Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, former veterinary assistant, and author of the online dog training course "Brain Training for Dogs."
The "Puppy Apartment" Method for House Training
"Puppy apartments" have recently received rave reviews to help with a well-known challenge: potty-training puppies. It is a well-known fact that a great number of puppies are surrendered to shelters and put to sleep simply because the owners found potty-training too challenging. The so-called puppy apartment is built in such a way as to make the process easier.
But do they work? As a certified dog trainer, I have observed the pros and cons to using a puppy apartment to train dogs. I'll discuss them both here, as well as how the method is meant to work.
What Is a Puppy Apartment?
First, some definitions. The puppy apartment is basically a one-bedroom apartment with a bathroom. If you purchase a puppy from a reputable dog breeder, the puppy will have started the potty training process. The puppy will recognize an apartment as being similar to the whelping or nesting box that they were born and nursed in.
Both spaces work because they rely on innate instincts, offering areas that separate soiling from sleeping, eating and drinking. Puppies understand the two distinct areas because they have an instinct to not soil the areas where they eat/drink/sleep. Unlike a whelping box, a puppy apartment has many entryways.
Advantages of Using a Puppy Apartment
Here's what I like about puppy apartments.
- When the puppy is inside and the door is closed, they are set up for success. They have two choices: to soil as far away as possible from their bed/water/food or to soil their favorite sleeping/feeding area. Most puppies (unless they were crated all day and learn to sleep in their messes) will soil away from their sleeping area. This is their innate instinct.
- It makes potty training easier for puppy owners. Many owners would love to train their dogs to go outside to potty, but there are always those idle times when the puppy needs an indoor option. Unlike a snug crate, where the puppy would be forced to soil in its sleeping area or painfully hold it for many minutes, the puppy apartment offers separate soiling space. A puppy apartment can save owners the hassle of waking up every two hours to take the puppy outdoors.
- This makes it unnecessary to limit water intake. Some dog owners limit water in order to eliminate night-time pee outings.
- There is less chance of puppies being scolded for soiling their snug crate in the night or when left alone. It is astounding the number of people who still get mad at puppies for not being able to hold their bladders and bowels.
Disadvantages of Puppy Apartments
Here are some things I do not like about puppy apartments.
- Commercials for puppy apartments makes them look really easy to use. They show puppies who have the whole run of a room repeatedly returning to the puppy apartment to go potty. This looks too easy to be true. It is!
- It's wrong to assume that a new puppy will use the apartment in such a way. It may work once the puppy is conditioned to use it and has developed bladder control, but there are other potential problems with using this method.
- A puppy that gets used to a puppy apartment may be overwhelmed when she is let out. Once outside the apartment, a big world unveils itself. She no longer has a guideline or a choice. Rather, she can soil virtually anywhere without worrying about soiling her favorite sleeping or feeding area. This sets the pup up for failure.
- As any dog owner knows, once a puppy soils an area, the smell may linger if not cleaned promptly with the right products. When the puppy smells a previously soiled area, it may soil there again. The apartment method does not potty train puppies. It trains them only when they are in the apartment, but that is not practical.
- Some dog owners rely too heavily on the puppy apartment to avoid taking their dog out on walk for deserved exercise and socialization.
Why Apartments Fail as Potty-Train Tools
I have had clients for whom the puppy apartment failed. Here are some of the reasons.
- The puppy smelled his potty area but just didn't make it there on time. For a puppy under 12 weeks old, the moment he thinks he has to go potty, the pee or poop is already coming out!
- The puppy smelled his potty area but did not want to go inside the crate because he disliked being closed in it. If your puppy is reluctant to go inside, has associated being closed in it while you are gone, or is kept in there for a very long time, he may have negative associations with it. Dogs like enclosed spaces for an appropriate amount of time.
- The puppy could not figure out the way back to the apartment. The world is very big for a puppy, and he may not make it in time. To identify the apartment's sleeping area for them, try putting treats there every now and then. He will visit it often for pleasant surprises! Visiting on a more frequent basis may help him learn how to get in it and what's inside. It is also a good idea to invest in puppy pads with odor attractants to further grab the pup's attention.
