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House training a dog in an apartment

House training a dog in an apartment

House training is one of the first things we teach a puppy once they come to live with us. It can be a difficult time, small dogs often have trouble with toilet training, for example. If you live in an apartment, and therefore don't have a garden at your disposal, potty training can be a bit more difficult than usual.

However, you can also potty train a dog in an apartment, and with some adjustments and a little more effort, it is not that much more difficult than if you have a garden at your disposal.

Do you need help with potty training your puppy or would you just like to read how you can best do this? One of the best guides you can get for this is ' The Ultimate Puppy Potty Training Handbook '. It explains step by step how to potty train your puppy with the help of handy schedules.

How do you potty train a puppy?

The key to a puppy potty trained quickly is to minimize the chance of accidents. Because of the small bladders of small dogs, this is a bit more difficult for them, but with a large puppy you should be able to avoid accidents as much as possible.

It is important that you take your puppy outside immediately when your puppy indicates that he may need to do his business. Pups often start to walk around restlessly and sniff the floor.

Other times when you should always take your puppy outside for his needs are:

  • Early in the morning, immediately after waking up
  • Every time your pup leaves his crate after a rest or nap.
  • After every feeding of your puppy
  • At night before you go to bed

Do not punish your puppy if he does pee or poop in the house, but clean it up neatly and take him outside. Try to discover what little signals your pup gives when he wants to go to the bathroom.

If you live in an apartment, you won't be able to put your puppy outside quickly, you will always have to take a few stairs or take the elevator. Preferably carry your puppy outside to prevent him from urinating in the porch or in the elevator. Climbing stairs is not good for puppies' joints, so you should avoid this anyway.

Potty training doesn't really differ, whether you have a garden at your disposal or live in an apartment. It will only take you a little more effort than if you only have to open a door to let your pup pee.

If your puppy is still very young, especially small breeds, puppy training mats can come in handy. Its use is often discouraged, because you can accidentally teach the dog that it is ok if he does his business inside.

However, you can avoid this by only using a puppy mat in the early stages. For example, put it on the balcony or in a puppy pen. Small puppies only have a small bladder, and a puppy mat can help protect your floor from night time accidents. The puppy training pads from Petsentials are reasonably priced and of excellent quality.

If possible, take your puppy outside if you notice him seeking out the puppy training mat, or, for example, wants to go onto the balcony if you have placed the mat there. Eventually, of course, he has to learn to pee outside.

Apartment and crate training

Sometimes it helps to use a crate when training your puppy. Pups prefer not to soil their own environment, making them less likely to defecate or urinate in their own crate.

Crate training is one of the most popular and effective ways to train a dog, be it a puppy, adult or senior. The crate should never be used as a punishment but is a quiet space where your dog should feel safe.

To begin crate training, get your dog used to going into the crate and accepting it as a quiet place to sleep. You will need an appropriately sized crate, a large blanket or mattress, and plenty of tasty treats.

A crate should be long enough for your dog to stretch out completely without his head or paws touching the edges. The crate should be high enough for your dog to stand with its head or ears against the roof. Finally, the crate should be wide enough for your dog to turn around comfortably.

The crate is only intended to give your puppy a safe place at times when you cannot pay attention yourself. Your puppy is not meant to be in this all day. Of course you can also use a puppy pen to provide a safe area in your house.

It prevents your pup from learning annoying things, such as chewing on furniture and peeing in the house while you're not paying attention.

It helps if you use the crate as part of your daily routine. For example, the crate is where your dog sleeps at night and where he goes when you have to leave him home alone. Take your pup outside immediately when you let him out, even if you let him out an hour earlier. The repetitive act of going outside as soon as he leaves the crate teaches your dog that the toilet is outside. You don't give him a chance to pee in your apartment.

Do you want to know how to correctly perform a bench training? Then it is Ultimate Puppy Crate Training Book highly recommended.

Bell training for dogs in an apartment

An alternative technique is to teach your dog to use a bell to indicate that he needs to be walked. A simple bell like the one on a cat collar works great for this training. All you need to do is tie the bell to the end of a string and then tie the string to the handle of your apartment door.

Don't assume your puppy will figure this out soon, but you can try introducing the bell. Ultimately, it will be useful if your dog can indicate that he needs to pee, so that you can take him outside in time.

Step 1. Introducing The Bel

Hold the bell in front of your dog. He will instinctively want to smell it. Give him a treat as soon as his nose hits the bubble. Repeat this step until your dog touches the bell every time you show it.

Step 2. Ring the bell

Now you want to continue adding the sound. Only give your dog a treat when he touches the bell and it rings. Keep repeating this step as before until he touches the bell when you show him.

Step 3. Ring the doorbell

Repeat the previous steps with the bubble where you want it to be. Each time your dog touches the bell and it rings, reward him with a treat. Remove the bell when not practicing.

Step 4. Combine the bell with walks

Point to the bell. Give your dog a treat when he touches the bell, and immediately take him outside so he can relieve himself, then come back inside. Keep repeating this step whenever you think your dog needs to be walked again.

Eventually your dog will realize he is being let out when he touches the bell. At first, your dog may use the bell more often to get a treat or to go outside when he shouldn't, but you can ignore this if your dog has just been out. This will teach him that the bell only indicates he needs a bathroom break, not just when he wants to explore.

Tips for potty training in an apartment

  • Don't punish your pup if things go wrong. Especially when the puppy is still very young, it is not surprising that there is occasional urination or defecation in the house. This is more common in small breeds than in large breeds. Instead, ask yourself what you can do next time to prevent your puppy from going to the bathroom in the house. Did you wait too long, or maybe you missed signals? Did the puppy drink a lot recently or was there a stressful situation?
  • Temporarily remove mats and rugs. As you could read above, accidents happen when you bring a puppy into your home. If you value your rug a lot, it's better to remove it.
  • Thoroughly clean the area where your puppy urinated so that he does not use this area again to urinate.
  • Pick up your pup in the elevator and in the porch, you don't want your pup to learn to do his business in these locations. Once it creeps in, it can be difficult to unlearn, and a large dog isn't so easy to take down once it's fully grown. In this case, prevention is better than cure. If your dog doesn't get the opportunity to do this as a puppy, it will be much less likely to do it as an adult dog.
  • Establish a routine and take your pup outside often, even if he hasn't indicated that he may need to relieve himself. This makes it less likely that your puppy will pee in the house.

Author: Tom Marr
Illustrations: Antonia Oana

This BLOG has been posted on our website as a guest blog with the author's approval.


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