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3 Effective Steps How To Potty Train A Puppy In An Apartment

apartment puppy potty train

Imagine living in an apartment with a dog, and whenever your dog wants to eliminate, she just knows where to go and do it correctly.

This is what every dog owner wants their dog to learn. And this is exactly what you are going to learn in this article.

Potty training a puppy in an apartment is not something complicated or difficult to do, in fact, it can be very simple and easy. The challenging part is your patience and your time.

While some dogs are smart and some are slow learners, but all dogs can learn how to do their business in the specific spot you desire.

House training your dog is even more important if you are staying in an apartment. It will be very inconvenient for you to bring your dog outdoor to release.

Even if you do, it is impossible for you to keep bringing your dog out every time. What if you have things to do and you just do not have the time to bring her out?

This is why potty training your dog or puppy in the designed spot is important. It is going to save you a lot of headaches to clean up the mess.

Best Time To Potty Train Your Dog

So there’s no doubt about it, you must train your dog to release in the right place if you live in apartments.

Now, what is the best time to house train your dog?

If you are getting a newly born puppy, you should start to train her after 2 months old. Well, you can teach her even before 2 months, but chances are that she does not have full control of her bladder and will just pee anywhere.

That is why studies suggest dog owners to start training their puppies after 2 months.

What if you get an older dog? Can you still teach her to potty correctly?

Yes, you can train an older dog to potty right where you are. However, it may be more challenging than teaching a newly born puppy.

The reason is simple because the older dog may have developed the habit of release anywhere and anytime she wants.

Depending on where you get the dog. If it is a stray dog, she will just pee anywhere and whenever she feels like it. If you adopted the dog from someone else, you will have to check with the previous owner about her behavior.

House train an older dog may be more challenging, but that does not mean it cannot be done. You just need to know her schedule when she wants to release and reward her crazily if she did it right.

Before we go into the 3 steps, here are the necessities you need to prepare:

Treats – Get plenty of treats because dogs just love to eat. You want to use this positive reinforce to reward your dog for her good behavior.

However, remember if you are training your puppy, you should not feed her too much until she is full and this may affect her actual meal time.

Training pad: Also known as the wee-wee pad or a dog grass pad. Unless you want your dog to eliminate inside the bathroom, or else a training pad is what you need.

There are many types of training pad and grass pad available on the market. Choose on within your budget because you will be using it for the long-term. Most pad can be washed but needed to replace after some time.

Your time: Yes, get ready to commit and spend the time to house train your dog. This is especially crucial in the beginning stage. Once your dog has learned to do her business correctly, you will never have to worry about it anymore.

Here are the 3 simple steps how to potty train your puppy or dog in an apartment…

Step #1: Create Your Schedule

dog training schedule

This is one of the most important keys to successfully house train your puppy. You need to have a strict schedule to teach her.

According to research, smaller puppy tends to have smaller bladder, thus, she will release within 30 minutes to an hour.

Therefore, it is suggested that you bring your puppy either into the bathroom or the dog grass pad every 30 minutes.

You have to wait for her to release there. You can slowly increase the duration from 30 minutes to 45 minutes to an hour and so on once your puppy grows bigger.

If she is trying to get away from the grass pad or bathroom, leash her. Use a leash to confine her movement within the area you want her to do her business.

You can also use an indoor dog fence and put your puppy inside to restrict her movement.

Remember, you want her to eliminate at the right spot as much as possible.

By the way, you can also learn to tell the signal when she wanted to release. For example, most dogs will sniff and circle around when they wanted to release. Some may bark and some may make noise.

The longer you are with your dog, the more you will understand what she wants. So whenever your dog or puppy show sign of wanted to release, get her into the spot.

Step #2: Reward Your Puppy

give your dog treats

You have to keep an eye on your puppy, once she eliminates, you must reward her crazily. You can praise her, pat on her head and give her treats.

The key is to make her feel happy and excited when she releases on the right spot.

So what if an accident happens? Never ever scold your puppy or punish her for her wrong behavior. She is just a few months old and still needs some time to understand what you want her to do.

