The advice in this guide came about from me getting so frustrated about the state of our lawn. Our dog Claude liked to pee on it, leading to yellow and dead grass patches. This really had a massive effect on my OCD! But, with some time, I did manage to train our dog to pee in a new place… some concrete patio outside our back door as it happens!
If you want to know how you can get your own dog to pee in a new place, and not on your lawn, read on for the steps I took to get it right with Claude.
This will work for both indoors and outdoors, so will help you to change your dog’s potty spot.
How to get a dog to pee in a new place or patio
When you first get your new dog, be it a puppy or an already adult dog, potty training is vitally important for the sake of your floors and carpets. Without proper training, your dog will naturally pee where it likes.
However, how do you go about training your dog to learn that there is a specific place for them to relieve themselves and pee?
Once you have found the place you want them to pee (it could be on grass or a concrete patio) usually on the grass when you are out for a walk, you will have to train them to learn that this is where you want them to go and not on your kitchen floor or nice looking lawn.
This can be done through positive reinforcement training.
How to change a dog potty spot
When you are training your dog for anything, be it a new trick, to unlearn a behavior or to set out house rules such as where to go to the toilet, positive reinforcement training is the best way to go.
Simply scolding your dog for going to the toilet when their natural instinct tells them to will just cause them distress and may even lead to more behavioural issues, but by showing them that they will get a positive response when they go pee in a new place that you want them to will encourage them to repeat this until it is second nature.
1. Go to the location you want them to use
To change a dog’s potty spot, take your dog to the place where you want them to go to the toilet. Most people like for their dogs to go when they are on their walks, taking them to the local park or even just out into their back gardens.
Make sure that it is a familiar place for your dog that you are able to go to every day, so they are comfortable and feel safe, so that they are not too nervous or on alert to actually go to the toilet.
Make sure you take some bags to clean up any leavings and stock up on dog treats, which are a great way of showing positive reinforcement when they do what you ask of them.
2. Wait for them to go to the toilet
You should aim to start the training just after they have eaten, especially if you know the normal time that your dog likes to have a pee. This will mean that you won’t have to stand around for too long waiting for them to go.
Once they have done a pee in the new place or potty spot, show them that you are happy with them by petting them, giving them treats and generally showing praise.
Clean up any mess left over and then take your dog home once they have fully relieved themselves.
3. Repeat the process
When you take your dog for their next walk, take them to the same new place and repeat the process. When they have gone to the toilet in the correct place and new potty spot, show them that you are happy with them and reward them.
If they go at home, show them that you are unhappy with them, but don’t overly scold them as this is just their natural instinct and not a purposeful choice to spite you.
Also, don’t scold them without showing them where you want them to go pee. Simply telling them that they have done something wrong may just teach them that you do not like them going to the toilet at all, which can cause major distress for them.
By taking them to the same new place at the same time every day you can make it part of your daily routine. Over the next new weeks your dog will learn that this is the place that they should go to the toilet and should hopefully put a stop to any accidents happening inside your house or in a place you don’t want them to pee.
If you want your dog to simply go outside to use the toilet, use the same process by taking them out into the back garden or yard at specific times every day.
Over the next few weeks of training, they will learn that the garden or new potty spot indoors is where they need to go to use the toilet. They will either use the doggy door or by alert you to their need to go outside.
You can also use this technique to train a dog to pee in one spot inside too.
Handy Hint: This can also work really well if your dog is peeing on your trees and causing damage to the bark. Here are other tips on saving your tree from dog pee you can also use.
How can I get my dog to pee on command?
While marking out a specific place for your dog to go to the toilet is useful for those with a daily routine, other dog owners have found another way of letting their dog know that they want them to go to the toilet.
This can be useful for training your dog to pee on command, rather than always sticking to them having to pee in a new place each time.
Accidents during the first few weeks of training, or for dog owners who aren’t able to set out a concrete daily routine or who take their dog frequently to new places, either as a traveller, frequent tourist or who like to move around a lot.
Teaching them a command to go pee is very similar to other kinds of command training, meaning that this should be relatively easy if your dog is already familiar with this form of training.
Set aside a command phrase that you can consistently say, such as ‘go potty’ or something along similar lines. When you take them outside to go to the toilet, watch for when they are about to relieve themselves (usually pacing back and forth or readying themselves, raising their leg (if they are a male) or squatting (if they are a female).
When they are finishing up, say the command phrase loudly so that they can hear it, and once they have fully finished show them verbal praise and rewards, including physical affection and treats.
If you use a clicker for training, use this in place of a verbal ‘yes!’ or ‘well done!’ as they will already identify the clicker as a positive.
Praise is a vital part of training, with dogs always happy to please their owners.
By showing them that you are happy with them, they will learn that the particular behavior they just performed is a good way of making you happy, meaning that they will be more likely to repeat it.
Handy Hint: If your dog has started to pee on clothes and stuff in the house, it could be the sign of a health or behavioral issue.
How long can a dog go without peeing?
Now you know how to get a dog to pee on a patio or in a new place of your choosing, you might need to consider another factor; can they keep it until that point?
We’re lucky, as we have a small dog door that Claude can come in and out of so he now always pees in the new place we trained him to – the concrete patio.
But you might not have that luxury due to the place where you live.
So, with that in mind, how long can your dog wait before needing to pee?
Like all animals, dogs need to go to the toilet a few times every day at around 6 to 8 hour intervals, depending on their size and bodyweight.
When they have been properly potty trained, they will learn to hold their bladders until they are taken outside, but sometimes your normal routine changes and will make you question how long your dog can hold their bladder for.
Perhaps you are on a road trip and need to know when to make potty stops to avoid unfortunate accidents, or maybe you got held up at work or in traffic and have missed your dog’s usual potty window.
Dogs who have been potty trained can usually hold their bladders for 10 to 15 hours, around 4 hours over the usual 6 to 8-hour window between their usual potty breaks.
However, forcing your dog to hold their pee for this long on a regular basis isn’t healthy and can lead to kidney and bladder problems, so it is recommended to keep your dog’s potty times consistent.
Handy Hint: Have you ever wondered why your dog smells like urine? It’s actually quite common and can be due to behavioral or health reasons.
I hope you’ve found this guide useful. After a few weeks you should be able to train your dog to pee in a new place. Whether that’s an indoor potty spot or perhaps getting them to pee on a patio or concrete.
The key is to stick with it. It did work for Claude and it should work for you too!