You said, as you sluggardly packed the pile of mess by your dog. (Your dog has just pooped in the wrong area.)
Dogs are “man’s best friend”, they could, however, mess up your yard with their poop if not properly trained. In this article, I’ll be giving you simple tips on how to train your dog to poop in designated areas.
Before we get down to business, it’s important to understand why dogs poop where they do. Do they just randomly pick their spot or is there something that draws them to certain areas?
A proper understanding of this would make it easier for you to train your dog to “go” in specific areas of your choice.
How Does A Dog Decide Where To Poop?
Being a loving, dog owner, you must’ve seen “Old Roger” poop countless times. Have you ever asked yourself how he chooses where to poop? Dogs seem to take their time, carefully sniffing around for just the perfect spot, and they have their reasons.
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1. The Earth’s Magnetic Lines
Funny isn’t it? Research conducted by Czech and German scientists discovered that dogs fancy pooping along the north-south magnetic lines of the Earth.
Hard to believe right?
I felt the same way too when I first heard of this.
Like, how do dogs know when their bodies are aligned to the north-south magnetic lines?
Well this particular research, which by the way, was published in the “Frontiers In Zoology” journal, observed 70 dogs of 37 different breeds over a 2-year period. 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations later, researchers discovered that dogs would rather defecate under calm Magnetic field conditions, with the bodies aligned along the north-south axis, and totally avoiding the east-west axis.
The research pointed out that this strange behavior was consistent, strictly under calm magnetic field conditions.
Strange right? Find out if your “buddy” is conscious (or sensitive) to the Earth’s magnetic fields.
What remains a mystery here is – how is aligning their bodies to the north-south axis beneficial to these dogs? I guess more research is needed since “Old Roger” won’t tell us! Lol.
2. Marking Their Territory
Dogs, just like wolves, are fond of marking their territories. Since they can’t build fences or draw lines (obviously), they poop and pee in certain spots! Dropping off some poop here and there lets other dogs know that this zone is “taken”.
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and the smell from one dog’s poop serves as a message to other dogs to keep off.
As Carlo Siracusa (director of the small animal behavior service at the veterinary hospital of the University Of Pennsylvania) put it , “These messages can tell dogs how many other dogs are in the immediate area, the sexual status of these dogs, and when last they were in the area.
3. Return Spots
“If I’ve pooped here once, then I can poop here again”, says the dog. Yep, dogs will always return to spots where they’ve pooped before. Their sense of smell will lead them back to such spots for another round. It’s their nature!
Now that you have a clue as to why & how dogs decide where to take a “dump”, I can proceed to fill you in on how to train your dog to poop in designated areas.
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How to train dogs to poop in a certain area?
First things first, you need to know and accept the fact that giving your dog a particular spot to poop will require a repetitive process, time, and of course rewards (goodies).
If you just moved homes or apartments, then it’s going to be a bit tricky (don’t fret, I said tricky, not impossible).
The reason is that your dog is already used to a previous routine, and adapting to the new one would take some time, and of course effort on your part.
In the case of a puppy, who’s not mastered any routine yet, well that’ll be much easier (phew).
There are 3 constants when training your dog to poop in a designated area.
- You must have made up your mind on the area you want your dog to poop. Changing designated areas in between training will confuse your dog
- A leash to guide your dog towards your designated area
- A handful of doggy treats, so you can reward your dog’s efforts when they get it right. Rewards will encourage them to keep getting the routine right (pooping in one spot) until they have fully mastered them
Follow these steps and your dog will over the course of time, accept and adapt to its new designated poop spot.
Here are the things you need to do:
- Pick a spot – Choose a spot you find suitable for your dog to poop, then take a little scoop of dog poop and drop it at the designated poop spot. Make sure every other place around your yard is clean and free from poop and urine. The scent of poop in that area would spark his interest and encourage it to poop there
- Use command words – Take your dog to the designated poop area and give it a specific command such as “Go potty”. Your dog will most likely start sniffing around because of the little poop you previously dropped there. Repeat the command so he gets used to it
- Restrict play around the designated area – Stop your dog from playing around the designated poop area. Also, don’t allow him to play in other areas until he has pooped in the area you have designated
- Poop – If your dog poops in the designated area, be sure to praise him verbally and reward him with doggy treats. Knowing there’s a reward for following instructions is helpful
- Redirect – If your dog happens to poop elsewhere, be sure to redirect him back to the designated area. Also, do not reward him with praise or treats when he poops in the wrong place
- Keep the designated area clean – As your dog gets used to the new poop area, be sure to keep it clean. Too much poop will discourage him from returning there. However, be sure to leave just a little poop behind to serve as a reminder that that’s his designated poop area
- Repeat the process – Training your dog to poop in a certain area isn’t a day’s job. You have to keep repeating the process until it becomes a norm for your dog. Always reward your dog when he follows the process correctly and hold back the treats when he gets it wrong.
Be sure to look out for signs that indicate your dog is about to poop. Your dog could wag his tail or waist or maybe run in circles. Whatever the sign is, make sure you can detect it so you’d take him to the designated area.
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How To Get A Dog To Poop In A New Place
Moving into a new home could be exciting – a new house, new neighbors, new friends, etc. But that’s just you, what about your dog?
Your house-trained dog will have to adapt all over again to the new home and routine. Things like the neighbor’s car horn, music, and even other pets may seem unfamiliar and could force your dog to start pooping in the house.
Not to worry, I’m here to give you some very useful tips on how to help you place your dog on a smooth path of transition.
First of all, designate a new poop area for your dog. Take him there as often as you did at your former place and give him the “poop command he’s used to hearing. If he poops there, give out praises and treats, this will ring a bell and it will encourage him to keep pooping there.
Secondly, be sure to maintain the same routine as you had at your former place. Let the poop times be the same, your dog may not fully understand the new place but he will surely be familiar with poop times. A few weeks of this and your dog will be fully accustomed to his new poop area.
Last but not least, when your dog poops in the new area, don’t clean up all the mess. Leave some behind so the scent can attract him back to the same place. Over time, he will become used to pooping there.
How To Train Your Dog To Pee And Poop Outside
The first thing you need to do is to understand and check for signs that show your dog is about to “go”.
He could wag his tail or run in circles.
When you notice such signs, take him outside immediately. Doing this regularly would teach him that he has to go outside to pee or poop.
When he pees or poops outside, make sure you reward him with a treat so he’ll be encouraged to do the same. Withhold any treats if he pees inside, but don’t scream or press his face against his pee or poop as this will only cause him to fear you.
If he starts pooping or peeing before you can take him outside, interrupt him immediately by clapping out and saying a command like “No”.
Then proceed to carry him outside. He will register this and get used to defecating outside as the routine is repeated.
Be sure to thoroughly clean up any pee or poop your dog drops in the house, and I mean thoroughly!
This is because dogs would always return to spots where they have previously peed or pooped before. Imagine what they’d do if they got a whiff of their old “dump” leftover in your house.
You guessed right!
Now, you know how to train your dog to poop in designated areas.
- You simply pick a preferred spot
- Use a simple command line like “Go Potty”
- Restrict play around the designated area
- Reward him with treats, toys, etc… each time he gets it right
Using all these strategies, your dog in no time will adjust to poop in this chosen spot and you won’t have to sluggardly pack the pile of mess anymore.
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