- The puppy did not have sufficient time to learn to use the "bathroom area." If you got your puppy when he was eight weeks old, a week may not be enough for him to learn where his bathroom is when he is outside the apartment. This takes time. Make sure to always reward your puppy promptly when he uses the apartment to potty!
The Famous "Puppy Apartment"
Can a Crate Be Converted Into a Puppy Apartment?
Technically yes, but there are some drawbacks.
- You need a way to divide the bedroom and bathroom areas so the puppy can see the boundaries and yet easily access both. Real puppy apartments have openings on most sides to make it easy for the puppy to access the bathroom area.
- If you are using a regular crate with only one door, your puppy may not make it all the way inside in time. His nose may know where the pad is, but his mind still has to figure out the fastest way to get there. The lack of sufficient doors may hinder the process and a puppy apartment may be a better choice.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can older dogs be introduced to apartment potty training?
Answer: Yes, older dogs can be introduced to this, but if your dog has a history of going outside to potty, the process can be challenging.
DachsyMom on August 13, 2020:
We use the puppy apartment and we love it. We've owned dachshunds for 20 years and they are notorious for not wanting to go outside to go potty when its raining, snowing, very hot or cold. LOL if you've owned a dachshund you know what I mean. This was an issue with my late dachshund, Dexter. So when we got our next dachshund we decided to try the puppy aoartment. It requires consistency just like any potty training. I was prepared. I cleaned my house thoroughly (wont be able to do that for a couple of weeks). I purchased in advance all of the needed items and I took 2 weeks off work to be with my new puppy 24/7. Here is the KEY TO SUCCESS. Keep their world small and stay on routine. Houses are too big to cut them loose. I purchased an enclosure and i stayed on the floor right next to the crate with my puppy, playing socializing, bonding inside the enclosure. When I saw the signs i placed her on the pad in the crate, slowly going to nudging her to walk in the crate to do business. Puppies get tired quickly and will whine/cry when tired like human babies. Put the puppy in the sleeping area of the crate to sleep. I turned on my sleep app music and soothed her to sleep rubbing her belly. This makes it a safe, happy place to be. Once asleep close the doors, take a break. I continued this process the 1st week. 2nd week I transitioned to being in/out enclosure. When out of enclosure I was still nearby. Allowing puppy to entertain herself with toys. I was watching closely for the signs to spring into action. I also starting leaving her in the crate for short periods to prepare her for when i went back to work. By the end of the 2 weeks she was doing it on the pad 90% of the time on her own. Lots of praise when she used the pad worked great for me. I kept my puppy in the apartment my first 2 weeks after i went back to work and adjusted my schedule so she would only be in there for 4 hours at a time. After 4 weeks of training I kept her in her enclosure with the doors off. She was successful 100 % of the time at this point. I slowly let her world get bigger by removing gates. Now she has free reign of the house. I got my puppy at 10 weeks old, by 4 months she had free reign. Bedtime advice. Move crate to your bedroom next go bed. I pupoy whines in the middle of the njght just reach down and let them kniw you are there. They wake up scared because they have been used to skeeping with littter mates and no one is there. Remember still walk your dog and take for car rides regularly. When you start young you are not dealing with as many behavior issues when they are older.
Nancy Fuentes on June 30, 2020:
Modern Puppies Review: We ordered a large puppy apartment, two large puppy apartment bowls, a large puppy apartment bed, and large puppy apartment pads. We tried the puppy apartment for 5 days and were very disappointed with the purchase. We had watched many videos online and read reviews about the puppy apartment. We also watched the instructional video that came with the box. Because of quarantine, we were working from home and kept an eye on our puppy at all times. During the day, when our puppy went potty we quickly changed the pad because otherwise the puppy would step on her own poop and track the poop onto our floors. When crated our puppy at night, when the puppy went potty she tracked the poop to her bedroom area. We also found that the puppy would eat her own poop at night. We had to give our puppy a bath every day. We decided to switch to traditional crate training and outdoor potty training. Since then, we have had no problems and she does not eat her poop while outside nor tracks poop into the house. We had high hopes for the puppy apartment but were very dissatisfied. The buyer pays for shipping both ways and there is a restocking fee for any items that qualify for a refund. Not only were the products themselves expensive, but shipping was also expensive. We lost hundreds of dollars trying out the puppy apartment in shipping and restocking fees. Save yourself the hassle and get a traditional crate at your local pet store.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 23, 2020:
I do not manufacture puppy apartment, I just provided my review from the point of potty training puppies, you should find prices for them and information on how to mount them from those producing them.
