Potty training can be one of the hardest parts when training a new puppy. With the added challenge of condo living, it can feel like a near impossible task to take on.
If you are like me and live in a high-rise, sometimes getting your pup downstairs and to the nearest relief area is near impossible. The younger the pup the harder it is; as a rule of thumb, puppies can hold their bladder for about an hour each month of their age (ie – 2 months, 2 hours).
Like it or not, for the first period of your puppies arrival, puppy pads are your friend. I started off Fendi on the puppy pad as soon as we got her. Keep the pad in an area away from any personal belongings, their food/water dishes, and their crate. The first few weeks I kept one inside and on our patio (secured down with tape). Any time she pottied on the pads or outdoors I would tell her “good potty” & reward her with a treat.
She tried to make accidents in the house twice – once on a bath towel and once on her dog bed; thankfully I caught her in the act. Each time we scooped her up as quickly has possible and placed her on the pad. I repeated “potty” and she would go again on the pad. We then would say “good potty” and give her a treat. In both of these incidents, her pad was soiled. I have read & been told that a soiled pad is preferred for most dogs as they know it’s their area, but Fendi will not use for more than 1 use.
I kept the pad indoors for about 2 weeks. I cannot stress enough how lucky we are that Fendi picks up on things so quickly. She is now exclusively using the outside pad and outdoors. I stopped praising her for going potty on the indoor pad (no scolding, just no recognition for going and no command to “potty” indoors) and only giving verbal praise on the outdoor pad – treats were reserved for going outside.
I also considered subscribing to Fresh Patch, but decided against it as I already have limited space on the patio and she is already getting so good with the potty training.
This week, we are working on weaning off the outdoor pads. I have stopped giving verbal praise for the outdoor pads and continue the treat praise for outside. I try to take her out every 3 hours or whenever she gets up from a nap (whichever comes sooner). So far so good!
Tips for Potty Training in a Condo
- Potty pads are your friends at first – Do not become reliant on them, it is so easy to just left your dog use them. Change the pads frequently and encourage your dog to go outside.
- Roll up your rugs – Anything you have left on the floor your puppy will consider open game. This also goes for bathmats, shoes, etc…
- Take out your dog as frequently as possible – If you have the ability to take out your puppy very 2 hours utilize it!
- Consider a dog walker/check in – There are many services available to have someone come in once a day if you work a 9-5 and take your puppy for a potty break.
- Invest in a good deodorizing cleaning spray – Puppies will keep peeing in the area they last went. Make sure to thoroughly disinfect anywhere your puppy has an accident and under & around the surrounding area of each pad when replacing.
- Persistence, Patients & Praise – Potty training can be super frustrating. Stay calm. Do not scold your puppy for accidents. Quickly move your puppy to the designated potty area & clean up after your puppies accidents as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Treats and verbal praise will keep your puppy motivated to go where you want them going.