Please, don't pee on the azaleas!
July 13, 2009 7:00 PM   Subscribe

How do I keep my dogs from peeing on the concrete?

So we just bought and moved into a new house (hooray!). For the first time since I've had my dogs (about 8 years), we have a beautiful and quite large yard for them. Problem is, between the back door and the actual grass is a large concrete area, leading to a small slate paved area. There are flower beds with border grass, azalea bushes, and assorted landscaping along the patio-type area. So far, every time I let the dogs outside, my male dog runs outside and pees on the first green thing he encounters, which results in a large puddle of dog pee on the concrete. I can see that this is quickly going to result in a stinky patio. The female is doing marginally better, but I've caught her peeing on the slate tile a time or two as well.

Now, we've only been in the house since Saturday. So far my plan of attack has been to run outside with the dogs and try to yell "No!" when I see one of them peeing in the non-grass, along with praising when I see them pee in the grass. It's not working at all. I am fairly dog savvy, but I admit, I'm totally stumped as to how to keep the dogs from doing this.

Additional information: the dogs are a nine and eight year old male and female doberman, respectively. They are spayed/neutered, and are indoor dogs. I've always lived in homes where the back door basically opened into grass, so they are not used to having a 'patio'.

Is there a special trick to preventing a dog from peeing on concrete? Should I just keep going with the "No" and the positive reinforcement for peeing in grass?
posted by tryniti to Pets & Animals (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My mother recently had a similar problem getting her dog to use the backyard after a move. Her idea was to have one of the neighbour's dogs come to pee in the area she wanted, and set off the "territorial" aspect of peeing in his head. I was skeptical, but she says it worked like a charm. Might be worth a try anyway!
posted by sunshinesky at 7:05 PM on July 13, 2009 [3 favorites]

how about putting the dogs on a leash when you take them out... and making sure they don't stop on the patio? Walk them quickly and confidently to the grass... I don't think it will take long to establish a new spot.

I'm guessing that letting them out not on the leash will not work... they've already established a spot to pee...
posted by HuronBob at 7:10 PM on July 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could try leading them out onto the grass instead of just letting them out. In a few tries they may establish a new pee spot. I had a mini-dachshund that would pee on the patio in his old age, so I carried him to the spot where I wanted him to go. He did catch on.

We found we could clean the patio with bleach and water so it didn't smell. And/or try something like Nature's Miracle to erase the odor from the concrete.
posted by lazydog at 7:11 PM on July 13, 2009

Best answer: Yeah, I think you're going to need to do a bit of re-training.

Use white vinegar (or Nature's Miracle—whatever you've found effective) to cancel the pee-scent wherever you don't want them to pee.

Well before their bladders are bursting, leash them and walk them out to where you do want them to go.

They'll figure it out fast.
posted by dogrose at 7:24 PM on July 13, 2009

Yeah, its definitely retraining time.
posted by JIMBOND27 at 7:27 PM on July 13, 2009

Our most recent addition is a dog we rescued, whose previous situation was being chained up on a gravel lot. She didn't seem to understand the concept of peeing on grass when we first got her --- she would squat on the concrete as soon as she got outside.

Within a few weeks, however, she got with the program and now does her business in more appropriate places.

I would give it some time --- I don't think there's any need for coercion here. And I don't think you need to worry about a "stinky patio."
posted by jayder at 7:28 PM on July 13, 2009

Best answer: Until the problem is fixed, follow the routine my trainer recommended for a similar problem:

1. Establish a potty area in the backyard. Using mulch works great since dogs are attracted to mulch.

2. When it's time for the dog to go potty (after sleeping, exercise, in the morning or before bed) lead the dog on a leash to the potty area.

3. Give them a small food treat just for coming to the potty area.

4. Start chanting "go potty" or something similar

5. When they do their business in the potty area give them a treat immediately after they finish (do not wait until back in the house; that's too long).

If you follow this consistently, my trainer says that the dog will potty in his potty area after a full weekend of this routine.
posted by bananafish at 8:01 PM on July 13, 2009

N'thing everyone's advice. Retraining is necessary.....


Devil's Advocate data point: Be careful what you wish for. Dog urine is not conducive to a healthy lawn. If you are a "lawn guy", a dog peeing on concrete (which can be hosed down) might be careful. If the condition of your lawn is unimportant to you, by all means, let your dogs "fire away".
posted by PsuDab93 at 6:40 AM on July 14, 2009

Seconds on using bleach and/or vinegar (experiment in other words) to put them "off the scent" when looking for the closest pee-spot.

I had a similar problem and used alternate bleach or vinegar to clean it up and get rid of the smell which was drawing flies. The great side-effect is that my boy didn't want to pee on those spots anymore. I think he disliked the strong smell. :-)

On the other hand, I wouldn't do either bleach or vinegar long term 'cause of we don't want them in our ground-water....
posted by pocketlama at 7:30 AM on July 14, 2009

No!! Not bleach!!! Bleach + Ammonia = badbadbad
posted by sunshinesky at 9:07 AM on July 14, 2009

« Older Unemployment Benefits and Turning Down a Job Offer   |   A delicious way to die Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.