TrainingHouse TrainingThe 6 Rules to Potty Training a Puppy in an Apartment

The 6 Rules to Potty Training a Puppy in an Apartment

Puppy potty training. Oh, the joys of dog ownership. It can be enough to make anyone crazy.

Training a puppy is all about patience and consistency. You want to make sure with every good effort there is a reward. Giving treats, belly rubs, and verbal praise goes a long way. They are your best tools for training a puppy.

If you want to know how to potty train a puppy fast, here are some things to give you the best fighting chance.

Keep a Routine

The optimal time to start training is between 12 and 16 weeks old. This is when they begin to have control over their bladder and bowels. Frequent trips outside help avoid accidents.

Establish a routine for potty breaks. Start with going out every 30 minutes to an hour. When you get up in the morning, when they wake up from naps, and before bed. Be consistent with going out. Make sure to put them down in the same area on the ground. This will reinforce where to go and where not to.

Keep Them on a Leash

Literally, and at all times. If you are inside and have a leash on them, then they can’t just wander off. Keep it around your wrist or on a belt loop. Wandering off leads to puddles behind furniture and maybe even in shoes or another room. All bets are off at this point.

Keeping it so they can run around but you still know where they are can prevent these undesirable wet spots. If they go too far, then you’ll feel a tug on the leash. If you can’t keep them on a leash for long periods of time and use a crate, make sure someone can take them out.

Ask a friend or family member to come by long enough for them to eat and then potty. An hour would be long enough for puppies.


If you take them out and set them by a tree, take them to that tree every time. Try a spot that isn’t walked in frequently. Your shoes will thank you. Use a command word or phrase when you set them down like “potty” or “time to make.” Try to use the same words each time.

Keep the area clean except for maybe one pile for the day, just so puppy knows where he went last time and recognizes this as the right spot to go. If you just let them loose to go wherever they want. You’ll end up with two different types of brown spots on your lawn. Dog urine over time will essentially kill the grass.

Stay outside for a few minutes after they do their business. Play with them or go for a short walk. This will keep it interesting and encourage your puppy. They will see it as a positive and something they want to do.

If someone else is watching your pup, make sure they know where to take him out at. This will keep the puppy from getting confused and you from possibly stepping in it if it isn’t cleaned up.

Remove Temptation

During potty training, it is essential to remove the temptation of grazing (allowing your puppy to eat when they please). By this I mean two things, food and smells. You want to put the food bowl away after your puppy has had his fill. Grazing leads to preventable accidents.

If there have been accidents (and let’s face it there will be) clean them up as soon as possible. You may even notice that they are in the same general area or even the same spot. This is because their urine contains ammonia. That’s a tough smell to get rid of. The good part, if you are a silver lining person, is that they’re learning.

To help combat this get an enzyme spray or foam. This will help eliminate the odor by breaking down the molecules that cause the smell. Just because you don’t smell it doesn’t mean they can’t. Dogs have a very good sense of smell. Using bleach does not remove the molecules left behind, it will leave a nice bright spot in your carpet though. If you rent, this is a bad idea. Also, most of these cleaners are non-toxic and pet safe. They won’t irritate your skin either.

You could also make your own with vinegar. Plenty of sites online have the ingredients for this and how to mix it. Vinegar is less effective when used on bowel movements, but it’s excellent for urine smell because it’s acidic.


One of the best things to do is to reward all that good behavior. Keep a couple of treats in your pocket when going outside. After they’re done give them a treat and a good scratch behind the ears. Do this every time and they will quickly learn.

Ignore The Bad

If there is an accident, don’t discipline. This could make your puppy afraid and consequently go again. You don’t ever want to scare your puppy. You want to love it, and pet it and call him George (people in their 30s will get that reference.)

Clapping your hands together to get their attention is not the same as yelling. When clapping and saying no in a normal tone, it’s non-threatening. It just says hey, over here pooch.

Puppy Classes

Puppy classes are paid training courses. They are also a great way to get your puppy socialized. Some places offer help with housebreaking, but not all of them. The benefit of this is that you have the support and a safe environment to teach your puppy. You could always go to a place that offers regular classes. They may not specialize in housebreaking, but they probably have other tips that experts use to speed up the process.

Following these simple tips will help potty train your puppy faster. It won’t happen overnight, but they are great methods to keep the process as short as possible. You must make sure that you stick to your guns and stay as consistent as possible.

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