Debbie Johnson on February 22, 2020:
Was looking at your puppy apartments but does not show how to buy or amount of them.
pary on October 06, 2019:
Hi every body , I am planning to to have a small Maltese and like to know if this Apt. idea works. I do not want to take my very small pupp out side and expose her to other dogs when she is so small . has any body had the chance to experiment with this type of dog and this Apt.????
tammy on December 13, 2018:
I have a 6 month old Pug. Bought the puppy apartment when she was 4 months. It has not worked for her for potty training. She likes to nap in it sometimes during the day when I am sitting at my desk next to it and also play and nap on the side where the training pad is, and occasionally when I have to keep her in it for a couple of hours she will potty on the pad. My 13-year-old pug likes to go in the sleeping side and lay down when she is trying to get away from the puppy, and my cat has even taken a nap in there. A VERY expensive kennel is basically what it has turned into. I wish it had worked because I am still making payments on it!!
Hope on October 12, 2018:
My teacup female Yorkiehas been using the puppy apartment for 6 years. She was completely potty trained at 4 months old. I brought her home when she was 7 weeks old. I did a lot of research because I was told that yorkie’s are hard to potty trained. She uses her puppy apartment at home , on vacations , traveling and she also goes outside too... When I keep her mother, father or sibling they also use the puppy apartment without assistance.. I am so happy that I invested in it .. My Yorkie has no issues using it and yes she gets treats always..
John on September 24, 2017:
My Cavapoo is 2 years old and has been using the puppy apartment since he was 8 weeks old. I couldn't imagine him using any other method although she can and does whenever we take him out for a walk. The puppy apartment has worked like a charm for me and that this point he uses the apartment as bathroom. He has free reign of the house and we took the divider out making it a bathroom for him while he's inside. He never makes a mistake.
Faith on September 18, 2017:
I read that way to top your puppy peeing at night is not give them water 2 1/2 hours before bed No food or water or water after 7pm . Say you give the last meal of the evening at 6pm then take the pup out at 7 Pup should not be in crate for more than five hours during the day, but it is fine for them to sleep in the crate all night that is what I read.
I also read that when the are puppies you take them out every 45 minutes to the same place outside and wait for them to go potty out there and they will associate the place to go potty.
My pup is not still with mom but the breeder told me that pups were trained to go on the puppy pads ...I hope I can do all the right things , but I know it is a learning process for both of us
sangy on August 13, 2017:
mu pup doesn't use the apartment...
Sarah on June 04, 2017:
I recently adopted a dog who is around 6 years old but their previous owner never bothered to potty train him. Would the puppy apartment work for an older dog?
Lori M on March 24, 2017:
I purchased a puppy apartment for my 9 week old Shih Poo who we a re picking up this weekend. Thanks for this feedback. I will submit my own when we see how this works. We are using the puppy apartment because we both work but plan to train her to go outside as well. Wish us luck!
rich on February 05, 2017:
I have a large crate, with two doors.Made a divider from card board box and attach it to inside with ties added a doorway to divider placed divider in middle of front door wait and see, box was free. We still have to do everything else including clean-up
David on January 22, 2017:
You don't need to buy an expensive Puppy Apartment crate. Just buy a standard crate sized suitable for the fully grown size of your puppy and put a puppy pad in the crate. Stand by the entrance of the crate and put your puppy on the pad and say go potty refuse to let the puppy out until they done their business and when they do praise he/she. The walls of the crate forces the puppy to go on the pad. After doing this several times hopefully your puppy will go on their pad by themselves. Praise when that happens.
When the dog is older they may grow out of using the pad, I think this may be normal.
David on January 22, 2017:
I used a regular crate for my puppy as a bathroom with a large pad down and I put my puppy in there and said go potty and stood by the crate door and refused to let my puppy out until she did her business. She grew out of using a pad around 1 year old and only does her business outside now. Which is great as the pads were expensive to buy. So it worked for me.
Susan on January 17, 2017:
I was interested in purchasing the Puppy Apartment until I saw they wanted almost $80.00 to ship it to me. That fee just didn't make sense.
