How to Build an Outdoor Dog Potty Area

Save Your Grass – Build a Dog Potty Areadog potty area

Are you tired of urine burned backyard grass? Do you wish you could train your dog to go potty in a designated area? Then this weekend, build yourself an outdoor dog potty area. It’s easy!

You will need:

  • 2 inch by 6 inch boards cut to size
  • fiberglass screen (found at hardware store) cut to size for two layers of stone
  • sand pebbles*
  • pea gravel
  • shovel
  • a good back (those bags of stone get heavy)

*NOTE: Many people have told me that sand pebbles have been hard to find. You can use other stones such as small river rock or lucky stones. The idea is to choose a larger rock than the size of your pea gravel for the base layer just to ensure a nice filtered drainage. The pea gravel top is there because it won’t hurt the dog’s paws like larger stones would yet still provide drainage.

Select the Area: Select an area to excavate and call the utility company to make sure the utilities are not where you plan to dig. Next, determine your size. My dog potty area measures 10 feet by 5 1/2 feet and is located by the garbage cans outside of my garage door. Very convenient.

Use Stone for Proper Drainage: A dog potty area will contain a lot of urine in a very small area. Therefore, especially in areas where soil is clay, drainage is a necessity. We built our dog potty area using rock and gravel so that it can be hosed off easily and provide proper drainage.

Building the Frame: A frame is necessary to contain the stone. We purchased long 2 inch by 6 inch boards, cut them to size and secured them with 4 or 5 inch lag screws. We built the frame in the garage and moved it to the designated area. Looking back, it would have been easier and we would have seen the sprinkler head if we would have built the frame on site.

Fiberglass Screen:  Measure your dog potty area and take the measurements to your hardware store. You will need two layers of screen (one to cover the excavated soil and the other to separate the sand pebbles from the pea gravel). The screen varies in width so have the hardware specialist calculate your need and cut it for you.

Sand Pebbles: Sand pebbles can be purchased by the bag at your local gardening center. They are sold in half cubic feet bags. For our 10 feet by 5 1/2 feet dog potty, we used 24 bags of sand pebbles which made the first layer about 2 to 3 inches thick. Sand pebbles are a good first layer as they are large and will provide proper drainage.

Pea Gravel: Pea Gravel can also be purchased by the bag at your local gardening center. They, too are sold in half cubic feet bags. We used 12 bags of pea gravel as the top layer of the dog potty area.

Let’s Begin:

Excavate the area by skimming off the grass and first layer of topsoil. We dug in an area where there were a lot of gas lines and cable, so we only went down about an 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Haul the removed topsoil to another area of the garden and prepare to lay the first layer of fiberglass screen.

build a dog potty area

Hmm…it looks like we left a little grass under the screen. No problem. The grass (we hope) will be suffocated by layers and layers of rock. We used fiberglass screen instead of landscape fabric because we were afraid landscape fabric would hold the urine odor. Fiberglass screen is flexible like landscape fabric and the holes discourage weeds while letting liquid drain through. When the first layer of landscape fabric was down, we added 12 bags of sand pebbles.

build a dog potty area

Twelve bags covered all the fiberglass screen, but we decided to double it to make the sand pebbles about 1 1/2 inches thick.

dog potty area

Almost…

build a dog potty area

There, now doesn’t that look better? Notice how we notched out the potty area’s frame near the sidewalk where during excavation we ran into a hidden sprinkler head. The positioning of the sprinkler head seemed less than ideal until we realized that it will hose down the potty area. Now that’s a happy accident!

build your own dog potty area

When we had dumped twenty four bags of sand pebbles over the first layer of fiberglass screen, we put down the second layer of screening.

build your own dog potty area

You can see that there is about 1 1/2 inches of area left before the top of the frame. After the second layer of fiberglass screen was laid, it was time for the pea gravel.

build a dog potty area

We used 12 bags of pea gravel to cover the second layer of fiberglass screening. In the end, I thought it was just the right height for the frame.

pea gravel potty area

My golden retriever, Sydney, was the first to try it out. She doesn’t look very thrilled, but who does when the using the facilities. Anyway, after a little coaxing and a lot of sniffing, the other two retrievers used it, too.

dog potty area

I dressed up the area with a little doggy sign. I thought it was a nice touch, but something was still missing.

dog potty area

So I added some daylilies to brighten it up and hide the doggy litter box from the street.

dog potty area

So there you have it. Finished! This is definitely a weekend project and aside from hauling the heavy bags of rock, pretty easy to do. It was worth all the effort and will be especially convenient when it rains. No more standing in the middle of the burnt out backyard waiting for the dogs to finish their business and hopefully, there will be a lot less dirt on the paws and in my house!

