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Dog Training/Potty training puppy


We have a 7 yr old Golden Retriever Therapy Dog and a 4 month old Golden puppy, which we have had for 2 months. We have a deck with stairs that go down to the grassy yard, and a gate at the bottom of the deck. We have been closing the gate to leave them in the grass about 95% of the time to get the puppy to continue using the grass to poop and pee. When we occasionally let them up on the deck, the puppy still has accidents, even though she is used to going in the grass. We have tried spraying the deck with vinegar, ammonia, dog repellents, but nothing has worked. How can we correct this, will she outgrow having accidents on the deck, what can we do??? Please help ASAP with suggestions as we are very frustrated. Thank you!

Thanks for your email, Beth. The best thing you can do is monitor. Don't allow the puppy on the deck for ANY length of time unattended.  When you are on the deck with her, watch for her to sniff in those areas where she's gone before.  Interrupt and take her to the grass.

It's pretty much like training not to go in the house.  You wouldn't allow the pup to have freedom in the house to potty anywhere she likes, so consider the deck an extension of the house.

You won't be able to get the smell out of the deck entirely, but try an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle.  

Once you've gone 3 weeks without any accidents on the deck, I would give her a bit more freedom.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Good luck!

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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