Kim on January 13, 2017:
Hello! I **LOVE** the puppy apartment. At first the apt was divided into 2 spaces - one for sleeping/one for pottying. When the puppy was old enough I shoved the Ppartment potty area up against the doggy door with the crate door open so he could go potty in the potty area of the crate or go outside (where I put up a penned area with puppy pads) -- this way I got him to move it outside. My dogs are Boston Terriers and both potty trained. They sleep in the puppy apt at night and I removed the divider so its now their sleeping area only, still shoved up against the doggy door to go outside at night, works like a charm! If we go on a road trip vacation where I need them to have a potty area I put the divider back in for travel (just in case - of course making potty stops for outside as well). Im very happy with how it worked for me!
Frenchton on January 04, 2017:
My 9 week old puppy pees and poos on the pad side but if left in crate too long while we are gone, we find that she has steps in the poo and tracks it into her bed. Using the apartment there is about a 70 percent chance that the puppy will step in the poo while walking around pad side, then track poo back to bed.
Rosie on October 23, 2016:
Thanks for the valuable Article
I would like to know what are the three stages to process with the potty training apartment
Brenda on October 16, 2016:
Read all of the above comments and I think I am convinced to get the puppy apartment. I will be getting a yorkie the end of Nov and plan to have the house set up and ready for her arrival. Here's to hoping the Apartment theory works since it is an investment.
Daughterdancer on September 29, 2016:
This worked for my twin chihuahuas. They love going out to pee and poo but while im asleep or at work, id find they went in their crate and were covered in it. It was horrible. I bought the crate and they love using it. When im home i take them out, but if they need to go and they cant wait, they happily trot into their bathroom and go on the potty pad now. It actually taught them to hold it longer because now they sometimes dont go until i come home from work. I let them out and all the excitement and movement prompts them to go potty, and they run right back in and use it before i can even blink lol I let them sleep with me now too and if they need to potty they get up and use the crate and then come back to bed with me without disturbing my sleep. Best investment i ever made. Not one accident in 2 years since my purchase. *tip* every time they used it voluntarily the beginning, i praised them excitedly and gave them a treat for doing a good job.
ELIZABETH on September 28, 2016:
Puppy apartments aren't needed if owner doen't mind getting their puppy on an fortnights annual leave and pulling it out on a walk 6 times a day.
Tyler on August 29, 2016:
We got a Australian Cattle dog Friday and she is 9 weeks old.
First night I had to take her out at 3 and 6 to pee and she cried a lot.
Next night I modified her crate by cutting the divider to make a diy puppy apartment, she only woke me up once.
Third night I moved her crate into a spare bedroom and slept next to her. Got a full nights sleep no whining and two pees in her bathroom side.
We do not have her use it during the day to pee and take her out a lot and when she has an accident.
At what point is a dogs bladder able to go 7 hours at night? I would like to transition her away from it as soon as possible. Has anyone else done this and transitioned to a regular crate after a bit of maturing?
Nickolai on August 10, 2016:
If we try going that route the dog will still go to the bathroom inside. We have tried the outside only routine, but I kid you not, we leave for a minute and come back inside and she will have squeezed out the most pitiful little poop on the carpet.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 08, 2016:
If she is capable of holding her pee for that long and went outside immediately, why not skip using the puppy apartment and train to go outdoors directly?
Nickolai on July 29, 2016:
My Wife and I just got a puppy apartment for our 1 year old Dachshund/Yorkie mix.
when she was little she was potty trained to go on a potty pad, but she formed separation anxiety with my wife and now whenever we leave(for maybe 5 minutes) she would instantly poop/pee on the carpet closest to the door (we took her out before leaving). She has no problem with going outside, and she will even go to the bathroom on her potty pad when we are there.
