Housebreaking Your Dog in a New Apartment

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Housebreaking your dog in a new apartment can be a challenge, and it is best starting off on the right foot. Here are some tips to make your house training easy and quick so you can quit worrying about your dog’s habits and start enjoying being a dog owner. 

Give Your Dog a Way to Communicate

It is vitally important to give your dog tools to be able to alert you when he has to go outside to use the potty. Depending on your personal preferences there are several common ways to do this. The important thing is to pick only one, and use it every time. 

Ways to train your dog to alert you: 

  • Teach the dog to “Speak” and let him out every time he goes to the door and barks. 
  • Hang a bell on a string and tie it to the front door handle. When the dog rings the bell, let him out instantly. 
  • Teach the dog to lie down by the front door or sit by it before going out.

The most important thing about this training is to be able to follow through. When you pick a method, such as ringing a bell, start by ringing it yourself every time you take the dog outside. Soon the dog will bump it himself, and if you jump up and escort him outside, he will be trained in no time. This applies to the other methods as well. 

A Word about Training Pads

Teaching a dog to use training pads is a common strategy for apartment dogs. A word of caution: if you plan on having the dog mainly go outside to relieve himself, you should strongly consider skipping the training pads. They can add to long term confusion in the dog’s mind about where it is acceptable to go potty. Additionally, if you do decide to use the training pads, make sure you put them in a highly cleanable location since often there is spillage. 

Consistency Is Required

Pick a training strategy, a training word such as “Go potty!” and use it consistently. Do not vary your words or actions at all during the training phase. If your training strategy is to ring the bell, take the dog to the closest spot of grass and say, “Go potty,” do this every time without variation. You will be able to relax a little bit once the dog is really well trained. For now, stick to the training plan for the best and fastest results. 

Give the Puppy Frequent Breaks

Dogs need to go out to relieve themselves frequently. This is especially true for puppies. Establish a routine, including a mid-day break, and stick to it for consistency. 

Restrict Access to the Apartment

Dogs that are being house trained should never have unrestricted access to the apartment. Keep them crated or confined, or on a leash until they are reliably house trained for at least a month. 

If you follow these tips, you will be finished with house training and able to enjoy the less messy aspects of dog ownership quickly and easily.


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