“how to potty train a puppy in an apartment with carpet” is the question that I am asked most. The answer is, it depends on your dog. If you have a small dog, then you can potty train them outside. If you have a larger dog, then they may need to be trained using the crate method.

If you are trying to potty train your puppy in an apartment, there is next-to-no hope. This can cause problems with neighbors and the smell of urine everywhere. Here’s how to do it right!

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You’ve got a new puppy. A new furry bundle of joy has arrived. However, there is one problem: you reside on the fifth floor. 

In an apartment, how will you house train Bella the Maltese puppy? 

Don’t be discouraged. I’ll provide suggestions to assist you in learning how to toilet train her in a small space. 

There are a variety of choices available, including using indoor bathroom locations or bringing her outdoors until she regains control of her bladder.

I’m a qualified dog trainer who has assisted many individuals in toilet training their puppies while living in an apartment. China, a Pekingese, is an example. 

When I was called in to aid, the puppy was around 15 weeks old. China was having a lot of mishaps at the owner’s residence. Her owner was trying to find a solution to the stench.

I assisted the owner in the creation of an indoor toilet space that remedied the issue. Of course, she had to deodorize all of the locations where housetraining misbehavior had occurred.

I’ll provide some solutions to your issue in this post. I’ll provide choices ranging from indoor toilet locations to getting the puppy to his outside potty area, depending on the size of your dog and your ultimate objective of housetraining him.

After all, you want your puppy to have the greatest possible connection with you. Training, even if it’s only house training, will help you connect with him and communicate with him.

Scheduling and Routine

Establishing a routine for your puppy is one of the most essential things you can do. 

A steady schedule is healthier for puppies. They should be fed at the same time every day, get regular exercise via walks or play, and go to bed at the same time every night. 

If they have a regular routine, you can predict when they will need to go pee. 

Training in the House

After they sleep, eat, play, chew, or have any stimulation, puppies must go to the toilet. 

I understand that they seem to be little toilets. Things will improve after they regain control of their bladder and bowels.

Every two hours, an eight-week-old puppy has to go pee. A 16-week-old dog has to go to the bathroom every four hours or so. 

Puppy bladders are smaller in smaller pups, thus they have to go more regularly. Young pups, on the other hand, may occasionally hold it for many hours overnight.

When I’m potty training a puppy, I’ll even stop playing and take him to his designated potty spot to prevent an accident.

It’s crucial not to offer your puppy any out-of-sight independence while housetraining him. 

If he is left free reign of the home or apartment, he may cause an accident in an area that is not under your control. 

When he has too much freedom, he may gnaw on household goods, which is harmful. It’s possible that he won’t be able to eat them. He may even be able to destroy things.

Keep an eye on your puppy for signs that he or she has to go potty.

It’s important to keep an eye on your dog and understand when he has to go to the toilet. Puppies generally let you know when they need to go pee. 

Some people begin smelling the floor. Some people spin in circles. Others mutter, seem agitated, or retreat to a room corner or door. Some pups may even begin to raise or squat, at which point it is typically too late to prevent the mishap.

Millie, my Aussie mix rescue, would smell the floor and circle. And I realized it was time to bring her out to her toilet area right now.

Cue Phrase “Go Potty”

When housetraining a puppy, it’s crucial to take them to the same location from the start. Their smell will be there, and they will have been used to traveling in the same region and on the same ground.

Use a term like “go potty” before he goes when you arrive to his potty place. It will really serve as a signal for him to leave, encouraging him to go more quickly.

I presently have five dogs: Riley, a rescued golden retriever, Murphy and Gracie, Ralphie, a Lhasa apso, and Millie, a saved Aussie mix. 

I’ve taught them all to go to the toilet as soon as I tell them to “go potty.” 

Praise is, of course, an element of their reinforcement. And when I was initially training them where to go and how to pee fast, I offered them tiny incentives.

THE MORE YOU KNOW: Puppies at the guide dog school are taught to “get active” when it’s time to go pee. The command “better go now” is taught at one of the service dog schools. It doesn’t matter which cue you use; just choose one that you believe will be most effective for your dog.

