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How to potty-train a dog when living in an apartment
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How to potty-train a dog when living in an apartment

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Here’s how to potty train your new furry friend. Buzz60’s Chloe Hurst has the answer!

Potty training is one of the most important matters when you get a dog that isn’t yet toilet trained. And potty training a dog in an apartment comes with its own challenges, but it’s possible with care and consistency‌.

With these potty training tips, your dog can be accident-free in a short while — though be prepared to race down flights of stairs a time or two.

Establish a potty training routine‌

For effective potty training, you need a routine.

With a puppy, aim to take them outside once every hour or two. Older dogs can wait a few hours between potty breaks. Incorporate mealtimes into this routine, and try to take your dog outside 5 to 10 minutes after drinking, eating or playing.

Dog potty training

Take your dog to the same spot outside to do their business each time — this helps establish that they should attempt to eliminate when you take them to this place, while the rest of the outside is for having fun.

It’s even more important to do this with young puppies who aren’t fully vaccinated. Keep them away from public places until they’ve finished their course of vaccinations. Sticking to the same spot for potty breaks reinforces the routine and limits their exposure.

Know signs for when your dog needs to go

As dogs get ready to pee or poop, some circle, others sniff or scratch at the carpet or pace around looking restless. Once you’ve figured out how your dog tells you they need to go, you know when to rush them outside.

Get outside as quickly as possible‌

One of the challenges of potty training dogs in apartments is getting them outside quickly enough to avoid messes, in your own apartment or in shared hallways or stairwells.

Carry your dog down stairs or take an elevator to get them outside to do their business — the more walking they do in this timeframe, the more it stimulates their bowels and bladder.

Always use positive reinforcement ‌

Don’t get discouraged when potty training your dog in an apartment — it can take a while for some dogs to get the hang of, but they’ll get there with consistent positive reinforcement.

When your dog goes potty outside, reward them with verbal praise, a treat or a quick play session with their favorite toy.

Never punish your dog for accidents. If your dog goes inside, don’t tell them off — they’re still learning and have no idea they did something wrong.

Keeping to your established potty training routine and knowing your dog’s behavior when they have to go are the best things you can do to avoid accidents.

Be prepared to deal with accidents‌

There will be accidents to clean up as you potty train your dog. It’s key to clean up quickly so as not to imply to your dog that peeing or pooping inside the apartment is an option.

Dogs often do their business in the same spot time after time, so it’s important you thoroughly clean any area in which your dog has an accident indoors. Enzymatic spot cleaners use enzymes to completely remove odors, rather than just covering them, so your dog won’t smell old urine in a particular spot and assume it’s a good place to go pee.

Taking your dog outside in the middle of the night isn’t always easy when you live in an apartment. Pee pads or an indoor potty can be a reasonable solution until your dog is able to wait until morning to go.

Tip

Carry your dog down stairs or take an elevator to get them outside to do their business — the more walking they do in this timeframe, the more it stimulates their bowels and bladder.

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