Got the puppy apartment hoping to train her to not make the mistakes when we leave. We have had it for about a week and she refuses to go to the bathroom in it. The other day she seriously held her pee for almost 12 hours and we took her outside because we felt bad and she peed/pooped immediately. Now today we put her in there right when we woke up and after about an hour she peed in her bed over going on the pad. We are a bit lost on what we should do. Any help would be great!
emacqlit on July 28, 2016:
I currently own a potty training apartment. My 12 week old Dachshund refuses to potty in the designated area in her apartment. Me and my wife follow the instructions provided with apartment, but our puppy won't use the bathroom in there. Instead she will just hold it all night and at the first chance she has she will just potty anywhere in my home. This product may work for some but it doesn't work for my dog. I think she doesn't want to be that close to her own poop. Training your puppy to go in the apartment may be a difficult feat to achieve for some dog owners. I have been trying 3 weeks with no success. The infomercial that they have online doesn't accurately portray how difficult it may be to get your puppy to use the thing.
BenWF on July 26, 2016:
We are getting our first puppy, a Yorkie. We are in a house with access to a yard. I work from home sometimes but in IT I can get into hours-long conference calls. In addition, sometimes I can't work from home on the same day my wife works. What are your suggestions for potty training? I'd be willing to get the apartment if just for nighttime so we don't have to get up a bunch and on days when we won't be home. But we would like to train him to go outside as well. So far it seems like you recommend having the crate/apartment near the door, and maybe placing some grass in with the puppy pad or 'bathroom' side of the apartment? Would you recommend an apartment for us? Other recommendations? Thanks!
Teresa on July 21, 2016:
Puppy Apt. was huge mistake....good for nite time but that's about it unless your stand over your puppy 24-7 to catch him or her in the act. Been over 2 wks of training as shown in the video (I am exhausted) will not use the apartment to do his business. Thank heaven for wood floors.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 18, 2016:
It can be confusing... but you can do some things to make things less confusing. For instance, if your puppy will be used to going to the door to signal it's time to go potty, you keep can keep the puppy apartment by the door when you're away, with the side for pottying closest to the door or you can place in the puppy apartment something that resembles grass or gravel or whatever you have in the yard. Consider that puppies trained at the breeder's home may not readily get used to going to "your door" considering that dogs aren't that great in generalizing. So you might, get a few accidents the first days, but things will improve if you keep up to making going out extra rewarding.
Liza on July 11, 2016:
Can anyone who has the puppy apartment video explain what the 3 stages are? Thanks!
April on June 02, 2016:
I am really, really, really struggling with the whole PTPA. This is a great article. I was considering purchasing the PTPA for our miniature schnauzer puppy we will be getting in July and with shipping and getting an online discount ( which by the way happens if you put something in the cart and just wait, they will give you another 10% off) it will cost me $277 plus $48 in shipping for the medium PTPA and Potty Pads. I have seen quite a few of these on eBay and I reached out to a seller and she said she no longer needs it but it was a good investment.
Strongly considering purchasing a 3 door crate and making my own PTPA and then buying their potty pads, that way if it doesn't work, I haven't broke the bank.
Here is my question and or concern. I have a really good breeder who teaches the puppies to go down a few steps and go out the doggie door to potty, so they are well on their way when you get them.
We will be at home with him for the first few weeks, but will be going back to work after that and we don't want him to have to hold it, that is how they end up going on themselves and heck, I can't hold it for 8 hours.
Would a PTPA be counterproductive and confusing for our puppy since she is training him to go outside. We also want him to go outside and in most cases will try to go home for lunch but it is not always guaranteed.
Please and Thank you in advance
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 01, 2016:
I would record your dog's behavior and watch it when you come home, soiling when the owner is out can be a sign or separation anxiety.
Trish on April 29, 2016:
I wonder if this would work for an older dog. I have a 6 year old that I am having a problem with now that I have moved to an apartment. I have tried everything and if I am home during the day she usually doesn't go in doors, but if I have to leave for a few hours then there is a 70% chance she will. I have tired limiting her access to water, but really hate doing that. I was hoping this would work, but it is expensive. Any suggestions, because my boyfriend is tired of her going in the house.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 19, 2016:
Thanks for sharing your experience, how are things going now with your puppy apartment? It takes some time to train them to use it, and the video makes it seem too easy.
