potty training

if anyone has any tips or tricks regarding one or both of the following, i'd love to hear them:

1. getting a doggie to understand that she should go potty in the yard, THEN we will go on a walk

2. getting a doggie to learn where the "potty area" of the yard is

we've been living with our dear maia for over 3 months now, and we still struggle with some of this on an almost-daily basis. adding to the problem is her bladder of steel. she can seriously Wait Us Out if she feels like it, which, argh.

i'm fairly certain we're doing most (nearly all? all?) things right, but i'd love to just hear from people to see if i can get some fresh perspective. 
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