Training a dog doesn’t always come naturally. If you’re a new puppy parent wondering how to potty train a puppy in an apartment, it’s normal to have questions about the ins and outs of getting it right from the start.
How to Potty Train a Puppy in an Apartment
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How to Potty Train a Puppy in an Apartment
Potty training a puppy in an apartment comes with a few unique challenges, but there’s no reason apartment potty training can’t be just as successful as training your dog in a house. These tips will help you and your puppy have positive potty training sessions and reach potty training mastery sooner.
Get Help from a Professional Dog Trainer
Getting help from a professional dog trainer to potty train your puppy in an apartment will greatly help you and your dog through the entire training process. The expertise they can offer will help you with all the do’s and don’ts of potty training a puppy, and provide you with the tools to do so successfully.
Set a Routine
Setting a routine for potty training your puppy is crucial to develop a regular system for when it’s time for your dog to go to the bathroom. Taking them out to go at the same time day after day and using the same cues, like verbal commands, will eventually become part of your dog’s internal clock.
If you take your dog out to go to the bathroom as soon as you wake up every morning, after a few mornings they’ll know what to expect and be ready for it. Once your puppy learns the routine they’ll also start to go more quickly, so taking them out to pee becomes less and less of a chore for you.
Schedule Food and Water Intake
Scheduling food and water intake will help you with potty training your puppy by making their need to go to the bathroom a little more predictable. What goes in must come out and generally, with puppies you can expect that after they eat or drink a substantial amount they’ll have to go to the bathroom within about 30 minutes. By scheduling food and water with your puppy, you can help avoid them needing to go late at night or at inconvenient times like right as you need to leave for work.
Closely Monitor Your Puppy
Unfortunately, puppies haven’t mastered the art of human communication just yet. They’re not able to tell you when they need to go to the bathroom. Closely monitoring and noticing changes in your puppy’s behavior that indicate a need to go pee or poop will definitely help you avoid accidents in the apartment.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Using positive reinforcement is the best way to mold your dog’s behavior. Their main goal is to please you — their favorite human — and when you make it clear you’re proud of them they’re more likely to keep up the good work. Praising your puppy for doing a good job and encouraging them with an incentive like a treat or toy shows them that this is the expected behavior from a puppy, and they’ll want to keep seeking that reward.
Can I Use Pee Pads for My Puppy?
Using pee pads for potty training a puppy in an apartment has been done, but isn’t recommended. You want your dog to get used to going outside the house only from the start. Pee pads put the idea in your dog’s head that there are safe places to pee or poop inside the house, and they may start to get used to peeing or pooping on the floor whether there’s a pee pad in place or not. Puppies might also have trouble deciding whether something is a blanket on the floor or a place to go to the bathroom and have been known for sometimes laying on their pee pads like a bed. Yuck!
Litter Boxes and Grass Patches
When it comes to using litter boxes and grass patches for potty training a puppy, it’s important to remember that dogs don’t have the same instincts as cats. Some dog owners have been successful with potty training their puppy to use a litter box, but it poses the same risk as pee pads. Training this way still teaches your dog that there are places inside the house to go to the bathroom, and some dogs may not be able to tell consistently where they can and can’t go.
How Long Does it Take to Potty Train a Puppy?
Of course every dog is different, but it generally takes about four to six months to potty train a puppy. Typically, you can begin potty training and training your puppy for other basic dog commands as soon as you bring them home around eight weeks. Being patient and consistent are the most important factors when working on potty training, and using positive reinforcement to guide your puppy in the right direction.
Online Puppy Training with Pettable
Ready to get started with puppy training? Check out Pettable’s expert-led puppy training courses, created by professional, certified dog trainers with a passion for helping dogs and dog owners achieve training proficiency. Our online courses let you train at your own pace, and give you and your puppy the skills necessary for successful training.