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How to Train a Dog to Eliminate Outside

How to train a dog to eliminate outside? Read this story about 'a Bear in the Woods' for an analogy about dog training, and people training.

Training a dog to eliminate outside: do you want your canine to eliminate in a certain spot outside (rather than all over your back or front yard)?

Our dog likes to 'rove' and use the whole backyard for her bathroom. However I don't like burnt yellow patches of grass all over the place and I really don't like picking up dog pooh all over the backyard.

Training our dog to use the side of our yard as her bathroom was not as difficult as training my family to ensure that they didn't let her rove or roam the backyard. Training our dog, Harley, involved taking her immediately to the area that I wanted her to use and then just waiting there (with my feet firmly planted) until she does her thing! The area is marked with stones so that she can differentiate between that space and the open grass in our yard.

In the early days of training her to eliminate in that space (about 4 feet by 8 feet) we would reward her with praise and occasionally a treat. After eliminating in her space, we'd usually play ball or fetch in the back yard. We had to keep a close eye on her because she often pees several times. As soon as she looked like she was going to squat, we'd get her over to her elimination space.

Harley caught on pretty fast but still made 'mistakes'. Now (two years later) we just open the back door and she heads over to her space AND then she comes back for her ball and some play time!

Analogy for How to Train a Dog: A Story About a Bear in the Woods

This story is about you. You are out hiking in an unfamiliar forest. Suddenly you realize you have to urinate.

Frantic to find the perfect spot, you finally settle on a place behind some bushes.

You relieve yourself there and proceed to step away when all of a sudden a big scary bear bounds up out of nowhere.

He paws at you and growls at you. He's upset that you just soiled his forest.

The very next day you find yourself in the same forest and again you need to relieve yourself. This time you do remember the bear in the bushes so you carefully look around to see if you can find him. Deciding that the bushes were a bad spot you pick a nice tree and urinate there. Happily no bear jumped out at you - so you go on your way.

A couple hours go by and you decide to stop at a big rock and sit down for a rest. All of a sudden that big bear comes running up to you again - growling and lashing with his paws at you again.

You see the bear came across the tree that you had urinated behind - and this angered him. He decided to come after you for it - only you were just sitting on a rock resting. You get up and run from the rock thinking that you angered the bear by resting on that rock.

The next day again you are hiking in the same forest. And again the urge to urinate hits you. This time as you are looking at the bushes and trees the bear sees you looking, and because he's a smart bear he’s figured out what you are looking for. He scoops you up and takes you to a rest area where you can safely relieve yourself.

Once you’re done he brings you a fresh out-of-the oven chocolate chip cookie and smiles at you for your good job. You realize that coming to the designated rest area you will bring you rewards (cookies or treats) for urinating instead of being growled and lashed at.

This Story Has a Moral: For Your and Your Basic Dog Obedience Training

Learn from this story by putting your dog in your shoes. Show them the proper place to eliminate - outside. (Or even if you paper train a dog - show them the paper to potty on). Reward them for doing it. They will, with repetition, remember to go there every time. This story illustrates how to train a dog to eliminate outside.

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Return from How to Train a Dog to The Dog Biscuit Home Page.

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