Does your dog have a special potty area? Let us know!

UPDATE: One year later and aside from the closed blooms on the day lilly and my exchange of the wooden decorative fence for a dog flower pot, the area has survived a harsh Great Lakes winter and looks very much the same.

outdoor dog potty

Two Years Later: Added daylillies on the left side. Still looks great. Only problem is the fiberglass screening edges occasionally surfacing. It helped when I added more pea gravel. I”ll have to top it off each year.

Welcomepup.com dog potty area

 

A Note Regarding Odor: Since my post, many of you have asked about odor. I haven’t smelled any offensive odor, but so as not to discourage people from creating their own dog potty, I found a product that will set your mind at ease. It’s called Simple Green and I bought it at Petco. The bottle said: “Simple Green Outdoor Pet Odor Eliminator neutralizes and eliminates odors in outdoor spaces. Odor eliminator quickly removes pet urine, stool and vomit odors. The multipurpose formula is ideal for the patio, deck, dog run, artificial turf and yard. Simple Green Outdoor Pet Odor Eliminator is completely safe for use around children, pets and landscaping. Simply connect your hose to the nozzle and spray area.” I did exactly that. It was very easy to attach to my garden hose and has a nice smell. Now, just for good measure, I’ll spray off the pea gravel potty area seasonally. Enjoy your dog potty area!

Simple-Green

A Note Regarding Training Your Dog to Go Potty in This Area: If there is a dog alive that would rather go potty on pea gravel than soft green grass, I’ve never met them. I have three retriever pets and also raise service dogs and one of the commands we teach them is to potty on command, necessary for a person in a wheelchair who must handle the dog. Is it easy? No! We start them off when they’re young puppies. We take them on leash to the area where we want them to potty and wait. When they go we praise them and give them a treat. When they get the hang of it, we introduce a name to the command. Name it what you want. For clarity, I’ll call the command “potty”. Take them on leash to the potty area, say “potty” and wait. Don’t repeat the command, just wait. If they don’t go in a reasonable amount of time, take them back into the house. Don’t let them roam outside and sniff. They need to get the job done. If you have a crate, use that. Wait 15 minutes or so and take them out on leash again. Say “potty” and wait. When they go, praise and treat treat treat! My dogs know where they’re supposed to go, but there’s no way that I trust them to do it voluntarily. The only reason a dog would choose to pee on pea gravel versus soft grass is to please YOU! And when they do decide to please you, treat them! This takes patience, consistency and a willingness to not let them sniff and wander. Instead give them a reasonable amount of time to potty and if they don’t, then back inside. Try again a little later. Going potty on command in the spot is the goal. When they complete the task, they get to play–off leash if your yard has a fence. Hooray! I hope that helps. Remember, the purpose of the dog potty is to keep your grass green. By taking your dog to the potty area on leash first before play ensures this. If your dog LOVES to go potty there and will go on its own, well that’s a bonus but not an expected one. Good luck!

YOUR SUCCESSES!

I’d love to post all your successful projects. Three people have sent in photos so far. If you’d like your project posted, send your photo via Twitter @WelcomePup or at welcomepup@gmail.com. Here’s to green grass!

Beautiful job! Photo courtesy of Kim S.

Beautiful job! Photo courtesy of Kim S.

Very clean design with stairs - Photo courtesy of @wheatmonkeys

Very clean design with stairs! Photo courtesy of @wheatmonkeys

Classy design with a stepping stone approach. Photo courtesy of Mauricio.

Classy design with a stepping stone approach. Photo courtesy of Mauricio.

dog potty area

Great job from S.L. who stapled the fiberglass screening to the wood frame and put an x-pen on top to get his pup used to the area. Great idea!

 

296 thoughts on “How to Build an Outdoor Dog Potty Area

  1. We couldn’t get our pup to stop playing in the pea gravel! He loved to play in it, rather than do what he was supposed to. So we covered it with fake grass, and now he’s getting the hang of it. We still have the advantage of the drainage because of all the rock underneath, and it is very easy to clean up! The next project is the doggy septic system!