Accidents Occur.

The majority of pups will have an accident at some point. Don’t scold him if you catch him indulging in a housetraining misbehavior. 

You may use “eh-eh” as an interrupter, then take him to his bathroom area and praise and treat him when he uses it.

If he has an accident that you don’t notice, use an odor neutralizer like Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Remover to clean it up.

Even if you’re meticulous, you’ll undoubtedly have a few mishaps. Always keep your clean-up products on hand. 

Poop bags, enzymatic cleanser, and paper towels should all be on hand. You may also want to have a separate trash pail and liner on hand for any feces or paper towels required for cleanup. 

You should not scold him. After the event, he won’t comprehend. Simply keep a closer eye on him the next time.

Other Training Aids for the Home

You may also wrap a “hands-free” leash around your waist to keep your puppy close to you. 

You’d wear a particular leash that was wrapped around your waist and another that was approximately six feet long so the puppy could walk beside you for a time. You can then figure out when he has to use the restroom.

PRO TIP: A specific “hands-free” leash, such as the one in the link above, is useful. If you’re low on cash, you may make a DIY “hands-free” leash by tying your leash to your belt buckle.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to include this strategy in your home training toolkit. 

First, make sure the puppy is acclimated to being on a leash so he doesn’t freak out. Also, use a harness so he doesn’t get strangled on a collar while you walk. 

Last but not least, I don’t encourage doing this on a regular basis. Although being together is wonderful, having him close by all the time may make him uneasy when he’s at the other end of the room–possibly leading to separation anxiety. 

A bell, which your dog may learn to ring when the desire to potty strikes, is another housetraining assistance. There are several styles to choose from. Some dangle from a doorknob, while others need a push to ring. 

If you’re bringing him to an indoor or outdoor toilet place, ring it on the way out to help teach him. If you’re consistent, he should eventually learn to aim the bell and ring it.

Training on the Leash

Getting your dog acquainted to a collar or harness and leash is an important component of house training. Many pups buck against them at first. 

However, you’ll need him to get used to them before you can take him to his potty locations. Even though you can put him on an indoor toilet spot (described below), leaving him outdoors without a leash is dangerous.

If you live in an apartment or condo, you may not be able to go outdoors right away to use the restroom. 

You may have to carry your puppy outdoors to his toilet location if you chose to take him there. 

When he’s tiny enough to carry, this will be doable. Because puppies don’t want to go to the potty on themselves or on us, this method works. 

However, if he has to go right away, such as first thing in the morning, you may have to utilize an indoor toilet area at first–especially if you live in an apartment or condo.

The issue with letting him out on a leash to go pee is that he could have accidents. Nobody likes dog crap or pee in the corridor, lobby, or elevator. 

Of course, if you reside on the first level, you may be able to take him outdoors to use the restroom straight away. 

Don’t be concerned. There are alternative choices if you can’t bring him outdoors until he can “hold it” for extended lengths of time.


It’s essential to employ some kind of confinement, such as a crate, an exercise pen, or a gated secure room, to properly house train a puppy.

A properly sized wire cage or exercise pen will greatly assist you in housebreaking your dog. You may get a wire crate with a partition that you can shift around as the puppy develops. 

Your puppy should be able to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably in a wire box or plastic kennel. 

It shouldn’t be too big, otherwise the puppy could go to the potty in one area and sleep in another. Crates function because pups are naturally motivated to keep their sleeping place and themselves tidy.

If you use a crate, make sure the puppy is taken out regularly when he has to go pee, otherwise he will have inevitable accidents in his box. 

If you can’t get him out to pee when he needs to, you may need to enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member. While you’re at work, you may also employ a dog walker to assist you potty him and take care of his other requirements.

An exercise pen may be used to keep your dog contained. You may also use a baby gate to limit him to a small space, such as a bathroom or kitchen. 

If you utilize a room, be sure there’s nothing dangerous within his grasp. Anything he can consume, such as towels or cleaning supplies, falls into this category.

The disadvantage of utilizing an exercise pen or a secure room is that the puppy may have accidents in one area while playing and sleeping in another. 

