Doggie Dooley: How It Works, Installing, Maintenance & More

A new, unassembled Doggie Dooley 3800.

Keeping the lawn clean when you have dogs around can be a challenge. Dealing with dog poop is a big issue. Every dog owner knows that.

Not only will those droppings ruin your pristine yard, but dog waste will also create a health hazard when left there.

A simple solution is to have an in-ground dog waste disposal system in your yard, and one is a huge favorite – the Doggie Dooley.

Does the Doggie Dooley work? The Doggie Dooley does work when properly installed and maintained. It functions as a mini septic tank, speeding decomposition in a safe, convenient manner. Water and enzyme tablets work together to break down waste, and once it is sufficiently liquified, it will slowly leach into the ground.

Doggie Dooley is among the trusted brands when it comes to disposal systems, and it’s simple to see why. Find out how it works and everything you need to know to set up a Doggie Dooley in your yard. 

Sale
Doggie Dooley "The Original In-Ground Dog Waste...
  • Our newest, largest capacity system!
  • Environmentally safe in-ground pet-waste disposal system

How the Doggie Dooley Works

The Doggie Dooley is like your home septic system, and it works like one too.

You simply drop your dog’s poop inside the Doggie Dooley along with water and a waste digester tablet as instructed and let the system do its work.

The waste terminator tablet will treat and break down the solid dog poop into the liquid inside the self-contained Doggie Dooley, speeding up the waste breakdown process.

The broken down waste slowly becomes absorbed into the soil beneath the system. 

Where To Put a Doggie Dooley

Install the Doggie Dooley where it’s most convenient – somewhere away from possible obstructions, like tree roots, since you’re going to dig a hole in the ground.

You’ll want to install it where installation won’t disturb existing features, like stone or brick pathways and your flower garden. 

Other tips when selecting a site to put a Doggie Dooley:

  • Avoid placing near entrances.
  • Avoid the middle of your lawn or the direct path of the lawnmower.
  • Install a few feet away from structures like houses, garages, and other buildings.
  • Find a spot near a garden hose, but be careful to avoid any buried utility lines.
  • Place it around areas where your dogs usually defecate. 
  • Check your local laws for regulations and recommendations. Typically, digesters need to be installed the same distance as septic tanks from wells. 
  • Find a spot in your lawn where there’s adequate ground drainage. Perform a Perc Test

Will the Doggie Dooley Work on All Types of Soil?

Unfortunately, no. Doggie Dooley needs normal ground drainage for the system to operate as designed. The spot where you installed it in the yard should have little to no clay content.

Doggie Dooley 3800 will not work if you have hard and slow-draining soil like hard clay. 

How To Test Your Yard to Ensure That the Doggie Dooley Will Work

Doggie Dooley recommends performing a Perc Test to ensure that the system will work in your yard.

So, before buying, make sure to perform this test in the spot where you plan to install the Doggie Dooley.

  1. Dig a hole in your yard, but it doesn’t have to be as big as the one you will use for the product. Approximately 1-foot wide and 2-feet deep should be enough for this test.
  2. Pour around 5 gallons of water into the hole.
  3. Leave it, and after 24 hours, check if the water drained completely. If yes, it means you have fairly sandy soil where a pyramid-style Doggie Dooley, like the 3800, will work best.
  4. If there is still standing water after the initial 24 hours, check the hole again after 48 hours. If the water is gone, both pyramid-style (3800 or the 3535) and tank-style model (3000) will work in your yard.
  5. If standing water still remains in the hole at this point, a Doggie Dooley won’t be effective in that location. Test another site in your lawn the same way to find a more suitable spot for the Doggie Dooley to work. 

Sale
Doggie Dooley "The Original In-Ground Dog Waste...
  • Our newest, largest capacity system!
  • Environmentally safe in-ground pet-waste disposal system
Doggie Dooley 3535 35th-Anniversary...
  • Environmentally safe in-ground pet-waste disposal system
  • For 1 large dog or 2 small dogs; works like a home septic system
Doggie Dooley 3000 Septic-Tank-Style Pet-Waste...
  • Environmentally safe in-ground pet-waste disposal system
  • For 2 large dogs or 4 small dogs; works like a miniature septic tank

How To Set Up a Doggie Dooley

Setting it up is fairly easy once you’ve found a suitable area for the Doggie Dooley.

  1. Continue digging the hole until it is 20 inches by 20 inches across and 23 inches deep. 
  2.  Place the Doggie Dooley in the ground, and ensure it is sitting level by adding rocks or dirt under the corners.
  3. Backfill around the unit with dirt.
  4. Add 1-2 days worth of waste, enzyme tablets (or powder), and water until the unit is full.

