Potty training in an apartment

parenting puppy training

Tired of cleaning up after your dog’s potty accidents? Are you frustrated that your pup thinks the elevator in your apartment is where he needs to relieve himself? When we get a new dog into the home that has not been housebroken, training the dog to pee and poop is generally top priority for most pet parents. Young puppies especially require more attention as they are unable to hold their bladders for too long. So before we begin discussing the process of potty training in an apartment, let’s set a baseline for what to expect from dogs. 

Age of the dog: Puppies younger than 6 months tend to go more frequently than older dogs. So do not expect your little friend to hold onto their bladders for many hours at a time like older dogs would


Access to the house: We recommend having pups contained in areas like a pen or a crate so they get some rest and have a safe space of their own. Remember these areas must never be “time-out” places nor used as places of confinement for hours on end

Body language: Figure out your pup’s body language right before he/she wants to pee and poop. There will generally be a lot of sniffing and circling while they figure out a spot 

Schedule: A general rule of thumb is that pups will want to relieve themselves right after a nap, after a meal or after exciting times like play/training. Figure out what schedule your pup is on and make sure you take the dog out in consistent intervals. 

Potty training dogs when they have easy access to a garden or a yard is generally easier, but living in an apartment where you need to plan to take your pup out before an accident happens requires a little more work. However, when one sticks to a few rules, potty training your dogs gets easier 

  1. Optimize time taken to get the pup downstairs: Once you have figured out your pup’s schedule, plan ahead and keep the leash, poop bag, shoes etc handy so you can quickly step out of the door without wasting time getting ready to head out. We recommend pet parents keep a backpack of these items like wipes, poop bags, leashes etc right by the door so one can quickly dash out when the time is right 
  2. Consider a pee pad or a potty grass patch in the area you desire the puppy to go indoors: Using surfaces that are softer & smellier generally entice the pups to relieve themselves on them; placing these in balconies or washrooms usually see more success. We recommend using these when you do not have the time to take your pup out frequently, although getting them to go outside each time is always desirable
  3. Stay patient: we may run into more accidents than in single family homes during potty training, but we need to stay calm when accidents happen. Reacting to the dog’s accidents only push us back during training, so let’s try to ignore the accident and reward the times when the pup goes in the right place 
  4. Set a structure in the day so you can anticipate the potty/pee times correctly. When puppies do not have a consistent structure in their day, they will tend to have more accidents and it is upon us to make sure we retain the same schedule; come rain, come shine

If you need further guidance on potty training, give us a buzz and we will be happy to help! 

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