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How to Potty Train Older Dogs to Use Fresh Patch

How to Potty Train Older Dogs to Use Fresh Patch

For many dog owners, training older dogs to use REAL GRASS from Fresh Patch or a designated potty area can be a rewarding yet challenging process. Each dog comes with its own set of habits, preferences, and even limitations. Here, we delve into the experiences of two dog owners. Both of whom work at Fresh Patch, and how they navigated potty training older dogs, Oakley and Jasper. 

Oakley's Story: From Senior Rescue to Pawject Manager

Oakley is a 7-year-old Shepherd mix and a seasoned canine companion who learned how to use Fresh Patch in under 2 weeks! He moved from foster home to foster home but found his furever home with our Fresh Patch employee and recently transitioned into living in a new apartment. Here's how his owner facilitated his potty training:


  1. Choose the Right Grass Size


Recognizing Oakley's size and weight (80 lbs), his owner opted for an XL Fresh Patch, which is 24 x 48 inches. You can also purchase this grass size with a tray included, the XL Combo.


  1. Introduce The Grass Patch To Your Pet

Upon receiving the Fresh Patch package, we opened the box in Oakley's presence, allowing him to familiarize himself with the grass. For more tips on training a rescue dog, check out

      3. Hand Signals and Verbal Cues

Verbal cues and hand signals helped Oakley associate the Fresh Patch as his potty area. Placing it in an area where he frequently goes potty is a key component of successful potty training. His innate attraction to grass made the training easier, but he needed reinforcement to understand its purpose. 

      4. Reinforcement and Redirecting

In the first week, Oakley attempted to use the Fresh Patch as a lounging spot. His owner gently redirected him, using training treats and consistent training to reinforce the correct behavior, which is to only use the grass patch for potty time. He repeated the recommended potty training tips for another 5 days until Oakley learned where to go.

      5. Utilizing Go Here Spray

The use of Go Here spray enhanced Oakley's attraction to the Fresh Patch, especially aiding in his marking behavior as a male dog. 

     6. Consistency and Rewards

Consistent supervision and positive reinforcement were key. Oakley's owner accompanied him during potty breaks, rewarding successful use with the Fresh Patch Chicken Training Treats. But also providing no reward for accidents elsewhere.

     7. Cleaning up Potty Accidents

If your dog goes potty outside the Fresh Patch grass, simply use the poop bags included in the Starter Set or your own and place them on the Fresh Patch. With patience and consistency, Oakley gradually understood that the Fresh Patch was his designated potty area, earning him the title of "Good Boy."


 Jasper's Tail Wagging Journey: From Dog Rescue to Senior Operations Coordinator

Senior Dog on Fresh Patch XL Grass

Jasper is a 14-year-old, 45-pound Australian Cattle Dog/Shepherd Mix. As an older dog grappling with arthritis and fear of elevators, he found solace in using Fresh Patch for potty time. Jasper’s owner introduced Fresh Patch to him, and the rest is history. Jasper is now fully trained on the Fresh Patch XL


His owner's approach to potty training Jasper differed slightly:

  1. Understanding Jasper's Needs

Recognizing Jasper's physical limitations, he lives on the 4th floor of an apartment and also has a fear of elevators. His owner sought a solution that would ease his potty routine. Having Fresh Patch accessible within a few steps inside the apartment made potty time easier, especially during late nights. 

  1. Living on the 4th Floor

With Jasper being less mobile than other dogs, stairs are nearly impossible for him. Also, his fear of elevators is another obstacle to overcome to get him down the stairs to potty. Nighttime potty breaks are a breeze for Jasper when they are conveniently on his balcony. 

  1. Being a housebroken dog

Jasper is already a housebroken dog, meaning he knows not to go potty inside. But with grass on his balcony, he associates the grass with the outdoors. This helped the training process and made it easier for Jasper to access his Fresh Patch with only a few steps on the balcony. 

  1. Arthritis and Sensitive Stomach

For Jasper, the patch became not only a convenient potty spot but also a relief during bouts of stomach sensitivity. If he had to go #2, he could conveniently access the patio for potty, which is a lifesaver for him! 

  1. Grass Preference

Jasper's innate preference for grass and greenery made his transition to the patch seamless. His owner initially provided treats to reinforce the behavior, but he soon took to the patch as he couldn’t deny green, real grass! Check out for more information on potty training older dogs.

Training older dogs to use Fresh Patch or designated potty areas requires patience, consistency, and an understanding of each dog's unique needs and behaviors. Through positive reinforcement, redirection, and having a natural attraction to real grass or greenery, both Oakley and Jasper found success in adapting to their new routines. As pet pawrents, recognizing and accommodating our pets' limitations and preferences fosters a harmonious relationship built on love. Signing up for a Fresh Patch Subscription is one way to provide pet care for all Good Pets. 

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