How To Potty Train Your Puppy In An Apartment

Having a new puppy in your home is certainly going to be an exciting moment for your family. But if you are living in an apartment, going outside for potty might be a tiring task.

So how should you train your puppy to do his potty in an apartment?

We will break this into 2 steps:

Step 1: Know When Your Puppy Needs To Go For Potty

Step 2: Assigned Designated Potty Spots In Your Home

Know When Your Puppy Needs To Go For Potty

This sounds logical right? Certainly you need to know when your puppy will need to go for his potty so that you can prepare and plan for the training.

Your puppy will typically need to do his elimination when

  1. He wakes up in the morning
  2. After each nap
  3. After each meal
  4. After exercise or playtime

So keep a lookout from your puppy and when he shows signs such as sniffing around the floor or walking in a concentrated circle, behaving restlessness and squatting, he is telling you that “It’s Potty Time!”.

As a general guideline, a two-month-old puppy can hold his bladder for 2 hours. This translates to an hour for every one month.

Keep this in mind as you carry out your potty training for your puppy.

Designated Potty Spots In Your Home

Potty training your puppy in an apartment doesn’t always have to take him outside. You can make use of a puppy apartment, potty patch or peeing pad to help you with your potty training in the house. By having a routine schedule that includes feeding and potty time, you can make the training a breeze.

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Potty Training Puppy Apartment

Train your puppy to do his potty in the crate. Yes, you hear it right. But wait, I thought the puppy would not like to do his pee and poo in the area where he eats and sleep.

This is when you need a special crate – Potty Training Puppy Apartment for this purpose.

This crate comes with one – bedroom and one – bathroom and you can train your puppy to do his elimination in the bathroom compartment.

It comes with a room divider that had an opening in the center for your puppy to move between his bedroom and bathroom. 

The divider also makes it easier for you to adjust the room size if you want to make the bedroom slightly bigger than the bathroom to make it more cozy and spacious since your puppy will spend more time in his bedroom rather than bathroom.

To prepare your puppy for his potty in the crate’s bathroom, you can place a newspaper or a peeing pad for him to do his business.

Make sure that your puppy feels comfortable and not showing signs of stress when he is moving between the 2 apartments in the crate.

And of course, most importantly, train him to know which apartment is for his elimination. 

Usually he would feel the surface of the bathroom apartment to be rough as it is laid with a potty pad whereas his bedroom is laid with a blanket. This will help him to identify the right apartment.

Make Use of Potty Patch 

If you have a balcony, make use of it by setting up a potty patch for your puppy to do his business.

It feels like real grass and your puppy would certainly like to do his potty in this spot, similar to an outdoor potty. Just make sure that you clear it up regularly. 

To clean the potty patch, simply take out the grass, and empty the urine from the tray into the toilet bowl. 

Then use soap water to wash the tray to keep the urine scent off. Dry up the tray and place back the grass.

Always supervise your pooch when he is out at the balcony to do his elimination to ensure that there are no accidents. 

This option is certainly going to be much better than running down the apartment with your puppy to do his potty outside.

Train Your Puppy To Use Potty Pad

Choose a designated potty spot and place the pad in that area. You can of course have multiple potty areas in your home but keep it constantly in the same spot.

This will make your puppy know where he should go when it’s potty time.

I would suggest keeping one designated potty area in each room which you typically hang out with your dog, including in the living room or kitchen during the initial potty training.

So if your puppy is with you in the living room, you do not have to bring him all the way back to your bedroom for elimination.

When he is properly house-trained and knows how to hold his bladder well, you can gradually reduce the potty spots.

If you see your puppy going to do his elimination on the pad, give him a verbal cue “go potty” to make him associate the command with his potty action.

This will come handy when you see your puppy is going to pee or poo but is not going to the peeing pad, you can use this command to remind him to go to the designated potty spot.

Alternative, you can pick him up and bring him to the potty pad. If he seems distracted and attempts to move out of the pad, you can put a leash on him to manage his movement and wait till he is done with his elimination.

Remember to praise and reward your puppy when he does his potty in the correct spot. This will certainly help to positively reinforce his action.

He will know that he will get a reward when he pees or poo on the potty pad and not elsewhere in the house and will love to repeat that behavior again.

Use Baby Gates To Block Access To Room

You would not want to have your new puppy running around your apartment before he is fully potty trained and one of the ways is to block his access using the baby gate.

Then you introduce him to the designated room where you have placed the potty training puppy apartment crate to start his potty training.

It’s important that you establish the boundaries and house rules so that your puppy knows where the limitation is. 

By restricting his movement, you can prevent accidents from happening and guide him to just that specific room where the puppy apartment crate is placed.

Having A Fixed Routine

By having a regular routine to feed your puppy and bring him for potty daily, this will help him to develop a habit and expectation of what is coming up next.

This will also allow you to better plan when he needs to go for his potty. Remember the one-month one-hour rule for his bladder holding capability.

Of course, that is the maximum duration that he can hold his bladder. I would suggest that you bring him for his potty 15 to 30 minutes after each meal to avoid any accident from happening.


It takes time for your puppy to be fully potty trained and during the process, it is inevitable that your puppy is going to have an accident.

Keep calm and do not ever yell or shout at your puppy when you see him doing the act (potty in wrong spot). 

You can make use of a verbal reprimand such as “Ah” to mark that instant so that your puppy knows that is not the desirable action, pick him up to the designated potty spot to let him complete his elimination. 

Of course, you have to ensure that he stops his peeing else leave him in that position as you would not want to clean a trail of piddle all the way to the peeing pad.

It’s important to remove your puppy urine scent from the accident area to prevent him from going back again to the same spot for his next potty.

You can do this by making use of baking soda. Sprinkle the powder over the accident spot and let it sit overnight. This will have the best effect to clear the odor.

Remember, yelling at your puppy will make him nervous, and he will think that it’s wrong to pee or poo. He is not learning that it’s not the correct area for his potty.

Guess what he will do next? He will hide in an area where you cannot see him and do his elimination.  

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So supervision of your puppy is extremely important during your house breaking training as “You can’t fix, What you don’t see!”

Refrain from any punishment and use positive reinforcement when he does his elimination correctly. You would want to encourage desirable behavior. 

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