Potty Training a Puppy – I live in a first floor flat.. How can I train my puppy to eventually go to the toilet outside?

by Jazmine
(Norfolk)

Hello, I have not had my puppy for very long, only a few days in fact. I am currently encouraging him to do his business on some newspaper in my hall. He caught on to this very quickly and 9 times out of 10 he will do it on the paper. My question is that I live in a 1st floor flat and I eventually want him to be going to the toilet outside. I work 7 hours a day so I plan to take him outside first thing in the morning, my parents are going to come round mid day to let him outside for a little while in our communal garden, and I will be walking him and night times as well. I want him to be able to signal to me at the door when he needs the toilet during the night etc how is the best way to do train him to do this? I know it will take a while but I just need some ideas on how to encourage him to go outside bearing in mind we do need to get down one flight of steps each time. He is only 10 weeks at the minute but I just want a few ideas? Thank you in advance for any reply.

Our Response

Hi – and firstly I want to congratulate you for taking the first step to potty training success which is starting early – I have a couple of potty training techniques that I am pretty sure you will be happy to hear about and use with your little puppy. I will start with some basic information and will then give you the techniques that I would use if I was in your exact same position…

Puppy Paper Training

Although puppy paper training is a fairly popular method to potty train (house train) puppies and dogs – many owners forget the main purpose of potty training and that is to get your puppy to pee or poop outside. Many owners start paper training and never actually move on – so their puppy continues to pee or poop on the floor. Another problem with paper training is that how is a puppy supposed to know the difference with your favorite newspaper open at the sports section and the paper he is supposed to pee or poop on.

Puppy Pad Training

This is a slightly better potty training method – the pads are treated with a special hormone that stimulates a puppy’s bladder making him want to pee or poop on the pads rather than on the floor. The pads should then be moved closer and closer to the door and then finally outside so that the puppy is finally outside and peeing out there. The pads should then be thrown away and never used again.

Ok so this does not actually solve your problem – so here are the techniques that I would use…

Try not to feed your dog just before he goes to bed as this is very likely going to cause him to want to pee or poop during the night. Remember that your puppy is still very young and as he gets older his bladder will become stronger to the point where he will be able to last the entire night. In the mean time I would use a doggie bell – this will enable you to know when he wants to pee or poop during the night.

Start by attaching a bell on a long string to the bedroom door (you can get them from nearly all good pet stores). Now every single time you take your puppy outside – take him to the bell and gently use his paw to ring the bell – give him a treat as soon as he has rung it. It will not take long before your puppy gets the idea – whenever he uses the bell make sure that you give him lots of praise.

I would seriously consider getting a dog flap – this will enable your puppy to outside and reach the garden. Although this is not much help if you have a communal garden is it possible to fence a small area off.

Anyway hope all of this helps a little – I have included some links below for more advice and support with puppy house training.