  2. I’m not quite sure I understand the question,but I’m currently raising a puppy and she’s using the dog potty just fine. Take your dog out on leash. If the dog has to go, it will go quickly. If not, take the dog in and watch for signs that it has to go and try again. You have to take your dog out on a leash to use the dog potty. Once they get the idea, they still may have to be led their on leash. If unleashed and given the choice, most dogs prefer the grass–that’s why they burn it out. Your dog may never prefer the dog potty to grass if they are off leash. The dog potty was made to save your grass. It was not offered as a guarantee that your dog will learn to use it off leash. I hope that helps.

  3. I’m raising a puppy now and she occasionally grabs a pea. She is more interested now in the leaves that have fallen in the dog potty area and the pine needles. When she does look for peas I say, “No!” and give her a leash correction. Brilliant idea with the piece of fake grass that you can eventually relocate or eliminate. BRAVO! Let us know how that septic system goes.

  4. I’ve been considering a “litter box” for our dog for some time. This is great. But I’m curious if you’ve had any issues with the way a dog digs and scratches the ground after pooping. Our dog is somewhat enthusiastic about it, and I worry would pretty quickly tear up the screen and throw the gravel all over the yard. Thoughts? Thanks.

  5. Hi Brian!
    The purpose of the dog potty is to prevent urine burn to the grass. My four dogs use it to pee only. I have all girls and one of my girls kicks her legs after pooping. That would definitely spray the gravel. I let them poop on the grass, bag it and toss it in the trash. The goal is to keep the grass green. Good luck on your project!

  6. Can sand be used instead of pea gravel? I would think dogs would like the feel of this better.

  7. They would like the feel of sand better. But the reason I didn’t use sand is that I remembered what it smelled like when it was wet. Now add sand saturated with urine. I remembered how water pooled on it and didn’t sink in. Now imagine that’s urine. The clean drainage of pea gravel cannot compare. Rain can wash the pea gravel clean, but what will it do with sand? Now imagine your dog’s paws covered with urine saturated sand and carrying that in your house? No, I’ll stick to pea gravel. They go on it to pee and get off it. It shouldn’t hurt their paws that much. If you try sand, however, let us know how it goes.

  8. Hello Marvin:
    This project was done two years ago and I don’t remember what it cost. The cost of materials has probably increased. The cost is also determined by the size of your outdoor potty. I would suggest you figure out how large you want the potty to be (judge by the size of your dog and his or her pacing back and forth) and take that and the list of materials to your nearest home improvement center for an estimate.
    Materials:
    2 inch by 6 inch boards cut to size
    fiberglass screen (found at hardware store) cut to size for two layers of stone
    sand pebbles*
    pea gravel
    shovel

    I have no cost for the labor, either as we installed it ourselves.

    Good luck on your project!

  9. Hi Bonnie–first, thank you for this informative thread!! Thank you even more for sticking with it for years. Question–you mentioned that you allow the dogs to poop in the grass. Based on your method for teaching them to go on command, how do you teach them to use the area only to pee?

  10. I have male dogs that kick like crazy, but relieve themselves on command, we have therapy service dogs… I have high sides, I had to keep raising them until they contained the pea gravel, but it is definitely saving the yard from their “covering kick” after going. Thanks…

  11. I have a sand area beside the house and have experienced odor and wetness after rain. I also have concrete adjoining it. What I’ve done is replace the sand and put the used in a bag for disposal. I was thinking kitty liter. That was just recently, so I don’t have a follow up for that. My dog poops on both surfaces and I clean the area with a hose. I will look into the simple green for odor and talk my husband into the mini septic tank. Thanks for the info!

  12. I love this idea. I have 4 small dogs (20, and 3 10 pounders). One male, who conveniently uses what ever is standing to pee on. Girls all do their own thing. My yard is completely ruined and I was dreaming of just this type of area. I am so grateful to have found this site. Thank you. When the mention of “mini septic” was posted, I wondered if this was one of those garbage can lid things that sit in the ground with an open can container under the lid. You dig a hole and sprinkle enzymes(?) in it, and pick up the poops and put them inside. Is that what you are talking about? I had one of those and they don’t really work very well for large dogs, but I’ll bet they work just fine for smaller ones. Do you have to empty them, or are they supposed to just go away into the soil? Do you need a leaching field like a big septic tank has? Fill in here, if you can. Thank you.

  13. how does it handle if you are not doing it over soil. I have all pavers in my back yard thanks to the husband who thought that, that would be better to clean. now I have three dogs pooping all over the place and peeing on the side of the house. I’d like to build this but how is the drainage managed if it’s a paved area. I’m thinking the odor would remain there since there’s no where for anything to drain too?

