Potty Training Your Dog When Living in an Apartment

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes which means no matter where you live, a dog can fit into your life. However, if you live in an urban high-rise, you’ll be presented with a unique problem. You have to figure out how to get your dog outside quickly to train them effectively.

Potty Training a Puppy in an Apartment

The number of times you’ll have to take your dog out per day will change based on their age. As a rule of thumb, a dog should be able to hold its urine for a maximum of one hour per month of life. A six-month-old puppy should be able to hold it for up to six hours, so you shouldn’t expect them to hold it any longer than that. No matter the dog’s age, you shouldn’t ask them to hold their potty break for any longer than that.

Keep to a Routine

They say that children crave structure. The same goes for puppies. By setting up a normal routine with your dog, you give them the stability they crave.

Be sure to set up your routine with enough potty breaks for your puppy. If you have built your schedule with a potty break every hour, but they can’t seem to make it that long, you should adjust your schedule. You’re trying to teach your dog that they can rely on routine, but if the current routine isn’t working, just change it.

Praise Goes a Long Way

When your dog does go potty when and where you want, be sure to shower them with praise. This can be verbal praise if your dog seems to respond to that. Otherwise, a treat is usually a valuable reward.

Keep an Open Eye

While you are adhering to your schedule, be sure you keep an eye on your dog. If you notice signs that they need to go potty, you had better head outside right away.

Signs that your dog needs to go potty include pacing, circling, sniffing, and squatting. If you see any of these behaviors, get your dog outside or onto a puppy pad immediately.

What’s Plan B?

One of the biggest challenges to potty training in an apartment is simply getting your dog outside. Living in a high-rise may afford you a beautiful view, but it’s not easy to get outdoors in a hurry. A solution to this is to use puppy pads. These pads are specifically meant for your dog to go potty on. They are waterproof underneath and absorbent, so cleanup couldn’t be easier.

Potty Training Tips

You should take your dog out to potty:

  • Between five and thirty minutes after eating
  • After playtime
  • After naps
  • First thing in the morning
  • Directly before bed

You should also limit their water before going to bed. Around 30 to 60 minutes before bed is a good time to remove their water. Just remember that if you are playing with your dog after you remove their water, they’ll likely get thirsty from the exercise. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making your dog thirsty before bed. You should instead spend the time relaxing and getting ready for the following day.

Crates can also be wonderful when potty training a puppy. Not only is a crate great for keeping your dog in a small area, but dogs instinctively won’t want to go potty where they sleep. That means your crate can be a natural deterrent. Just make sure to take your dog outside when you take them out of their crate.

How to Treat Accidents

You should try to loudly interrupt your dog if you catch them in the act. Clap your hands or make a loud yelp and tell them “no.” Then, you can pick them up even if they are still going. Bring them either outdoors or to a puppy pad to finish their business.

If you just missed catching your dog, then you’re too late. Your dog won’t make the connection between what they did and your displeasure. Don’t rub their face in the mess as this can lead to fear and anxiety. The last thing you want is your puppy to fear you!

If your dog does have an accident, don’t scold them. Instead, clean up the mess. A good enzymatic cleaner is your best bet. These sprays use natural and safe bacteria to break down urine and feces odors. If your dog can still smell the spot they made, they might associate that spot with going potty. You might have to break that habit if you plan to successfully potty train them. It’s better to remove the odor completely than deal with that habit.

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