If you employ these confinement techniques, you’ll need to have someone take your puppy to his toilet spot on a regular basis so that he learns where he should go.

Another option is to install an indoor toilet facility, as described below. This is especially useful for those who live in flats or condominiums and need to house train their pets.

Areas for Potty Training in the Home

Having a dedicated indoor restroom for your dog is an alternative for you. You want to maintain it in the same place so he doesn’t believe he can use the restroom anyplace else in the house.

An indoor toilet space may be an option if you work full-time. However, you may still want assistance in ensuring that he knows where to go pee while he is learning.

Indoor toilet rooms come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are absorbent-material dog litter boxes that you can replace as they get filthy.

Real or fake grass may be found in certain toilet areas where your dog can relieve himself.

Potty mats with holders are also available. The pads include a soft absorbent layer on top that is often perfumed with an enticing aroma to entice the puppy to use the pad as a restroom. 

Pads also feature plastic bottoms to prevent urine from leaking onto the floor. A pad holder may also be purchased to keep the pad in place. 

If you opt to utilize potty pads as part of your house training regimen, make sure you have the right size for your puppy; otherwise, he may have accidents outside of the pad. 

A Yorkie’s size will vary from that of a Beagle. It’s preferable to overestimate rather than underestimate.

Several dogs have been successfully taught to utilize such indoor toilet locations. I was teaching a Shih Tzu for a customer who had accidents all over her apartment. 

The 13-week-old dog couldn’t wait for her owner to take her outdoors to the grass since she resided on the third level.

As a result, I recommended placing a toilet pad in an area where the puppy could reach it. I taught the puppy to use the toilet pad in the same way that you would teach a dog to use grass outdoors. 

I brought the dog to the potty pad and said, “Go potty.” After the puppy defecated or urinated on the pad, I congratulated him and gave him a little reward. 

Naturally, the owner had to follow the same schedule every day, putting the puppy to the pad whenever she ate, slept, played, chewed, or experienced any other kind of stimulation.

A puppy pad may also be used in an exercise pen. The pad may be in one part of the enclosure, while the rest can be used as a sleeping and playing space. 

You may also use a crate in the exercise pen as a sleeping space by closing the door or securing it back.

If you use a toilet pad, take your puppy there every time he has to go potty and praise and treat him as soon as he defecates or urinates there. The importance of consistency cannot be overstated. 

You may put the pee pad or another restroom facility in the same room, or even on a covered balcony where the puppy can safely wander. (Ensure that the balcony or terrace railing or other enclosure is secure and that the puppy cannot go through or over it.)

Unless you want to train your dog to just use pee pads for the rest of his life, it’s critical to educate him to utilize the grass in the vast outdoors as well. 

A puppy should not be brought to locations where other dogs have gone potty until he has received all of his immunizations.

You may gradually phase out the toilet pad as he gains bladder control and can hold it until he reaches the grass outdoors. 

Dogs get used to going to the potty on a certain sort of surface. I assisted a customer in transitioning her dog from using indoor pee pads to using grass outdoors.  

Because he was so used to using the toilet pads, the puppy would “hold it” when brought outdoors. 

The puppy needed to go first thing in the morning, so the owner brought him outside and urged Rufus the beagle puppy to go to the potty. 

She quickly complimented the dog and gave him a tiny reward tidbit after he left. He transitioned to just going to the potty in the vast outdoors when his bladder control improved.

I don’t advocate relocating the potty pad towards the door when phasing out the potty mat and shifting to the great outdoors solely. Some pups may be enticed back to pee in all of the locations where the pad has been. 

You may take your puppy outdoors to pee once he has the bladder and bowel control to do so. Then you may confidently lead him down the corridor and onto an elevator to take him outside. 

You’ll soon be able to take him out solely to go pee outdoors.

Once you’ve removed the toilet pad, make sure your puppy doesn’t return to the spot where it used to be. 

You may close off that area, but you must make sure he doesn’t go pee where the pad was. It requires perseverance and consistency, but it is possible.

Another issue with toilet pads is that some pups may try to gnaw on them while playing with them. Puppies like playing with objects that crackle or have a paper-like texture. 