  14. Hi Mariana!
    I would not do this project over cement or pavers. The whole idea revolves around urine and drainage. The urine is dispersed over the rocks and finally into the soil. Doing this project over pavers wouldn’t accomplish a thing. It would be the same as if the dogs urinated directly on the pavement. At least then you could rinse it off. Sorry.

  15. Hi Laura!
    I estimated the length and width of my dog potty by taking note of how much space my golden retriever used when she went back and forth and back and forth before going potty as I stood in one place with a the dog attached to a 6 foot leash. That was her comfortable pace and I used that measurement. It will vary from dog to dog, especially the small ones. They may not need a large area at all. Good luck with your project!

  16. Kitty litter and sand are not the way to go!

    We have 3 German Shepherds and 1 Shih Tzu. They are all \”litter box\” trained. I failed to do research and just build a 4×4 litter box and filled it with kitty litter .. taught our 1st shepherd to go there .. and it was a piece of cake.

    Then we got more dogs .. and the area had to grow .. so we made it 4×20 and used sand instead (they were scratching a lot and it was because of the litter) .. the scratching subsided, but the smell was still overwhelming .. not to mention when it rained … it smelled worse and it was like mud on their paws that they tracked inside ..thankfully we don\’t have any carpet.

    When we moved, i created a new area for them .. with artificial grass. Also not a good idea. It gets too hot for their paws in the summer (we get 115 degree weather) and we had to install sprinklers so we could wet it prior to. Again .. the smell is horrendous and we even rinse it out at least 2x a week with pine sol and the hose!

    Next week we are going to pull it all up and try the river rock and pea gravel. This looks like a great idea!!

  17. Hi Christelle!
    Thanks for your input on dog potty area materials. This is the third year for using the dog potty area for four retrievers. Each year I throw down a couple of bags of new pea gravel (it seems to compact) and I wonder if I really needed to use the fiberglass screening (it probably helps the pea gravel not clog the larger stone and is good for drainage, but the seams like to surface, thus more pea gravel to bury them). Get creative and send us a picture of your final product. I’ll post it hear. Remember, if you ever get an odor (and I don’t unless it rains and is a certain temperature) use the Simple Green odor eliminator for dog kennels shown in the article. It has a pleasant odor and is eco-friendly and will not harm the pups. Enjoy your green grass!

  18. It\\’s a beautiful idea! I have been thinking about doing something similar. You have mentioned that sand is a problem. I was actually considering a sort of leach bed idea with sand gravel (or similar), Pea gravel and then a top of sand (using screen between layers of course). With sand over soil it would be a problem since it would compact and be difficult for the sand to get a proper rinse. I was hoping that putting the sand over gravel would allow for a nice cleaning whether by the rain or a hose. Your opinion would be much appreciated :)

  19. Hi Sheila!
    I avoid sand at all costs because wet sand smells. I remember my son’s sandbox after a rain. Pew! Add urine to that smell and I don’t know if I could take it. This is your call.

  20. We live in Arizona. I\\’ve tried the fake grass for my dogs, and the smell was horrible. I would spend hours trying to get the smell out, to no avail. I like this idea, but I\\’m concerned about the AZ summer heat on the rocks burning the dogs\\’ feet. Has anyone tried this in extremely hot climates? I am about to start landscaping our back yard, and I like this idea for the dogs, but I\\’ve been looking for a cool option for them.

  21. To avoid flies and smelly trash cans I keep a medium sized bucket lined with a trash bag. I use a larger 5 gallon bucket upside down to cover it. This is loose enough to avoid touching nasty sealed containers but still eliminate odors and flies while keeping rain out. If poop is bagged before going in there, all the better. The smelly trash bag doesn’t go in the curb container until pickup day

  22. I love this project idea and have been thinking of doing something similar. Will this work for dogs to go do a poop as well? I have 2 large 100 lb American Bulldogs and the piles that they leave are ….let\’s just say I could use a backhoe to keep it all scooped up! Any tips on building a complete potty area that\’s easy to maintain?

  23. Yes, you can use this dog potty for both pee and poop. Just pick up the piles with a poop bag, tie and dispose in trash can. You’ll pick up some pea gravel, but not much if you pick it up with a poop bag immediately. Have them do their business on leash and let them run free afterwards if you have a fenced in yard. Remember, you have to train them on leash or they’ll choose to go elsewhere. Good luck with your project!

