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Potty Space Outdoors

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Guest SCgrey

Hi there! I have been dying to adopt a greyhound since I saw a whole pack of them available at a county fair event when I was probably 10 years old. I am finally at a point in my life and in a house where I could be a good home for one.

 

I have a mostly paved or decked back yard area, and I would like to avoid it starting to smell of dog urine/poop when I've got the hound out there. Obviously it won't be the primary potty spot but I want to set up an area in my 'side yard' that will be the go to area.

 

The side yard is about 2 1/2-3 ft wide and 20 ft long, just a strip of wood-chipped area between the side of the house and a 5 ft fence. I am worried it might be too narrow to feel safe for a dog and I'm hoping maybe you all have experience/tips oh how to make it better. There's a surfboard/cover in the pic for now but it'll obviously be moved and I plan to clear out the plants.

 

Would putting down sod so some grass establishes help? Is it just too closed in for a greyhound to utilize it? And once I have a dog, are there things I can do to establish only that area as the potty area?

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It's going to depend on the dog. My boy doesn't like tight spaces like that and wouldn't even walk in there. Hounds will potty pretty much anywhere if you let them. You might try putting a traffic cone back there as a target if you have a male. Many of the tracks and farms use traffic cones in the turnout are to give them something to lift a leg on.

 

As far as smell, it is usually inevitable that you will get some smell in damp weather after a while, but it can be minimized. I use a Simple Green product to reduce and neutralize the odor that comes from under our artificial turf. There is a type of soft mulch called Hog Fuel that has less splinters than playground mulch. Some people here have it blown into their turnout area.


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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

 

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I agree that space looks a little tight, also think about the human that has to go in there to do pickups.... My boy would go in there to scout it out, but I'm not sure he'd prefer that space to do his business in if there is more of a yard available. This doesn't mean you can't train them if they have the right personality to go into an enclosed area like that but it doesn't seem ideal.....


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10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Guest SCgrey

It's going to depend on the dog. My boy doesn't like tight spaces like that and wouldn't even walk in there. Hounds will potty pretty much anywhere if you let them. You might try putting a traffic cone back there as a target if you have a male. Many of the tracks and farms use traffic cones in the turnout are to give them something to lift a leg on.

 

As far as smell, it is usually inevitable that you will get some smell in damp weather after a while, but it can be minimized. I use a Simple Green product to reduce and neutralize the odor that comes from under our artificial turf. There is a type of soft mulch called Hog Fuel that has less splinters than playground mulch. Some people here have it blown into their turnout area.

 

Thanks for the Simply Green tip, and the cone! I just don't want that overwhelming stale-urine-dried-on-concrete smell, I have a cat and fully understand the idea that a potty spot/litterbox will never smell like roses haha.

 

 

I agree that space looks a little tight, also think about the human that has to go in there to do pickups.... My boy would go in there to scout it out, but I'm not sure he'd prefer that space to do his business in if there is more of a yard available. This doesn't mean you can't train them if they have the right personality to go into an enclosed area like that but it doesn't seem ideal.....

 

I'd be the one doing the picking up, in fact that's my bedroom window above it! I am not anticipating this being a several-times-a-day spot because I want to do a lot of walks, but I don't want him/her to have nowhere desireable to go when we're in the back.

 

I wonder if those services that bring you a fresh square of grass every week or so would be a good alternative... Hmmm.

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I know someone that uses potty pads in her back yard because she doesn't want her dog to ruin her grass with pee. Seems to work, but she is picking them up each time and disposing of them. Kind of a pain in the rain.

'


Karen

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Guest SCgrey

I know someone that uses potty pads in her back yard because she doesn't want her dog to ruin her grass with pee. Seems to work, but she is picking them up each time and disposing of them. Kind of a pain in the rain.

'

 

That's an idea. I wouldn't mind the daily chore, but I try to be environmentally conscious and wouldn't want to create that much daily waste when I don't need to.

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Guest goofydog2

They do make reusable washable pee pads if that's a concern.

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You know that (most) male dogs, and some females too, lift their leg and pee on whatever they want, right? And that retired racers are generally comfortable letting it fly where ever they happen to be? I was shocked when I took George back to his old track for an event and he let it rip in an area I perceived as "indoors," but it was his home for three years, and he peed on concrete, inside--basically everywhere! What I'm trying to say is stop worrying about providing grass. They're probably used to other surfaces way before grass.

 

My current dog would not go into that tight little area for anything. And my concern, personally, would be that it looks very dark and like it will get very hot during the day, and looks like a prime place for snakes to sunbathe. I don't know where you live but I'm guessing perhaps California? Where there are some nasty snakes?

 

Is your yard fenced? Because if it is, I don't think there is any real worry. The dog will go when it has to go, whether it looks like a good spot to you or not!



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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest SCgrey

You know that (most) male dogs, and some females too, lift their leg and pee on whatever they want, right? And that retired racers are generally comfortable letting it fly where ever they happen to be? I was shocked when I took George back to his old track for an event and he let it rip in an area I perceived as "indoors," but it was his home for three years, and he peed on concrete, inside--basically everywhere! What I'm trying to say is stop worrying about providing grass. They're probably used to other surfaces way before grass.

 

My current dog would not go into that tight little area for anything. And my concern, personally, would be that it looks very dark and like it will get very hot during the day, and looks like a prime place for snakes to sunbathe. I don't know where you live but I'm guessing perhaps California? Where there are some nasty snakes?

 

Is your yard fenced? Because if it is, I don't think there is any real worry. The dog will go when it has to go, whether it looks like a good spot to you or not!

