How to Potty Train a Puppy in an Apartment & on Pads

We all adore pets, we do! After all, who would be able to keep themselves away from these cute, little creatures that want nothing but our attention? Indeed, calling these creatures our own babies isn’t an exaggeration.

Especially during the period when they do their little ‘do-dos’ all over your humble abode. They’re truly loveable, but we’d be lying if we said that we love that little phase when they just can’t manage their digestive business.

Hence, as a responsible parent – and for the heavenly sake of our homes – it’s our duty to ensure that they adapt to a bathroom schedule ASAP (Courtesies, Sheldon Cooper). This one-stop guide should help you in fulfilling that very role, saving you from having to get your carpet dry cleaned all over again.

Potty Training Puppy Frequently Asked Questions

Potty training can be a tedious affair. Sure enough, there are always doubts that go with any new, unexplored venture. Here are just a few questions that your brain might be bogging you with:

How long does it usually take to potty train a puppy?

It generally takes around 4 to 6 months for dogs to be fully house trained, but some puppies can take up to a year. Usually, smaller dogs establish habits quicker simply because of the frequency with which they need to go. Moreover, old habits are hard to break in dogs who have grown up in shelters.

What should be my goal while house training a puppy?

It’s best to keep in mind that it’s a win-win for any dog owner to have their pet housetrained. While their house will likely remain cleaner, their pet will also be more sanitary and healthy. Hence, the process should always be about instilling good habits and building a loving bond with your pet.

What age should I start training a puppy?

Most experts recommend that a puppy which is 12 to 16 weeks old has enough control over their bladder and bowel movements to be properly housetrained.

What are the signs that my puppy needs a toilet break?

Circling, whining, sniffing, barking, or scratching at their crate’s door are likely signs that your puppy needs to relieve itself. Take it outside immediately.

Tools You Need to House Train Your Puppy

An appropriately sized crate: This is your pet’s safe place and they’re likely to keep it clean when you’re away.

A leash: Essential to directing your dog when outside and immediately giving them treats when needed.

Treats: They are the best tool for positive reinforcement and can be handily given after they poop to reward their choice of place.

Stain and odor remover: Though available with doggy kits, proper cleaning tools (including enzymatic cleansers) are essential to prevent your puppy from establishing an inappropriate spot to do their business.

How to House Train a Puppy

Initially, keep your puppy on a leash or a crate inside the house. This confined space will help them learn that they need to go outside to relieve themselves and once learned, you can let them some freedom in roaming about the house.

When beginning to housetrain your dog, follow these steps:

  •  Keep your puppy on a regular eating schedule and don’t provide them food between mealtimes.
  •  Take your puppy out first thing in the morning and then every 30 to 60 minutes. Promptly take them out after every meal and before putting them in for the night.
  •  Take them to the same spot each time.
  •  Stay with them outside, and prevent play until they’ve done their business.
  •  Positive reinforcement, in the form of rewards or praise, when your puppy eliminates outside will go a long way. This can include a walk around the neighborhood in good weather.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Potty Training Your Puppy

Keep the following tips in mind throughout the process and you’re well on your way to housetraining your dog:

  • Don’t punish your dog for having an accident. It teaches them to fear you.
  • If you catch them in the act, clap loudly to teach them that what they did was unacceptable. Then take them outside by calling them or taking them gently by the collar. Then, give them a treat after they’re finished.
  • Don’t react angrily if you find evidence but don’t catch them in the act. Dogs aren’t intellectually capable enough to connect the reasons for your anger.
  • Staying outside longer while training will potentially help curb accidents.
  • Clean up the accidents with an enzymatic cleaner rather than an ammonia-based cleaner. This will help minimize odors which might otherwise attract them back to the spot.