has worked for you? How long has this taken?

2. What ground cover did you use? I am going back and forth between mulch and pea gravel leaning towards pea gravel because it will not break down and get muddy.

My lawn and I thank you in advance for your assistance.
 

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It was sort of easy for us as we starting taking them to the same "potty spot" since they were pups. But the rescues we brought home we had to just leash them and keep bringing them there telling them "go potty" and once they;ve gone i praise and treat. If i see them going somewhere other than their designated spot, i take them to the pott area and show them where they should go. It takes a bit of patience, but its well worth it. Now we dont have dead grass spots scattered through the yard, and if i just let them out to go potty, i know they are going to the right place, so i dont have to go on poop patrol to locate and pick up their messes.
 

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"Big dog potty spots" are GREAT!! We've had one with mulch
and one with pea gravel, if I were to do it again I think the
pea gravel works better, although every couple of years you
might have to buy another bag or 2 to fill.

Didn't take Tamsen any time at all, just leash and saying
"Go poop" and after just a few days, no more need for leash.
I took care of my brother's little rottie pup between about
2 months and 3 months old, and Tamsen "taught" him to
use the big dog potty spot, too!

 

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Lucy is our 2nd dog to have a potty place. I got the idea from my neighbor who has always had more than 1 dog and they always go behind the garage. We live in a suburban neighborhood with a detached garage and all the yards are fenced. I put a gate at the back of the garage on one side and the front of the garage on the other side. That way I could put the dog in and close the gate till they were done. When they were puppies, I had them on a leash and stayed with them till they went. Now I just tell Lucy tp go potty and she goes on her own. I still check up on her and pick up the poop every day. The area was already cemented so I didn't have to put anything down. I also have to keep it shoveled in the winter. It does take a little longer to train them to go in a particular spot, but I think it's worth it. There's never any brown spots on the grass or hidden surprises when you're out in bare feet.
 

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Our last dog had a large gravel area on the side of the house that she used. We just always took her out there and said, "Go potty," and eventually, that's the only place she would go to the bathroom. It was very convenient. We're trying to figure out if we can find a spot for Heidi to do this as our once nice lawn is a total mess from her peeing/pooping on it and tearing around, cutting new paths in her wake!
 

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i'm also on a corner lot now....i have not been using the backyard as the previous tenants let their dogs back there and didn't pick up after them. now that the snow has melted, i clean it, but it will be a while before i feel it is sanitary enough for the dogs (speaking of OCD!).

i've trained them to pee and poop in the sideyard and am going to keep them to that. i'd like to put down a gravel area, b/c then i could just spray it down once in a while, but i doubt the landlords will go for that, so it'll just be some brown grass.

if you're using the backyard for your own enjoyment (patio, etc), maybe keep it for that - the human place - dogs can go back there, just not GO there - and take another part of the yard for their potty place. just a thought.
 

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we have always designated just one spot in the yard to do their business whether it is at the cottage, my daughters or our house. we train them by taking them to the same spot on a leash over and over and telling them to pee. when they do this, they are given treats. if they have a 'accident' somewhere else, we take the item if it is solid of course to teh spot and remind them that is where it goes, they seem to be like elephants though, they always use the same spot.
 

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Re: Input from those who have created a "potty pla

Morgan was easy to train to the designated area because the boys were already trained to going there. The boys were both 2 y/o when I adopted them and had to have serious redirection. More than once, I moved the poop to the spot and threw it there!

My lot is pretty sandy so the spot is just dirty sand where only crab grass and wierd blue flowers grow.
 

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Poop patrol?
I just did that earlier tonight. Chloe has an area in the backyard that she normally uses but of course only when I take her out. Anyone else in the family takes her out and they take her to other areas.
I have asked time and again to just take her to that one area, lol.

So, this evening I did Poop Patrol.


OH yeah, last week I get a call from the school nurse. My 7 year old daughter had dog poop on her jeans and sock.
How in the world it was not on her shoes is beyond me. But I know it happened while walking through the front yard to the bus AND because of what I wrote above. Ugh.
 

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Our backyard has an inground pool and beautiful concrete around it with rocks around that then fencing, not a great potty place for my GSD pup but we have a professional stone wall 1.5 foot high at the back with a patio area behind it about 10' X 5'... that is where we have trained Jesse to go to potty. It has worked like a charm. We take him to it and praise him when he goes there. If he went anywhere else we ignore him. Worked like a charm he runs to that spot ever time now - which keeps it out of the way, keeps the smell down and no danger of anybody stepping into it (as it is no where near the house, or walk in area or swimming area). We also pick up after Jesse right away as we are not ones to leave it for a week or two like my sister-in-law.
 

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I'm looking at also doing something with our backyard, typical small postage size yard that you find with most townhomes. It already has a big cement slab for the patio, but the grassy area is a mess & mostly mud. Poop is not the problem as I pick it up right away, but Gracie has managed to burn what nice grass there was by peeing on it. I was thinking of replacing the grass with a mixture of pea gravel and some patio stones, thereby eliminating the mud problem once and for all, but that could be quite expensive all in one go. Reading these posts, has given me an idea ... I think I may try the potty box and gravel that area this year. If it works, I may have grass yet. If not, I can always replace the rest of the grass is the pea gravel/patio stone combo. Thks everyone.
 
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