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Housetraining in the city

Team Walmart Pets

June 8, 2021


min read

When you gotta go, you gotta go. But that’s easier said than done when you’ve got four paws in the heart of a sprawling metropolis. Housebreaking a puppy or a newly adopted adult dog can be a frustrating challenge, especially when you add in the element of an urban environment. 

Are we there yet? 

As with housebreaking a puppy anywhere, urban pet parents should rely on a consistent schedule and lots of patience. Expect your new addition to make mistakes, especially early in the training. And expect housebreaking to take at least a month, often more (especially if your new dog is an adult). While your dog is learning when and where to go to the bathroom, it’s important that you either actively watch him or keep him in the comfort of his crate to avoid unwanted accidents. Need a refresher on crate training your puppy? We’ve got you covered.

Outside, but not outdoors

One drawback of housebreaking in a condo or apartment can be a lack of quick access to the outdoors. In the early stages of housebreaking in the city, it’s best to have a backup potty place indoors, such as a piddle pad, for your puppy to use if he can’t get outside in time. 

Holding their own 

Remember that puppies can’t hold their bladders as long as adult dogs. A good rule of thumb is one hour more than your pup’s month of age. When it’s time, take your pup outside to the same spot each time. Talk to your dog and let him know that it’s time to go potty, using the same phrase each time to cue him. Praise him when he’s done a good job, and reward him afterward with playtime or a long walk. Training dog treats also can come in handy. They’re just like regular treats, but smaller, so you can give your dog more in a shorter timeframe.

It’s a concrete jungle out there

If your pet is new to city living, you may face an additional challenge — a lack of green space. Many dogs understand that grassy areas are the preferred place to go, and a move to the concrete jungle can be confusing. In these cases, find the closest dog park or grassy area (not the nearest flower bed if you’d like your neighbors to welcome you) and gradually acclimate your dog to city life.

No train, no gain 

Many urban dwellers can train their dogs to use a litter box, much like a cat. Real or artificial grass boxes are available and can be very convenient, especially when it comes to cold winter nights. But don’t let this stop you from continuing to potty train your dog. Your pet should understand (and prefer) to go outdoors regardless.

Pet Care

Dog Training

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash