Teach your dog to use a “Potty Pole”

By Cinthia | May 29th, 2015

Spot on Potty Training for Dogs | KATU.com

Check out Cinthia and Nicole’s most recent AM Northwest about teaching your dog to use a “Potty Pole”!

  • After deciding on an area of the yard, you will need some kind of “potty pole”. Examples include some made of metal pipe, PVC, some may be a special gravel patch, etc.
  • Then, stick the pipe in the middle of the appropriate area where you are going to train the dog to urinate.
  • Lace the pole with animal lure. We showed fox and coyote lure today and you can purchase other canine lures in most sportsman’s stores or on line. When dogs smell other dogs’ urine, this stimulates them to mark and urinate too, usually over or near the other dog’s urine.
  • When placing lure on your pee pole, be conservative (1-2 drops) as it is strong. You can also try diluting the lure with alcohol, and when placing the lure on the pole, put it near the ground where it can easily be sniffed.
  • Be careful not to get the lure on your hands or clothing. Once the lure is in place, then you can start the training.

Training the Behavior:

  • We recommend keeping your dog on a leash for initial training.
  • Have treats in your pocket and ready to go (soft and stinky treats work best). Set your dog up for success.
  • Take them outside when you know they normally have to go to the bathroom like first thing in the morning, right after you get home from work or before you go to bed.
  • Walk your dog toward the area where the pole is placed and tell your dog to “Go Potty”.
  • Once the dog begins sniffing the lure, he will be motivated to urinate in the same spot. Let your dog urinate until they finish and then reinforce with a hidden dog treat from your pocket.
  • Allow them to finish before reinforcing as dogs can close the muscle that controls the urine stream, and can stop peeing voluntarily.


  • To make this a successful program, the owner will need to place lure on the pole once a day until the dog is consistently peeing on the pole on cue (go potty).
  • You can try them off leash once they are showing consistency with this behavior. But, remain present so you can monitor them and still reinforce with words (Good dog!) and occasionally still offer treats.
  • Also, switch the type of lure you are using so that the stimulatory effects of the lure stay interesting and novel.
  • You can also move the pole to a different location in the yard.