How to Potty Train A Pug In An Apartment

Pugs are excellent dogs for apartment dwellers. However, it can pose a challenge when it comes to potty training Pugs. That said, according to, 70% of apartment renters own cats and dogs, with dogs being the most popular choice. Learning how to potty train a Pug in an apartment is not as hard as you think.  

How to Potty Train A Pug In An Apartment?

Potty training a Pug in an apartment comes down to paying attention to your canine companion, starting an outside routine, stick to a designated area, pick up after your dog, keep a schedule, consider a potty patch, and prepare for mistakes. Just as with potty training toddlers, it’s going to take patience and persistence on your part to give your Pug plenty of time to learn how to potty outdoors.

Living in an apartment will take more effort on your part compared to someone who owns a home. Here’s how to do it while living in an apartment.

how to potty train a pug in an apartment

Read this article if you want to potty train your Pug in a sky rise apartment and live in the city. 

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Steps for Potty Training a Pug In An Apartment

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 The most challenging part of pottying training your dog while living in an apartment is having enough time to get to the designated dog areas if your apartment has one. 

Make sure you check with your apartment complex before getting a puppy. Many apartment complexes have rules and restrictions regarding where pet owners can allow their dogs to relieve themselves. 

Monitor Your Dog’s Behavior

Pugs are small dogs, and they can’t hold their bladder as large as big dogs. A puppy can hold its bladder for one hour for every month of age. So, if your puppy is one month old, it should be able to hold its bladder for about an hour. It’s up to you to know the signs your Pug needs to use the bathroom.

They can hold their bladder long when they’re sleeping but will need to potty when they wake up. 

Keep a close eye at all times, as it will help you catch any potential accidents before they happen. If you notice your Pug sniffing the carpet or floor, it means they’re looking for a spot to relieve themselves. 

When you’re home, use baby gates to keep your pup in one specific area in the apartment. 

Start an Outdoor Routine

Regardless of whether you have a new puppy or rescued an older Pug, you’ll want to start potty training immediately. Since you live in an apartment, you’ll need a harness to take your eight-week-old puppy outside at least once every 20-30 minutes. 

Older puppies or dogs will be able to hold their bladder for up to an hour or two. 

In most apartment complexes, you share outdoor living spaces with close neighbors, so you won’t have a yard where you can sit outside. So it’s virtually impossible to let your dog off the leash and let them go out on their own. 

The goal is to get your puppy to poop when you take them outside to walk.

Use the Designated Areas

If your apartment complex has a designated area for pet owners, make sure your puppy has enough time to get there. You don’t want your dog pooping and peeing in front of your neighbor’s door or the apartment hallway. 

This means you will want to know how long it takes you to get from your front door, down the stairs, and to the designated areas. Find the shortest route possible to the designated poopy area. 

Every extra second it takes you means your furbaby has to continue holding their bladder, which is more likely to lead to accidents.  

If you’ve waited too long, it may be best to pick up your small Pug and carry them to the designated area. It not only helps your puppy’s bladder but allows you to sneak in some extra cuddle time for bonding with your four-legged friend. 

Clean Up After Your Dog

You live in an apartment complex, so always clean up after your puppy. Many apartment complexes will provide poopy bags to clean up after your pets. 

However, you can buy your own environmentally disposable poopy bags or use a Walmart or grocery bag. The important thing is to clean up after your pet.  

No matter how much people love dogs, no one wants to step on your dog’s waste. 

Keep A Schedule

A potty training chart makes it easy to keep track of your pup’s progress. It’s the perfect tool, especially if your whole family is involved in the potty training, which they should be. 

A chart allows you to record the last time your dog drank water, ate, peed, pooped, and had an accident. 

I’d recommend putting it on the refrigerator. That way, everyone can access it and record the training process. 

Having everything down will help you notice patterns. For example, if your puppy is crying every morning at 4 am to go out, and they relieve themselves in front of your neighbor’s door. You’ll learn that you need to set the alarm for 3:45 am to give them enough time to get to the potty area.

Consider a Potty Patch

While I don’t recommend it, setting up an indoor potty patch can be a good idea, especially if you’re not home or can’t get them outside in time.

Pick a room that is easy to clean, not carpeted. Use artificial grass for pets to make it feel realistic. Some people have had luck with pee pads. However, they can confuse your dog and cause them to go everywhere in the home. 

If possible, have a neighbor, friend, or family member check in on your puppy if you know you won’t make it home in time. You can also consider hiring a pet sitter, so your puppy won’t have to hold their bladder the whole time you’re away. 

Stay Patient

One of the most important aspects of potty training a dog in an apartment is consistency!

Being consistent helps your puppy learn quicker. Dogs are creatures of habit, the more consistent the training routine, the faster your dog will understand the habit of going “potty” in the designated area. 

Mistakes Are Going to Happen

Whether you’re potty training a toddler or a puppy, mistakes are inevitable. Avoid punishing your puppy for any accidents. 

Punishment may only scare your dog, and they’ll feel compelled to hide their mistakes from you.

If you do catch your pup getting ready to use the potty in the apartment, clap your hands and say “no.” Pick them up immediately and take them to the designated area. 

Once they relieve themselves, praise them with plenty of “atta girl” or “atta boy” and make a big deal about it. Your puppy will be so proud of themselves, and they’ll do everything they can to please you again in the future.  


Potty training a Pug in an apartment doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow the steps above. This breed can be a little stubborn, so you may find that you need some help. 

If it’s taking you longer than normal to potty train your Pug, (here’s what to expect), you may want to consider investing in the House Train Any Dog program. You’ll learn everything you need to know about housebreaking any breed of dog in as little as seven days. 

Once your dog is potty trained, you won’t have to worry about where you live because your dog will never have another accident inside again!

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