  24. Thank you for putting together this article! We’re going to try building our own.

  25. MY WIFE DOESN’T WANT TO USE GRAVEL AND WANTS TO USE DIRT AND MULCH. ANY SUGGESTIONS??

  26. Sure, you can use dirt and mulch, but why go through all the trouble of building a box? Just have them do their business on an existing mulch bed. Of course you can build a box on the soil and fill it with mulch, but remember that if your soil is clay, the urine may not drain and wood retains odor. You will eventually have to replace the mulch. Also mulch, unless you use wood chips, will stick to their fur when they squat. If you decide on wood chips instead, they can be sharp on dogs’ paws. You can hose the mulched area if you wish, but you can’t do it much before the mulch floats. And after much use you won’t get rid of the smell. The beauty of stones is they are non-porous and wash clean. That’s why I also don’t suggest using sand. Wet sand smells to begin with. Add urine and phew! Good luck with your decision and your project! Let us know how it all turns out.

  27. Hi we are building a pea gravel area in our backyard. Our 2 dogs loved peeing and pooping on the grass so we decided to cover it with gravel. My question is..Is it OK to use the weed fabric instead of the fiberglass screen in between the grass and gravel?

  28. The grass is going to grow up through the pea gravel unless you remove the grass in the area you were going to use. The purpose of the fiberglass screen was to keep the pea gravel from filling in the drainage holes left in the larger rocks beneath it. I like the fiberglass screening because it does that and also doesn’t hold the urine smell. I don’t like the fiberglass screen because it comes in a narrow roll and I had to have seams instead of one nice layer of screen. The edges of the fiberglass screen are raising and I’m to the point where I’m ready to take it out. I think I’ll be okay with just rock on rock. In your case, it sounds like you are just pouring pea gravel over grass. If you did use fiberglass screen, the grass would grow through it. If you use weed fabric, you’ll kill the grass and prevent the weeds but it is fabric and will retain the urine odor. You won’t like that. The rain won’t get the smell out because it’ll be absorbed in the fabric. I’d go with no screening before I’d use a fabric. Mulch will retain the urine odor, too. The pea gravel can be hosed clean and any smell that remains can be dealt with using Simply Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator. Also, the layers of rock were to disperse the urine so that a large amount isn’t pooling in one area, making it hard to absorb into the soil–especially clay soil. Good luck with your project.

  29. Do not do mulch. We had two Great Danes and I previously made an area with mulch. It stunk something awful and I had to replace it often with wheelbarrow. Don\\’t do it!

  30. Thank you, Aaron!

    Everyone listen to Aaron. He’s warning you. Do not use mulch. You’ll never get the stink out. Do not use landscape fabric underneath the stones, either. You’ll never get the stink out. And above all, do not use sand! Just smell your child’s sandbox after a rain. Now add urine. Awful!

  31. Thank you so muchf for this article! We are getting ready to move to a new house without a fenced dog area, and I was worried about my dog ruining my grass. Now I know what I’m going to do!

  32. Hi Andrea!
    Yay!
    Good luck with your project! If you post or email a photo to us, we’ll put it on the blog!

  33. Hello,

    Thank you for the article. We\\’ve had our Cavapoo pup now for 2 weeks and decided to put in the rock bed a few days ago. We taught our pup to go in the grass for pee and poop on a leash with few accidents inside the house. Now that we have the rock bed, we carry her there but continues to pull us to the grassy area. She has peed on the rocks 1st thing in the morning but continues to pull us to the grassy area every other time. One time since she did not pee on the rocks I picked her up and brought her in the house. Few minutes later she squats and peed on the kitchen floor! Don\\’t want to confuse her, how should we handle this?? Thanks, Paula

  34. From what you told me, I understand that you have a new puppy and you’ve had her for 2 weeks. You trained her to pee and poop on leash in the grass with few accidents in the house. So she’s not housebroken yet. Now, you’ve introduced a rock bed and are training her to go pee and poop there instead. Yes, you confused her. Don’t beat yourself up. You just have to retrain her to go on the rocks, not the grass, and be consistent about it.

    She had to go potty but didn’t go potty on the rocks because either she thought she was supposed to go on the grass or because she didn’t want to. Then she went into the house and peed because she isn’t completely housebroken yet and she really had to go. I suggest you crate her when she refuses to go on the rocks. She will more than likely not pee in the crate if it’s small enough. Wait 5 minutes and take her out again. If she won’t go on the rocks, put her in the crate. Wait 5 minutes and take her out again.