 

I'm in California, yes, though we don't have many snakes in this area. The side yard actually gets some sun in the morning and gets shade in the afternoon (took this pic at maybe 6pm), I'm sure it's chilly in the winter but it typically holds the ambient temp of the rest of the yard. I don't live in SoCal, I'm in the Bay Area so we don't really get 'too hot' around here thankfully!

My yard is small but has high fences, I just worry that because there are no permeable surfaces (just concrete and wood decking) that the mess and odors will build up over time. That's why I want to (hopefully) make this side area appealing for my hound so we both win!

I think I'll clear it out and put down dog-friendly mulch and see how my future hound feels about it, and add a target if it's a male. If it's not appealing, I'll build a large porch potty sort of thing somewhere more open or just use a watering can to urine and clean up after poop. Thanks!

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A smaller female may be somewhat more likely to consider your small side space, but there is a difference in 2.5' vs. 3'. If there is more room on the opposite side of house, your hound would appreciate more space to turn around, and feel less trapped, or box off part of the cement and fill with mulch.

 

We use tumbled playground fiber as a safer mulch for dogs' potty area. It doesn't splinter like other bark/mulch and has no dust. Available at professional landscape material supply businesses. We keep extra bags to replenish as needed. You're smart to avoid cocoa mulch, cocoa shells, redwood and others toxic to dogs.

 

I recommend escorting dogs outside in the yard while they're eliminating. It's important to watch them to ensure they fully eliminate while outside, check stool quality, urine color, etc. If dogs are being treated for parasites, it's important to pick up and discard the poop (with it's mulch) instantly before parasites have time to burrow into the ground, which can repeatedly reinfect dogs. (We pick up poop instantly to keep all hounds from stepping in/tracking poop, prevent smell, flies, parasites, etc.)

 

During walks/outings begin rewarding dog's eliminations instantly with a treat and a happy verbal cue: good b-i-g business, little business, pee-pee, poo-poo, or whatever. They can learn cue differences between pee vs. poop, which is very helpful through a dog's life.

 

It's fairly easy to teach dogs to eliminate in a certain place if they feel comfortable in the space.

Happily guide leashed dog to potty area when dog likely needs to eliminate, and happily say your potty cue word. Upon elimination, treat + happy praise party! Practice daily for dog to develop the location habit. It may only take a few days or week/s.

 

We use "K.O.E." Kennel Odor Eliminator which is environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

Works well on cement, bark, etc. (not for lawn grass/shrubs).

I've been using K.O.E. original scent for many years, but now prefer the new "fresh scent".

(I found an unopened bottle that was 16 years old, and it worked even better with age!)

http://www.entirelypets.com/koe-concentrate-fresh-scent-16-oz.html

Edited by 3greytjoys

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Monty wouldn't even venture into that narrow space, and even if he did, there's not a lot of room to turn and walk past any droppings without risking stepping in them. At least our two dogs aren't terribly concerned about ensuring they avoid their own poop. (Yuck!)

 

That said, there are also those of us that don't even have fenced areas so all pottying happens on walks. It did take Monty a while before he felt comfortable doing that, though, so just being proactive about picking up immediately and using even just a gallon or so of water with some baking soda dumped on the pee spots can help with urine stink. A dog will have his favored locations and pottying scenarios, so it will be a learning experience for everyone. :) Using treats for the 'proper' placement can help, and just trying to figure out your dog's preferences and trying to meet them part way can help. Even a location with sand could make cleanup easier, especially if things get soft.

 

(Our first dog, a nongrey, came to our house at nine years old and was absolutely adamant that poop and pee *NEVER* went on pavement or pavers, so things got difficult in winter when we'd have snow higher than her head and yet any shoveled areas were 'sidewalks' to her. She'd go bounding into deep snow and often get stuck, but no way was she going to use the partially-shoveled paths we'd created specifically for her use in our yard. What a character she was....)

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Ok - this is just MY opinion, but if that's the ONLY place for a dog to "go" - no. IMHO you need to leash-walk for outs. You dog will need the exercise anyway. I'm not a person that thinks leash-walking is always necessary. My dogs had a yard and used it. BUT - you don't have a yard. That space may be fine for the occasional emergency or middle of the night "out", but not as the every day norm. Sorry, but I just don't see that working. No offense, but you asked.

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Guest TomOfGreyhounds

1) If you want to control the smell, of feces... the diet will have much to with that, but you can also buy "Agricultural Lime" and dust the poop once the dog has gone potty. It disintegrates the waste

2)Space might be too cramped for your Greyhound, I have a fair sized yard, and Friday will go out and wee (in the morning & after work) there, but for potty, he needs to walk around the block to activate his bowels (unless he has missed a bowel movement), even in the rain... AND he does not like the rain

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Welcome in advance to the cult club. I agree with 3greytjoys' pea/poop training suggestions above. When you choose your verbal cue, consider what your neighbors will think when they overhear you enthusiastically encouraging or praising your hound. :) I know someone whose greyhound learned to use an outdoor dog potty made from pea gravel in a stand-up shower stall pan, simply by watching her shih tzu "sister" for a few days.

 

I also agree with your conclusions about the mulch. Even with some morning sun, that strip looks too shady for grass.


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Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Plenty of people have dogs who don't have yards (or have dogs who don't like to potty in the yard, at least #2 -- this was the case with my first greyhound). They walk them. You are going to have to walk your dog for exercise anyway and go to grassy fenced areas for off-leash running time, so.... That space looks awfully tight. And remember, most dogs are not just going to go in and immediately assume the position, unless they have to go really badly. They generally like to wander or trot around to find the perfect spot. That area will be tight for the dog even to turn around in -- remember these guys are not just tall but long!


With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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