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Making the yard kid-friendly with a dog?

538 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Ola_
We have a mid-sized fenced-in front yard & a larger (unfenced, uneven, not well-landscaped) backyard. I'm hoping to let DS play in the front yard this spring since he'll finally be able to walk & run! But the front yard is where we let the dog out to do his duty. He just uses the whole front yard like a giant litterbox... Of course we clean it up as often as possible but it's hard to find every last pile... sorry for the gross factor... and it seems like the yard would be too germy for DS to play in.

Is there an EASY way I can train the dog to go only in one area? I also thought we could put an extra row of fence to divide the front yard but it would just look ridiculous. We can't let the dog out the back yard because it's not fenced & the only door to there is in the basement (I'm not going to the basement to let him in/out 10 times a day!!) But maybe there's another idea I'm not thinking of...
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You can teach him to potty in a certain area of the front yard. Having a "go potty" command is very helpful for this (well actually it's helpful at other times too). To do this you'll have to take him out on leash, take him to the designated area, and use your potty command. If he doesn't go right away you can basically just walk in a circle while repeating the potty command till he goes and generally be boring (reward when he potties). Keep in mind that exercise stimulates the bowels so taking him on a walk before letting him loose in the yard would be a great idea too.

Some caveats though. Many dogs won't potty in a "dirty" place so if you want to train him to use a small area you'll need to clean it up frequently (I'd say every couple of days at most, depending on the size of the area). Also, peeing in one spot frequently is very likely to kill your grass. One thing you can do to prevent this is pour water on the spot after the dog pees (it dilutes the nutrients in urine and will actually cause it to work like a fertilizer). Some people keep a watering can or the like in the yard for this. Don't use those tablets you can buy at the pet stores to prevent brown grass, messing with urine pH can be trouble.
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