Just like taking care of a baby. Accidents will happen and it is very normal. However, never your dog for her wrongdoings.

Let me make this clear, if she does not understand to release on the designated spot, how can she understand your punishment?

Thus, there’s no point shouting or beating your dog when an accident happens.

On the other hand, you want to crazily reward her and make her happy on every right move she made.

You want to let her know that eliminating at the right place is good and she should do it there the next time.

Step #3: Repetition

train your puppy

Finally, rinse and repeat. House training your puppy is simple, just that it is going to take you a lot of effort and patience.

So how long does it take to successfully potty train your puppy? Well, it depends on your commitment and how smart your dog is.

Some puppies learn fast and they take only one to two months. Some slow learners take up to 6 months. While I have also come across puppies that take a full year to learn how to do it.

On average, your puppy should learn the trick within 4 months. As for the older dog, the same answer applies.

If you want to make your puppy or dog learn to potty train at the right spot faster, you have to lower down the chances of accidents.

This is the secret to successfully potty training your dog faster. Never let accidents happen and always release in the right place.

She will learn faster this way and she will understand what you want her to do.

What To Do When Accident Happens

Sometimes, no matter how committed and how much attention you put to your puppy, the accident will still happen and she will pee at the wrong place.

So what are you going to do?

When she is releasing, try to clap your hands to make some noise. You want to startle her but not to the extent of scaring her.

When is startled, she will stop. And then you can quickly bring your puppy to the training pad and let her continue there. And after she is done at the training pad, reward her.

Make sure you did not scare your dog when you clap your hands. You just want to get her attention and make her stop.

If you feel that doing this scare your dog, you can just skip this process and focus on lowering the accidents by paying close attention to her.

Creating A Playpen For Your Dog

dog playpen

If you are living in apartments, this will be an important one. You want to create a personal and private space for your dog.

This is a place for her to feel safe and comfortable. Just like your house, your puppy needs a shelter to hide when she is afraid and to relax when she is tired.

Creating a playpen for your dog can be simple. You need to get an indoor dog fence. Of course, you must first identify a place for the setup.

You can get a suitable crate, food dispenser, water bowl, soft cushion to put in the crate, and some toys.

Make it a fun place for your dog. Whenever she goes into her playpen, she has her own play time and rests time.

If the area if big enough, it is suggested you include the grass pad into the playpen. This way, she can release whenever she wants on the pad.

Even if you work full time and are not in the house most of the time, your dog can still eliminate and enjoy her own time in the playpen.

Additional Tips On Potty Training Your Dog In Apartments

  • Be ready to put in your effort and patience into the training, especially in the beginning stage when you just got your dog.
  • Remember, you want to reward your dog for her obedience. Whenever she does what is right, reward her. And never use negative reinforcement to train your dog.
  • Choose high-quality treats to reward her when she eliminates on the right spot. High-value treats are like fresh meat and cheese. You can split your treats into high-value treats and lower value treats. Use high value treats for important training.
  • Keep a consistent schedule in feeding your dog. You can set a reminder for this and it will help develop a good habit for your dog.
  • Use the enzymatic cleaner to clean up the spot when an accident happens. This is to totally get rid of the smell so that your dog will not release on the same spot again. It is also good to remove all the bacteria away.
  • Try to be consistent. If you teach your dog to eliminate indoor, do it indoor all the time. When you want your dog to do it outdoor, do it outdoor all the time. Never make her confuse and let her know what you want.
  • You can learn other tricks and tips about keeping your dog in an apartment from my previous article.

What Happen If Your Dog Just Does Not Learn?

Well, I have seen dog owners who tried to potty train their dogs for many months but to no avail. If this is what is happening to you, I would suggest you bring your dog to the vet.

Or better yet, bring her to the professional trainer and let her be trained there. You can also check out the online dog training course here and learn how to do it with a more precise method.

When it comes to dog training, you want to go for the most effective methods of learning and teaching. And Doggy Dan can show you how.


After reading this, do you think potty training your dog is difficult? Not really, just that it is time-consuming and requires a lot of your commitment.

So let me know if you are staying apartments and how do you potty train your dog?

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