How To Potty Train A Puppy in An Apartment

13 Oct 2014 | by | Posted in: Training

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Having a new puppy is a challenging task and a huge responsibility. One of the biggest and most important part of getting a new puppy is to house train them. As pet parents one would have to show high perseverance to teach and train their new puppies not to soil their house and also work hard to prepare a feeding and going out regime for the puppies.

Puppies, unlike adult dogs, are unable to control their their bowel or bladder movements as neither are fully developed. Since puppies are also growing and developing and are always a little bundle of energy, they have a high metabolism. As a result, little snacking or meal can rush them to eliminate their food quickly.

New pet parents can have a little ease of life if they live in a house which has a yard or a garden where the pup can go out and relieve himself / herself. However, in case you live in an apartment, the entire exercise of house training becomes slightly difficult. The key to house training is to start as early as possible, though it is said that puppies take as long as six months to become house trained. Yet, it will be imperative to understand the puppies feeding schedule so as one can take the puppy out immediately

Here are some of the tips that will help you to successfully house train your new puppy:


Take your puppy out as much as possible


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Image courtesy: Wikihow

Puppies have an extremely weak bowel and bladder and as a result they relieve themselves every hour or so. As pet parents, you will have to ensure that if your puppy has been playing, or has just finished a feed, or has not gone out for a while, then do take him / her out. When you will follow this regime like a clockwork, the puppy will understand that “going out” after a meal or after play is the time for bathroom. Appropriate rewards such as dog treats or biscuits will reinforce the habit in the puppy.


Follow a set schedule


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Image Courtesy: Wikihow

For  puppies to get used to feeding and going outside time, it will be imperative to fix a schedule for their feeding times. When a regime is set, the puppy will also know that post feeding time he / she will be taken out of the apartment to relieve themselves.  A set schedule for feeding will also make things easier for you.


Watch for signs of relieving self


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Image courtesy: Wikihow 

As pet parents, you will have to watch out for signs when the puppy wants to relieve himself / herself. Some of the common signs will include - circling in a particular spot, pacing or sniffing a spot. As soon as you see these signs, take your puppy out immediately.


Find a nearby area for the puppy


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Image courtesy: Wikihow

As mentioned earlier, puppies have a weak bladder. In most apartment complexes, puppies and dogs have a litter area that is outside the complex doors. It will be helpful to find a small segregated spot nearby so that in case the puppy is in a real hurry, he / she can relieve nearby rather than having an incident in the middle of the road or within the apartment complex.


Develop a command


One can also develop a command based on one’s convenience to make the puppy relieve himself / herself. Many a times when the puppies are outside, they get fascinated by the smells in the vicinity and forget to do their business. Reinforcing with a command such a “hurry up” or “potty” or “go poop” will make a puppy remember that he / she is out and must relieve himself.


Pick a designated spot


Dogs and puppies are creatures of habit. Help your puppy to pick a designated spot where he / she can relieve himself. Once the puppy has relieved himself / herself in the designated spot, he / she will remember the scent and then develop a habit of visiting and relieving in that particular spot itself.


Reward generously


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Image courtesy: Wikihow

House training like all forms of training must be awarded generously. When your puppy does a job well, reward him / her with a treat so that the puppy realises that t was a good job and that is why a reward was given. Reward is the best way to reinforce a habit.


Develop a bathroom spot inside the house


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Image courtesy: Wikihow

Many a times it is difficult to take the puppy out - either due to weather conditions or it might be too late in the night to do so. In such cases, it will be a good idea to develop a bathroom spot inside the house so that the puppy knows that in case it is too late, he / she can go relieve himself /  herself in that particular spot. There are training pads that are readily available in the market that can be spread in a spot in the bathroom / balcony where the puppy can relieve in case of emergencies.

Clean up immediately after incidents

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Image courtesy: Wikihow

In case there is an incident at home where the puppy was unable to control himself / herself and relieved inside the house, clean up the area immediately with a strong disinfectant. If the smell of urine or stool is not eliminated, the puppy might consider the spot to be a designated area.

Do not scold if there is an incident at home

Puppies and dogs do not do well with negative reinforcement such a scolding or yelling. If there happens to be an incident at home, do not yell or spank the puppy. Instead take him / her outside and give them some time to relieve and finish their business. Reward them for good behaviour and then bring them back inside. Many people rub the nose of the puppy near the incident and hit or spank. That does not help, as it only makes the puppy confused and afraid of you. Be soft and calm as that is the only way you will be able to teach your puppy discipline.

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