DoggieLawn: Training 101
Training Is Not Hard:
Get your dog to use the real grass by saying "Go Pee" and reward with praise and treats immediately upon success. We call this a "Pee-Reward Cycle." If you can get this to happen one time you can easily repeat the cycle, and a habit will be built. Don't be overwhelmed and focus only on one Pee-Reward Cycle for now.
Prepare Yourself For The Very First Use:
We've found that many dogs mark the DoggieLawn (pee on it) the very first time they smell it. Don't waste the first possible moment for a successful Pee-Reward Cycle.
The Three Ingredients Of The Pee-Reward Cycle:
1. A HIDDEN TREAT: It’s important to have the treat ready to be immediately given upon success, yet hidden so it does not distract.
2. A FULL BLADDER: Consider starting your training early in the morning so your pup’s bladder is full.
3. A “HOPELESS” DOGGIE: If your dog is hoping to be being taken on a walk they will hold it (continue reading for more on this).
What To Do If Your Pup Is Stubborn...
Set Aside a Day For Potty Training Your Dog:
Potty training a stubborn dog is not hard but it may be time consuming. Seeing results can easily take a few hours and for the most stubborn dogs, it can take up to a full day. Start the training process on a weekend and in the morning so your dog has a full bladder. Crate training schedules may also be useful in this process. Your persistence will pay off - be patient.
The Training Process:
Have a treat in your pocket and introduce your dog to the potty training grass mat saying “go pee.” Wait a minute or so and remove the dog if he or she does not pee. Supervise the dog for about 30 minutes to an hour to prevent an accident and keep repeating the process. (Wait for a shorter amount of time you have a puppy).
You want to do this as long as it takes. You need two things to happen: 1) Your dog’s bladder needs to be full. 2) Your dog needs to “give up” on the hope that you’ll break down and take them outside.
You can imagine that the items above, especially item “2,” can take many consecutive hours in some cases. Put differently, if your pup is stubborn you’ll need more than a casual hour for potty training your dog.
Marking The Unit Can Accelerate The Training Process:
Dogs strongly “defend” their territory when they smell another dog on the grass. They will eradicate the other dog’s scent by peeing (marking) over the same spot. Making the unit smell like another dog has been there is powerful and easy to do!
Simply wipe the actual scent of another dog on the potty training grass mat. Bring a slightly damp paper towel to a popular fire hydrant in your neighborhood, the dog park, or anywhere that you notice other dogs peeing. Dab the paper towel on the surface and place it in a plastic baggy to bring home where you will wipe/wring the scent onto the DoggieLawn. The urine of other mammals will also work (you’re a mammal by the way).
Another way to get the scent of another dog is by asking friends or neighbors who also have dogs for their help! Have them wad up a paper towel into a stick and put it under their dog's urine stream. Place the towel in a plastic bag and give it you so that you can then wipe it on the DoggieLawn (do not leave the towel on the grass).
Dogs Don't Hangout Where They "Go" and Don't "Go" Where They Hangout:
Don't feed your dog or let them relax on the potty training grass mat. You don’t want your pup to associate the DoggieLawn with lounging or eating. However, never scold your dog while on the potty training grass mat - just gently lead them off the unit. If your dog tries to eat or dig at the grass, gently dissuade that behavior and if it persists, contact us so we can give you more personalized advice and tips!
Remember, just start one Pee-Reward cycle at a time & the rest of the dog potty training will fall into place!