Pets / Animals : How do you potty train a dog while living in an apartment?


Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2007
So i'm considering getting a puppy of a small breed, but I live in an apartment and on the 3rd floor...I've never had a dog, and am unsure as to how I would go about potty training it in such living quarters.


Well-Known Member
Feb 26, 2013
So i'm considering getting a puppy of a small breed, but I live in an apartment and on the 3rd floor...I've never had a dog, and am unsure as to how I would go about potty training it in such living quarters.

I thought you were getting a hedgehog and naming him Sonic!:lol: I'm kidding.

A small breed like a chihuahua?


Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2010
Texas...for now.
Well - I made a post but my browsers keep crashing. So....

You need:
- piddle pads
- treats
- a crate
- patience and time.


- Spread several piddle pads out on the floor.
- Watch the dog closely. When you see the dog squatting or circling, pick her and put her on the pad to finish.
- When they're done? Praise as you would a child, pet and give treats. <- positive reinforcement.
- Repeat the process decreasing the area of piddle pads on your floor.


-- Be aware that puppies has little bladders and won't have much bladder control. They can't always make it, even if they know where to go. Might help to put the crate near the poo/pee area...moving the crate further and further away (to wherever you want it).

-- If the puppy urinates/defecates in the wrong area? Give a firm, 'No!' and remove the dog to the right area to let them finish. When they're finished? Pet, Praise and give treats.

-- Do NOT hit the dog for messing in the wrong area. Don't rub their faces in it, either. Unless you catch them in the act, the dog's not going to understand why you're rubbing excrement in their face.
Also? Puppies, especially, are very impressionable. You have to socialize them properly. Hitting them and screaming at them inspires fear. The last thing you want to have is a puppy that's afraid of you. This leads to 'fear-peeing' and 'fear-biting'. Where the dog pees at the sight of you....
Where your nervous skittish dog begins to bite when they feel nervous....

If their ears are down and their tail is tucked and they're crouching to the ground? Back off. You're scaring the puppy. That's a submissive posture/fear response. It shouldn't be encouraged.

-- A crate is a place of security. A den. It's also a training mechanism.
No dog that I know of urinates/defecates in their den. My dogs will howl and bark to be let out if they have to urinate/defecate...if they have 'the runs'...even if they have to throw up.
They won't do it in their crate.


Some other tidbits that might make life easier:

-- Puppies chew when they're teething. Dogs chew (and dig and destroy) when they're bored.
When you're away? Make sure that there's plenty of toys to play with. Putting on a little music helps. A little classical or light jazz. *laugh*
Get your dog used to chewing on toys...instead of your clothes. *laugh* When you see the dog gnawing on your sock? Say, 'No!', remove the sock and replace with a toy or chew bone. Praise and give treats, immediately.

-- 'Doo-doo' ... is a rare delicacy. Don't be alarmed WHEN you see this.
Just...don't leave that 'doo-doo' unattended. You might wanna watch the dogs around baby diapers, too. I have no other suggestions or prevention methods. I tried everything.
I have 3 dogs and all 3 ate 'doo-doo'. Nothing solved it but time and maturity.
Most dogs are sh-t-eaters.
Of course, I'm anti-hitting and screaming but they'd all get cursed out when I caught them in the act.
Seriously. It's so nasty. Mimi wasn't as bad but... Paris -- oh, Je-SUS!
Formed stool, loose stool -- Paris didn't give a ****! Once I shook out her bed to launder it and out plopped a doo-doo nugget! She'd take the doo-doo to her little bed to 'save it for later'. I've caught her doing it. I, seriously, could've punt-kicked her clear across the room.

-- A dog's name is a command, in and of itself. Remember that.
Let's consider the following: "Paris -- Sit!"
'Paris' , the dog's name, is the preparatory command. It gets the dog's attention.
'Sit', the order, is the command of execution. Tells the dog what to do.
Teach commands early. When the dogs barking like crazy, the 'sit' command helps. don't need it. I never officially taught commands. The dogs will run through the house to alert us to a presence at the front door. When I walk in and say 'Shh..!' they settle down.
They also understand 'Go to bed'! *laugh*

-- Word to the wise: If you wouldn't put up with certain behaviors in a larger breed? Don't put up with it in a smaller one. Do NOT let you little dogs rule you and that's difficult for small breed owners. *laugh*
That's why so many small dogs are a bunch of yappy little monsters.
All of this jumping and leaping on people, barking, nipping at strangers, charging strangers, overt dominance and possessive displays towards you, etc...
No. That behavior needs to be nipped in the bud. Don't let them get away with it simply because 'they're small and cute'.
It's not the dog. It's the failure of the owner to train them properly.
There are no bad dogs. Just crappy owners.

-- It helps to put the dog on a schedule.
When you go to bed? They go to bed. Put them in their crates and lock the doors. Cut the lights off. Cut the music on. They don't like it? Let them howl it out.
That's bedtime. Go to sleep! *laugh*
These days, my dogs go to their crates to sleep at about 1130-12am. They wake up at about 9-10a.
It began like this because Mimi and Paris could not be trusted to roam the house without being annoying. *laugh* They'd bark at everything! As the dog ages, they'll get used to the concept of bedtime and won't bark as much throughout the night. Music helps as well. It distract the dog.
These days, I can leave the crates open at night. They don't roam, though.
They're sleeping.

-- The first night with your dog, it might help to move the crate to your room. Puppies have separation anxiety, too. When I first got Mimibelle, I was surprised. She whimpered and howled when I left her in her crate. Only stopped when I brought her to my room.
Eventually, I had to move the crate out of my room and let her howl/hollar it out...but to build security? It helps to be near in those first few nights.

-- Introduce your puppy to new things and people. Puppies have to be well-socialized to grow into well-trained and sociable dogs.

-- When they encounter something harmless but frightening? Don't react to the dog acting fearful. Don't pet them and coo them when they're shaking and whimpering. Your dog follows your lead. They'll be encouraged to be confident, if you are.
...and this is something of a slippery slope. I don't want a fearful dog but as mine are only so big? I mean -- they're not Rotties or Pits. *laugh* They're chihuahuas. I surely don't want them fighting it out in situations that they're bound to lose (due to size). In ways, I kind of prefer my dogs to be less dominant. Better that they run than stand their ground.

-- Do NOT leave your dogs shut up in a crate all day while you're at work. That's abuse.

-- Do not use the crate as a tool of punishment.
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