Here at DoggieLawn, we’ve heard it all when it comes to potty training problems: digging, chewing, or ignoring our real grass patch all together. But when it comes to challenges, one of the biggest has to be the conundrum of raising and potty training a puppy in an apartment. Many of our subscribers that live in apartments are often initially overwhelmed at the prospect of potty training their pup, particularly if they happen to be a high-rise dweller. The concept of getting up at 2am, walking down a steep incline of stairs, and waiting as patiently as possible for your dog to do his business (and repeat every night) is not exactly the highlight of the high life.
That’s where we come in. We cater to anyone living a busy life, although apartment dwellers tend to be most relieved to learn about our convenient, real-grass service that keeps them sleeping and indoors all through the night. For those of you rubbing elbows with your roommates on a day-to-day basis in your apartment, behold a compilation of some of the most commonly-encountered problems, with solutions!
1) Keep it consistent! And when we mean consistency, we mean it– make sure you’re keeping your dog on a regular potty schedule. You can adjust your dog’s potty schedule by feeding him at the same time every day. Additionally, by consistency we mean keeping your dog’s potty spot or DoggieLawn in the same place. For some apartment dwellers, this may mean leaving the indoor dog potty on the balcony, the living room, the bathroom, wherever – just make sure it’s in the same spot everyday so your doggie knows exactly where to go to every time.
2) Keep your pooch active. No matter how many meetings, memos, or appointments you have going on in your life, you should never have to sacrifice your dog’s much-needed daily bout of exercise for a jam-packed day of activities. Like people, dogs need exercise to stay fit, healthy, and happy; plus, it provides an additional outlet for them to go to the bathroom! An apartment is not exactly your dog’s idea of a fun place to stay in all day. If you genuinely can’t find the time to allow your dog a moment of outdoor release, employ a dog walker or even a fellow neighbor to let your dog have a moment of exercise. For those of you with just moments to spare, even a quick jogging spree up and down your complex’s stairs can momentarily suffice.
3) Stay aware and alert. Particularly when potty training puppies, keep an eye out for movements that would indicate they’re on the verge of going. These include sniffing, circling, and pacing a particular area. If your doggie is still adjusting to the idea of going potty on our real grass patch, immediately guide them to your designated potty spot. With enough guidance and repetition, they’ll get the picture. Apartments are small, and scent can travel far – be diligent when ensuring your pooch is shown the proper potty place (or suffer the wrath of your landlord!).
4) Praise and use positive reinforcement! This goes for accidents as well. When (and it will happen) your dog accidentally starts to go anywhere other than the DoggieLawn, do not yell. It’s a natural reaction to immediately start punishing your pup, but this will not help. Rather, guide them to the correct potty spot so they can continue there. And once your dog does start to get the picture, offer immediate praise! Our pooches thrive off of praise and are likely to continue behaviors based on our happy reinforcement.
Photo Credit: Dog at a Balcony. Photo by Michael Cohen. http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcohenchromiste/2722907404/