QUESTION: How do I teach my pup to go to the bathroom in just one spot in the yard. I don’t want to be stepping in her daily deposits. She lives in the house most of the time, but plays outside in the yard and is trained to go to the bathroom outside.

ANSWER: Pick an area in the back corner of the yard. 8 ft X 8 ft square is a good size for a large breed dog. 4 ft X 4 ft for a small to medium breed dog. Remove all sod, so it is just carefully raked dirt. A couple of inches of Pea Gravel can be put down over the dirt if you worry about her tracking dirt back into the house. Every time she has to go to the bathroom, leash her and take her there. When she goes in that spot, praise her lavishly. Then turn her loose to play in the rest of the yard. Make her urinate and defecate both there. This training takes time and much patience on the owner’s part but is worth it in the long run. Expect to work at it diligently for at least a month, often longer. While some dogs catch on right away, others take time.

Once she gets the hang of it, you can begin to firmly tell her "No" if caught going elsewhere in the yard. Immediately take her straight to her spot to show her where you want her to go.

Always pooper scoop the entire yard, each and every single day. If you do it every day, it is only a couple of piles to pick up, no big deal. If you do it only once in awhile, then, of course, more work involved.

When first teaching her, leave one or two her past deposits for her to get the idea. Then, once she is trained, keep it picked up daily too. Let it build up there and she will soon be forced to pick another spot that is not so dirty.

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