They may feel unwell or develop a blockage if they consume part of the pad. If you have a dog that does this, I wouldn’t recommend using the pads.

You may even housetrain a dog using old newspapers. I did this with my Shih Tzu, Cuddles, many years ago. I put the papers on a tray to prevent any pee from getting on the kitchen floor. (I was given unprinted newspaper at the time.)  

Then, as though I were taking her somewhere outdoors, I took her to the newspaper. I also taught her how to go outdoors on her own. She immediately picked up on both areas with persistence and good reinforcement. 

This was before the popularity of potty pads. If you want your dog to go to the toilet indoors, I’d recommend using potty pads instead of newspaper. The ink on the paper might stain the dog and cause a mess.

Other sorts of indoor potty rooms are also available. There are litter boxes for dogs. You want to make sure you get the right size for your dog. You may also purchase absorbent litter material that you can replace, much like a cat’s litter.

Artificial or even genuine grass is used in another form of indoor bathroom environment. Because genuine grass can die after a dog has urinated on it repeatedly, I would recommend selecting an artificial version that can be washed or replaced.

These indoor toilet places are also available with high sides in case your male dog elevates his leg.

What You Should Not Do

If your dog has an accident, don’t punish him. People used to massage a puppy’s nose after an accident, smack him on the nose with a newspaper, or scold at him when the accident was found years ago. 

These approaches are not only harsh, but they may also damage your puppy’s relationship with you and his faith in you. And he’ll have no idea what’s expected of him. 

Dogs usually only grasp what occurs just before they are reprimanded or rewarded. 

So all you have to do now is keep a closer eye on him and don’t give him any out-of-sight freedom until he’s ready.


Is it a good idea to use toilet pads?

It is dependent on your circumstances. If you are unable to bring your puppy outdoors to urinate in a timely manner, you may need to utilize an indoor toilet location until he has better bladder or bowel control. 

Some owners of petite or toy breeds opt to keep their dogs for the rest of their lives.

In an apartment, how long would it take to house train a puppy?

Puppies have little bladder and bowel control when they are young. They can usually retain pee for an hour longer than their age. A four-month-old puppy, on the other hand, can hold it for roughly five hours. A puppy can hold it for around seven or eight hours by the time he or she is six months old. Because smaller breeds have smaller bladders, they will need to go more often. 

Puppies may be housetrained in an apartment with persistence and effort. It also relies on the constancy with which the puppy is house-trained by the owner. As the puppy matures, he gains more control over his bladder and intestines.

Is it possible to teach a puppy to use indoor toilet pads as well as go outside?

Yes! You can teach a puppy to use indoor toilet pads as well as go to the bathroom outdoors. Patience and consistency are essential. 

When he has to go to the bathroom, take him to the indoor or outside toilet area. Use your “go potty” word and praise and reward him with a tiny treat as soon as he goes to the toilet.

Last Thoughts

Although housetraining a dog in an apartment might be challenging, it is possible. 

You may need to add an indoor toilet place as an intermediate step until your puppy has better bladder and bowel control. Your dog can be completely housetrained with perseverance and patience. And he’ll be everything you hoped he’d be.

Have you ever had to housetrain a dog in a condo or apartment?

Did you use a bathroom that was indoors? Please share your experience in the comments area below.


The “how to potty train a puppy in the city” is a guide that will teach you how to potty train your dog. It’s important to start this process early so you can avoid any accidents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you potty train a puppy in an apartment?

A: You can find a lot of information about potty training your dog by doing research on the internet. There are many websites that offer tips and tricks to help you train your puppy in an apartment, so I highly recommend starting there. It is important for owners who live in apartments or condos with small yards to be diligent about house training their pets.

How do you potty train a puppy fast indoors?

A: You can potty train a puppy on the floor, but it will take longer than if you put them in a crate. A dog is not supposed to eliminate outside of their litter box and must be taken out every hour. They need to know that when they go back inside, theres going to be something waiting for them so they wont soil their bedding or pee on your furniture.

Does the potty training puppy apartment work?

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