That’s it, and you now have a fully functioning and environmentally safe in-ground pet waste disposal system.

Maintaining a Doggie Dooley

Doggie Dooley maintenance is pretty easy:

  • Daily: Add dog waste and water to your Doggie Dooley.
  • Once a week: Add one waste Terminator Tablet.

Sale
Doggie Dooley 36 Waste Tablets, White
  • For use in the Doggie Dooley Pet Waste Disposal System
  • Use one tablet per dog per week with water

Will the Doggie Dooley Work for Waste From Other Pets?

No. Doggie Dooley will only work effectively for dog waste. At this time, the system is not designed for use with other pet wastes, and it is not recommended to try to do so.

How Many Dogs Can a Doggie Dooley Handle?

It depends on the model you get:

  • Doggie Dooley 3535 (pyramid style): 2 small dogs or one large dog
  • Doggie Dooley 3000 (tank style): 4 small dogs or 2 large dogs
  • Doggie Dooley 3800X (pyramid style): 4 small dogs or 2 large dogs

Does the Doggie Dooley Smell?

If you are using it correctly, following the manufacturer’s guidelines, the Doggie Dooley is fairly odor free.

If there is any stinky smell from the latest dog poop you put inside, the lid should help with that, so keep the unit closed at all times. 

Should the Hole Always Have Water in It?

It depends on the model:

  • The tank style should be full of water up to the hole point or the overflow tube. 
  • The pyramid style doesn’t need to hold standing water, but make sure the contents are never drying out. Instead, add water when necessary to keep the contents moist. 

Does the Doggie Dooley Work in the Winter?

The Doggie Dooley doesn’t work when the temperature is consistently under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, it’s best to let it sit dormant and not add stools to it during winter. Wait until the weather is warming up before adding dog waste to the unit.  

How Does Dissolved Poop Get From the Tank Into the Ground?

For tank-style Doggie Dooleys, dog waste will be treated using the digesters inside the tank, and then it overflows into the hole in the ground, where it’s then filtered and absorbed in the soil. 

Does the Doggie Dooley Ever Get Full?

Eventually, Doggie Dooley can get full, but once you’ve put it in place and used it accordingly, it should last for years.

If your system is full to the point of no longer being usable, simply dig up the unit and relocate it to another spot.

What Do You Do When the Doggie Dooley Is Full?

Simply relocate the Doggie Dooley to a new location. Begin digging around the unit to loosen up the dirt until you can lift it out.

If you have a tank system, dump the contents inside the hole. Otherwise, the dog waste will remain at the bottom of the hole if using the pyramid unit. 

Fill the old hole with dirt from the new hole, then install your old Doggie Dooley in the new location. 

Why Isn’t My Doggie Dooley Draining?

If your Doggie Dooley isn’t draining water, the first thing you can do is check for clogs in the bottom for pyramid models or the overflow tube for tank models.

Over time, grass and other yard debris can accumulate. Cleaning it out should improve the drainage.

Another possible reason why the Doggie Dooley isn’t draining is if your area is experiencing heavy rains.

When the ground is too saturated, the water won’t drain or will be slow to drain but should resume once the water table underground goes back to normal.

What If the Doggie Dooley Drains Too Quickly?

Generally, the water drainage should slow down once the dog stool starts to form a layer at the bottom. 

For tank models, it’s normal for the unit to stay more than half full as it waits for the dog stools to accumulate.

For pyramid models, draining out quickly during the hot, dry season may require adding water daily. 

Can a Lawn Mower Go Over the Doggie Dooley Without Destroying It?

Avoid damage to the unit by installing it away from the path of your lawnmower. Otherwise, you might need to buy a replacement lid often. 

Difference Between the Doggie Dooley 3800X and the 3000

The Model 3000 (tank style) treats waste in the tank, while the model 3800X (leach-bed style) treats and breaks down waste inside the hole in the ground. 

Where Can I Get a Replacement Lid for My Doggie Dooley?

Doggie Dooley has replacement lids you can purchase through its online store.

Make sure to inspect your unit first before purchase to ensure you got the appropriate replacement lid for your unit. Round and square lids are available in colors silver and green.  

Does the Doggie Dooley Really Work?

The Doggie Dooley does work, but only if you follow its installation and maintenance directions.

Once it is all set up, your days of dealing with smelly trash can odors and digging holes in your yard to bury poop are over. Just drop the waste in, periodically add water and enzymes, and that’s it!

Last update on 2022-01-27 at 02:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API