How to Potty Train a Puppy in an Apartment

How to Potty train a puppy in an apartment
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

You love your apartment and you love your new puppy. There’s just one problem: potty-training your puppy seems impossible on the 20th floor! Proper potty training can be harder in an apartment setting.

The secret to getting your puppy fully potty-trained in an apartment is to start early and stay consistent.

Generally, how old your puppy is in months, is about how long they can hold it on an hourly basis. For example, a 3-month-old puppy can hold it for about three hours. Puppies can hold it longer while they’re sleeping but need to go sooner after eating or playing. Though it may seem like a daunting task, potty-training your puppy in an apartment setting isn’t much different than anywhere else.

Here’s everything you need to know about potty training your puppy in an apartment.

Why it’s Important to Potty-Train Your Puppy

Tackling potty training early in your puppy’s life not only helps you with fewer accidents to clean up, but it teaches them discipline. Adequately potty-training your dog is no different than training them how to sit or stay. Puppies, much like babies, have little control over when and where they go. Dogs thrive off of discipline and leadership. Properly potty-training your dog isn’t just convenient, it engages and solidifies the importance of obedience and communication with you!

Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t fully potty-train them. Here are some surefire ways to get your puppy fully potty-trained.

How to Potty Train a Puppy In An Apartment

Everything you need to know to get your puppy to potty outside your apartment.

1) Take Them Outside Frequently in the First Two Weeks

Taking your puppy out about every hour in the first two weeks helps to minimize any accidents.

It also helps your puppy get acclimated to their new surroundings. Taking your puppy outside every hour the first two weeks helps them to understand their home, your expectations, and when and where to go potty.

2) Start a Feeding Routine For Your Puppy

Since puppies generally need to go potty after eating, it’s important to ensure that your puppy is on a feeding schedule to not only help them but to help you too, as you’ll know when it’s time for when to go.

Feeding them at the same time for breakfast and dinner allows them to understand when it’s time to eat and then go potty. As a rule of thumb, take your puppy out to go potty around ten to fifteen minutes after eating.

Dogs are creatures of habit and routine. When they begin to associate feeding and going potty, they’ll become more likely to hold it until they go outside, as that’s what you expect from them.

3) Pick a Designated Place for Your Puppy to Relieve Themselves

Taking your puppy to the same spot to relieve themselves gives them a sense of familiarity and expectation. Going to the same spot will help your puppy remember what time it is and what they are there to do.

When you live in an apartment building, this can be tricky, since there might not be a nearby park or your building might not have a designated grassy area. However, there are often several patches of grass, plants, or rocks near apartment buildings.

Choose one of these areas for your puppy to relieve themselves. Don’t forget the doggie bags!

4) Use a Command to Encourage The Puppy to Go Potty Outside

Dogs are known for their receptiveness to verbal commands. Teaching your puppy to relieve themselves outside with a simple command can be as easy as teaching them ‘sit’ or ‘stay.’

Try using the word ‘potty’ each time you take your pup to their designated spot, or “wee wee” or even “poo poo”. Just as your dog associates your command of ‘sit’ with sitting, they’ll begin to associate your command of ‘potty’ with relieving themselves. Pretty soon, your puppy will be going potty every time you command them too!

5) Reward Your Puppy When They Go Potty Outside

Keep treats on hand to reward your puppy for relieving themselves outside. By doing so, they’ll begin to associate going potty outside with a treat reward, which incentivizes them to go outside.

Your puppy will soon be begging to go outside. Not only will they be happy to relieve themselves, but they can’t wait for a tasty treat!

6) Begin Crate Training Your Puppy

Crate training your puppy teaches them the importance of having their own safe, comfy space.

Crate training them overnight and when you’re away, teaches them self-control when it comes to relieving themselves. Dogs do not like to relieve themselves on their bedding. Crate training is a wonderful way to get your puppy to sleep through the night without soiling their surrounding areas. This can help teach them a proper bathroom schedule by taking them out right before bed and then again first thing in the morning. Make sure to line the crate with potty pads just to be safe!

7) Set Up Your Puppy in a Secure Area of the Apartment

Setting up a safe space for your puppy in the apartment, lined with potty pads, limits the potential of accidents in unwanted places. It also teaches your puppy to give you signals about when it’s time to go outside. Once your puppy has its signals down, it’s okay for them to wander the apartment.

Tips To Potty Train Your Puppy In An Apartment

  • If your puppy has an accident in an unwanted space, be sure to clean it up as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the smell can trigger another unwanted accident.
  • Consider setting up potty pads around the apartment in case your dog can’t hold it.That way, if your puppy really needs to relieve itself, they have a designated spot to do so.
  • Accidents happen, but make sure not to scold your puppy when they relieve themselves inside in an unwanted space. Otherwise they’ll associate going to the bathroom with doing something wrong, which can lead to more accidents.
  • Get a dog litter box in your apartment as an emergency backup plan. If your puppy really has to go, setting up a fake grassy area can help minimize unwanted accidents.
  • Carry your puppy outside to avoid accidents in common areas until you get to their designated potty place.

With consistency, patience, and practice, your dog will learn how to go potty successfully even in an apartment setting. With these tips, it shouldn’t be harder than teaching them how to potty-train them in any other home environment!

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