Teach your dog to use his “bathroom”

Take housetraining your dog to another level by getting him to “do his business” in one specific area.

You can eliminate a yellow-spotted, burned grass lawn and reduce the odds of stepping in dog poop if you have a designated “dog bathroom” section of your lawn with artificial grass for your dogs to poop on. Whether you have a puppy or older dog, teaching him to go in one area is relatively easy if you practice patience and consistency. Remember, when you’re teaching your dog where to go, you’re also teaching him where not to go.

The first step is to clearly define the area you want him to use. You can use wire garden fencing, clothesline or rope and stakes, chicken wire or even a circle of stones. Giving your dog a physical landmark will help him remember and develop his habit. After you’ve created your “doggie bathroom,” take your dog on a leash directly from the house to the area every time he needs to go. You can give him a command, such as “go potty” or “go pee.” When he does, generously reward him.

After a couple of weeks taking him on the leash, try escorting him off leash to the same spot. If he gets off track and is looking for an alternative, clap your hands, get his attention and guide him to his “bathroom.” When he goes, praise him.

Once your dog has mastered the escorted potty break, it’s time to graduate to unescorted. When it’s time for him to go, open the door, give the command, and let him go on his own. If he gets off track, rush outside, clap your hands and verbally correct him. When he gets to his designated area and does his duty, give him positive affirmation and reward.

By exercising patience and consistency, and rewarding the positive behavior, you’ll have your dog housetrained to go in one spot. Don’t be discouraged by initial setbacks. Bathroom training your dog is a process and part of being a responsible dog owner.

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