Training Tip Tuesday – Potty Training

TRAINING TIP TUESDAY – potty training

By: Maureen Hoopes

The Volunteer Trainers at Ruff Start Rescue have started a new initiative to post a quick and easy tip every Tuesday! Look for a new tip every Tuesday or use the hashtag #TrainingTipTuesday on social media to find them all!
When you bring your pup home, one of the first things you’re going to want to work on is toilet training.
Young pups will need to go to the toilet every 30 minutes to 1 hour or so, depending on the age of the pup. The typical formula is 1 hour for each month of age plus 1 hour. For any new pup coming to your home start with an hourly schedule whenever possible.
Decide where you want your puppy to go to the toilet. Choose an area that is secure and away from distractions that you can easily get to throughout the day. To one side of the back door is a great option most of the time but if you have children make sure it is away from anywhere that they spend time playing.
You’re going to need some supplies –
Firstly, the surface you would like your puppy to toilet on. This can be a zone of real or artificial turf, gravel, bark or any other surface type. You can even set up a toilet zone indoors or in your pup’s pen for when you leave, you’re the pup on their own to prevent them getting stressed or having an accident if they need to go whilst you’re not there.
You’ll also need a weatherproof container of treats that can be stored by the door for easy access rewards whenever your puppy toilets in the right spot.
If your puppy isn’t food motivated, have their favorite toy ready too, so you can reward them with play.
Have poo bags and a bin close by to immediately dispose of your pup’s waste.
And an enzymatic cleaner in a spray bottle to clean up any accidents and fully remove the scent, reducing the likelihood of your pup having another accident in that location
Lastly, you’ll want wipes for your pup’s paws in case they step in anything
Before you start training you’ll want to make sure that your pup isn’t afraid of your toilet zone. A little play session in the area is a great way to expose your pup to their station and make sure they feel confident and comfortable there.
Don’t wait for your pup to cry or whine to let you know they need the toilet, instead set your alarm to take your pup out routinely throughout the day. Take your pup to the same place to toilet every single time. You can walk them there on a lead or carry your pup to their toilet station.
Should your pup have an accident in the house, immediately take them outside to the potty area. Reward if they eliminate in the potty area. Clean up and spray the area to minimize a repeat accident.
When they toilet in the right spot, reward and praise them generously. Have a “potty party”. Get very excited and deliver a jackpot of treats one after another to show your pup how proud you are that they toileted in the right place.
You’ll also need to take your pup out to the toilet whenever they wake up from a nap, eat something, have a drink, do training with you or play.
If your pup toilets outside but not quite in the toilet zone, still reward them but be sure to spray the area where they toileted, with the enzymatic cleaner to remove the scent, making it less likely your pup will toilet in that spot again.
As always, be consistent, actively supervise and reward the right behavior, and your puppy will make great progress. A routine of potty, play and confine will ensure a successful potty-training experience
For more information on potty training go to [Housesoiling | Dog Star Daily] (
Blog and graphic by Maureen Hoopes, one of Ruff Start Rescue’s volunteer trainers, who focus on supporting our fosters and helping create successful dogs.