Chris on March 29, 2016:
I purchased the puppy apartment for my new 9 week puppy (Malteepoo). I am going on 2 weeks with the puppy home now. Both my wife and I are diligent in watching the training video, reading articles and even a dog training book. This is definitely not been an easy task. The puppy apartment is great for overnight use since the dog has no choice but too use the potty area and it has worked perfectly. But during the day I would say this is not working the way that I anticipated and I know I need to be patient. The puppy does not have any urge to utilize the puppy apartment potty area when he needs to go. You have to literally catch him in the act, pick him up (make the noise of no or ahah) and place him in the potty area, shut the door, walk away and wait (could be a while for him to do his business)....if or when he does...giving him a treat and making a big deal of his accomplishment (every time). In reality though.....if you cant be with the puppy every second (which working from home, or anything else), you then need to place the puppy in the cage ...locked...and if not I am treated with a surprise.....I have a n indoor fence around his puppy apartment as well and gives him a nice large area to move freely in...play, etc) god forbid the phone rings or the doorbell rings and I leave for 45 seconds and I come back with pee or poop on the wood floor. Frustrating after 12 days and not much has changed. I hear this process of training (3 levels) and I am at level 1 can take 2 weeks....to months. Literally 4 minutes ago, he was sniffing, I put him in hi cage, he peed after several minutes, I let him out, gave him a treat....praised him....then went to put something in the trash, came back and surprise....a tootsie roll size present. I look at these dogs in the video choosing to use the open apartment as their personal potty stop and I can only think these are older dogs and I am just in for a LONG haul. Help!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 28, 2016:
I would move the crate very close to the door so the moment your poodle is taken out she has no choice than going outside.
Lacy on March 27, 2016:
I have a Rottweiler puppy and toy poodle puppy and the poodle is older than the Rottweiler and every time we take her out of her crate she pees on the floor and Rottweiler will stand in front of the patio door what do I do for the toy poodle
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 13, 2016:
If your yard is easy to access why not start training to out from the get-go? This would skip the whole training to go into the apartment part so you can go straight to going outdoors. A normal crate may work just as well, for when you're busy and can't keep an eye on the pup. Here are some tips! https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Secret-Strategies-for-...
Tatiana Ho from New York, New York on March 04, 2016:
Hi! I know I want a younger dog around 8 to 10 weeks. But I do have access to a yard! Thanks :)
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 04, 2016:
Tatiana Ho, it depends on what your goals are. Do you have easy access to a yard? What age and type of puppy are you planning to get?
Tatiana Ho from New York, New York on March 02, 2016:
I loved this read! One question: Would you, yourself, use or recommend puppy apartments to new dog owners? I'm planning on getting a puppy soon and am not sure what would be the best way to potty train him/her. It seems that if they get use to the puppy apartment then they won't know where to alleviate themselves when in the open. Would you suggest a "wee wee pad" instead?
John Bain on January 19, 2016:
The concept for a Puppy Apartment to Potty Training Puppies is a great one it gives the puppy an area to sleep & eat in one area and poop in another also the owner has piece of mind knowing that the puppy is not messing up his place.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 15, 2016:
Makes sense, can't blame your dog for not wanting to use it!
Cathy on January 13, 2016:
I think the pee pad is too close to the dog's bed. It goes against it's natural instinct not to soil near where it sleeps.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 05, 2016:
Sounds like you made your own cheaper version of the puppy apartment, kudos to you!
Brad on December 25, 2015:
I bought a 3-door 30" crate online for under $50US. It came with an insert to divide the crate. The side is off-center, just like the one the puppy apartment people show. Using a grinder, I made an opening in the insert and hooked it into the crate. With a cushion on the small side and a potty pad on the other side. It is nearly the same crate as what they're selling for $200US. My puppy is sleeping in it now. It seems like he likes it so far.
Paula on December 06, 2015:
Was not happy with the crate. I watched the video and put the crate together and had purchased the bed that goes with the crate. Also had the bed with the scent of my westie puppie's parents with the bed after meeting with the breeder and his parents and my puppy hated the crate. My puppy has not slept in the crate from day one! Or would he pee or poop in the crate after putting the pee pad. I am not a happy customer!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 28, 2015:
Can you move it a bit closer to the outside back door so that they are closer to the door?