    This project takes consistent training on your part. All dogs would rather pee on the grass. If you don’t want her to pee on the grass, don’t let her pull you towards it. She may be stubborn, but you have her on leash and if she has to go she will eventually go. The rock bed will save your grass outside. The crate will save your floors inside. Don’t let her roam around the house until she’s gone potty outside. Then roaming free will be a reward. Good luck with your training!

  35. Hi Bonnie, Thank you for your help! It can be a little difficult as we don’t have the time on the weekdays to go back and forth with her to put her in the crate every time she doesn’t go on the rocks. Also don’t want her to think the crate is punishment, since this is where she sleeps.

    Thanks, Paula

  36. Thanks so much for this article! I can\\\’t wait to try it. Our dog Molly an Old English Sheepdog is almost 13 and unable to use her back legs to walk. She isn\\\’t in any pain and still so loving and alert so we just can\\\’t have her put down. We have a wheel chair for her but it takes to much time to attach her to it to take her outside so we lift her back legs to take her out to go potty. She can\\\’t go far so she has been peeing in the rocks at the end of our patio. I think the rocks have a clay dirt mixed in between and possibly landscape fabric underneath so I know it is not draining properly. I pore clorox on it and rinse with water but the smell just doesn\\\’t leave. It is snowing right now (Colorado Spring) but as soon as we thaw out I will be going to the Sand & Gravel store and hardware and start the project. Also to Petco for that odor eliminator. Again, thank you so much for sharing your plans.

  37. Thanks, Judy!
    Remember, if it smells try Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator. Attach the bottle to your garden hose and spray away! So much easier. Right?

  38. Thank you so much on this great idea for the dog potty, we are going to build one for our chichi.

  39. Hi
    I really want to do this for my Dog but I live in the UK can\’t seem to find fiberglass screen anywhere what could I use? Also how big are the sand pebbles?

  40. I’ve actually been thinking of doing something like this in our yard. I have three rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds (we had five, but lost one last year and then my senior girl just this past week). I do plan on adopting another one, and eventually possibly even fostering another dog, which would bring us back up to five. You can imagine just how much time I spend picking up after the dogs, and of course, we have to worry about the grass getting burned out (especially by the girls). One thing I think would be fun to add is a plastic fire hydrant for the boys. Any suggestions on ways to encourage the dogs to use the area? I wonder if they sell a spray or anything that would attract them to the area.

  41. Hi Emma!
    I’m convinced that you can do this without the fiberglass screen. I had to piece my fiberglass screen because my area is so large. Some of the fiberglass screen seams are rising to the surface and instead on constantly covering them again, I cut the screen off that surfaced. Guess what? It still works fine. The screen idea was mainly to find a non-porous barrier between the lower layer of rock and the pea gravel so that the pea gravel didn’t pack into the larger stone and block the holes that eould allow drainage for the urine to eventually reach the soil beneath. Well it still drains so the pea gravel must not block the larger rock. There must still be crevices where the urine is able to seep down into the rock. Yay! So if you can’t find the fiberglass screen, just make sure you use rock on the bottom layer that is larger than pea gravel. 1″ stones or larger would be great. Oh, and don’t forget to remove any grass in the area before you put down the first layer of rock. Don’t just put rock on top of grass. The grass will grow through and that will be a mess. Good luck on your project!

  42. Unfortunately, dogs will always rather pee on grass. That’s why you send them out on a leash and wait until they use the area. But I was thinking, I don’t have males but if they need incentive and they like to go on trees, couldn’t you put a fake tree or shrub in the ground and surround it with the stones? Or a plastic or metal fake fire hydrant? Or whatever they usually prefer to pee on? Just an idea. Be creative! Send us pictures when you’ve completed it! Good luck with your project!

  43. Hi thank you for your article and photos
    We completed this yesterday and was looking forward to
    6 am today !!! No luck. He sat in the pea gravel. Granted he is 10 month old lab and do we have to do some retraining! We did this 25 years ago for a lab snd a bichon and can\\’t remember how we trained them but it worked like a charm. We will persist !
    Is there anything on the market to attract ie urine odor spray ???

  44. Hi Marilyn:

    I have 4 dogs. One is an 8 month old lab that has been using the dog potty to urinate on since its been 8 weeks old. There is a way to attract your dog to the area. Put its next stool on the pea gravel and don’t remove it until it goes poop there. It’ll get the idea. Also, first thing in the morning, take your dog out on leash and have it go potty in the pea gravel. Don’t go in until it does. There. Instant odor and it’s free! Be persistent and remember “on leash!” They’d much rather go on the grass. Good luck!

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