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Cleaning Up After Your Dog

Cleaning up after your dog may not rank high on the list of dog owner’s favorite activities, but it is a very important task. Cleaning up after your dog reduces the likelihood that your dog, another dog, or even you will become sick from parasites in the dog waste. It also eliminates the odor of the dog waste and improves the appearance of yards and gardens. There are a variety of methods to employ and tools available to aid in cleaning up after your dog.

When cleaning up after your dog in your own yard, it is helpful to train him to eliminate in one particular, out of the way spot. As with any training, this will take time, patience, and consistency. One of the best methods is to leash your dog and walk him to the spot you want him to use. Choose a command that you will consistently use, such as “Do your business,” or something similar. Repeat this phrase until your dog eliminates, then praise him generously. If he attempts to urinate or defecate in other areas of the yard, give him a stern “No!” accompanied by a quick snap of the leash, then return to the designated area and prompt him to go there. When he successfully demonstrates willingness to go in this spot, try letting him off the leash (assuming, of course, that your yard is securely fenced) but monitor him carefully for a while. If he wanders into other areas and appears ready to eliminate, use a deterrent (such as loud noises or water) and redirect him to the designated spot. When he eliminates there, be sure to praise him. After he is finished, remove the solid waste promptly. Cleaning up after your dog and keeping his “potty area” clean will encourage him to keep using this spot. If the area becomes soiled and is not cleaned, he will seek other areas.