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Small Space, Big Training: Tips and Tricks for Potty Training Your Dog in an Apartment

on August 01, 2023

Are you considering welcoming a new pup into your home but are concerned about having a small space to potty train them? Fear not! Living in a small space like an apartment doesn't mean you can't successfully potty train your pup. Potty training principles are the same for those with or without a yard and can easily be adapted to accommodate those with a smaller living space. Don’t let the size of your home be a barrier to adopting a pup and successfully housebreaking them!



Key Components for Potty Training Your Dog in a Small Space

Dog owners should consider a few key components for potty training success in a small space. Each of the following is outlined in more detail below, but the key components are:

  1. Stock up on necessary supplies.
  2. Decide on a training method.
  3. Establish a potty routine and be consistent.
  4. Be patient and use positive reinforcement.
  5. Seek housebreaking support as needed.



Stock up on Necessary Supplies

Create a checklist of essential items to have on hand before starting potty training. 

Potty training your pooch can seem daunting, especially if you are limited on space to do it. To make the process as stress-free as possible, stock up on essential products before getting started! We recommend purchasing the following basics:

  • Treats. Treats are necessary for rewarding your pup when they do something right, especially regarding appropriate bathroom behavior. 
  • Cleaning supplies and sprays. To help with clean-up duties, have plenty of pet-safe cleaning supplies and extra paper towels on hand. Additionally, try investing in a few anti-odor sprays to handle any residual smells quickly and efficiently. 
  • Potty pads. Invest in ways to protect your flooring by purchasing high-quality potty pads to keep any indoor accidents localized and easy to clean.
  • A crate. While this isn’t required, crate training can be hugely successful when used to potty training your pup. Plus, there are additional benefits beyond potty training! 



Decide on a Training Method

There are different potty training methods (crate or paper trained) – determine which one best suits your lifestyle. 

Crate training and paper training are both popular methods of housebreaking your pup, but which one should you choose? Paper training is generally more successful for those with a larger space, as it requires your puppy to be in their own designated, confined area that is easy to clean (e.g., a gated-off kitchen). It’s also more of a temporary solution. Crate training, on the other hand, often works best for owners who live in an apartment or small home, as the confined area will help the pup learn quickly where it's appropriate to go. Both methods come with their own set of instructions and guidelines, so make sure you understand them properly before choosing which is best for you and your lifestyle! Remember that crate training has additional benefits outside of potty training, including safety and security for your pup. Check out this blog for more details on the advantages and steps for crate training your dog.



Establish a Potty Routine and Be Consistent

Consistency is key when potty training your pet in a small space. Developing good habits during the initial stage will pay off in the long run and can ensure that your pup gets accustomed to their new routine quickly. Start by establishing a schedule for potty breaks each day, and stick to it! Regular potty intervals will help your pup understand when and where it’s appropriate for them to relieve themselves. Also, designate an area outside as the ‘potty spot’ and ensure you bring them there whenever they have to do their business. This way, they can associate the area with going to the bathroom.

Be Patient and Use Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Remember that accidents may happen during the training process, but by staying dedicated and consistent, you will see results. The key to success is to remember the importance of patience and understanding. Your pup is still learning, and you must be ready and willing to provide guidance and show them the necessary skills they will need to succeed at potty training. Setting realistic expectations and being consistent with your teaching style will help ensure a smooth housebreaking process. Understanding that each pup is different when it comes to how quickly they learn will allow for a more successful experience for both you and your dog!

Additionally, remember that positive reinforcement is the best method for training. So when your pup does potty outside in the appropriate area, have a party! Celebrate their success with their preferred reward (e.g., treats or affection), and make sure you keep it paw-sitive. Results are sure to follow.

Seek Support as Needed

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Potty training shouldn’t be a barrier to a happy and healthy relationship with your pup, so don’t hesitate to seek our trainers to help you if you get stuck! A quick Google search is sure to yield beneficial, localized results.


Potty training a dog in a small space can be difficult and time-consuming, but with patience and the right resources, you will be well on your way to success! Start by understanding your pup’s needs and determining which potty-training method works best for your lifestyle. Always have essential items such as treats and cleaning supplies on hand. Also, remember that consistency is key, and having patience and understanding during this process is important. With hard work, dedication, and proper instruction, you will soon have a happy pup who knows where to do his business. Remember that it doesn’t happen overnight, but it is possible to potty train your dog with the right tools inside a small space.

Ready to celebrate your success? Check out K9 & Company’s offerings to reward yourself and your pup for successful potty training.


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