Mar on November 12, 2015:
I bought 2 puppy apartments for adopted 5 yr old and 8 yr old chihuahuas. It has been over a week with no luck using the apartment. They have been left in their apartments overnight 8-10 hours after eating dinner the night before and hold their pee/poo till the moment they are let out of the apartment. Looks like they were very well trained to go outside because most of the accidents happen as they are running to the back door to go outside! I have no idea how to make this work. Does anyone have any tips on breaking the potty habits of adult dogs so they are able to use this apartment system?
isela on August 25, 2015:
I got my kennel with.divider on ebay for $32 size large and just cut an.opening on the divider wayyyy cheaper than the puppy apartment same thing just diy and ive had it.for a couple.of.weeks and nope.its.not working even.though i followed.instructions from theyre dvd...
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 21, 2015:
May work for some dogs and not for others, wow those puppy apartments are expensive! Would be nice if you could return it.
Kari on August 17, 2015:
Big waste of money! I purchased one for our Yorkie and he refused to pee in the puppy apartment, the pee pad is still to close to his bed. Tried using an xpen and further distanced the pad from his bed and no issues. Wish I would have tried this before purchasing, would have saved me $500.
Maria on May 21, 2015:
I like the idea of the puppy apartment but for me the price is prohibitive. They have regular crates available in stores that have 2 and 3 doors and most of them are sold with a crate divider. The only issue I see is the divider does not have a door opening. So if you have the ability to cut a door in the divider and make sure the cut edge is smooth and safe for the puppy, I don't see any problem with "creating" a puppy apartment system in order to save yourself money and still be able to potty train.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 05, 2015:
Diane not sure if you're referring to my article or somebody else commenting. If in regards to the article it was written several years ago. and I wasn't aware of a DVD being available back then. The only info I was able to gather back then was the website and video that I included. It looks like more updated versions were created in the meanwhile. Puppies who are very young have not attained yet bladder or bowel control, so it's quite normal for them to accidents regardless if the home is giant or small. The moment they realize they have to potty, they just go. Only once they attain this control we can expect them to rationally make good choices. Thanks for commenting.
Diane on March 03, 2015:
I don't think you looked at the DVD and followed the directions, there are 3 levels, Level 1 you wouldn't leave both doors open or any door open since you are training the dog to initially have only two choices, use the potty in their sleeping area OR on the potty side.
Then little by little you go to level 2 then level 3 finally which will automatically have them go into the Puppy Apt, Now if you have a huge home I can see where you're coming from about the fact the puppy may not make it on time so that's why you also purchased the puppy play pen which will section off a small portion of the home and confined the dog only to that area so voila, they should make it there on time and the purpose of the playpen is to confine them into a much bigger area and not just in that puppy apt and not soil your home.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 24, 2015:
Good to hear that the puppy apartment worked for you.. sounds like you have a smart pup there!
rebeccaran on January 24, 2015:
I bought one of these and it was awesome! I used it for my miniature dachshund and she learned quickly. I started out leaving her in there most of the time when she was a puppy. I'd let her out about 3 or 4 times a day while I had time to watch her and if she acted like she was going to wee I'd take her and put her back in and close the doors. If she pottied in there I'd reward her with the use of treats for going potty. I also had the problem of her chewing up the potty pad but I fixed that with tape. All I did was tape the potty pad to the crate tray on the side she used to go potty on and that worked really well.
Crute on December 31, 2014:
I believe that this is not a magical potty training device like it is advertised to be. I agree with all the points listed in the article. We are getting our third dog (though I have potty trained 5 total). Each dog is different. Some learn faster than others and some take longer to have full bladder control. This, in my opinion, is great for at night or when you cannot be home. But you would still beed to constantly watch your dog and direct them to their potty area when you see them starting to go or looking . And of course positive reinforcemnt. I will still take my dog outside as much ad possible because that is the goal. But, along with the puppy apartment I would still place some potty lads throughout the house to give our puppy a place to go if they have to. Our second dog learned much faster with potty pads combined with outside than our first dog did with just going outside. However, I will not spend the money on this. I will buy my own crate divider and have my husband cut some bars off instead. Much cheaper but same thing!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 11, 2014:
Thank you for sharing your experience using the puppy apartment. Many dogs revert to pottying in inappropriate places when stressed by a new guest or new dog in their environment.
Tvamb on December 11, 2014:
i loved my puppy apartment but would recommend users be a puppy. My puppy chihuahua took to it great. Very helpful for winter in CT. Had her for a year and to the point where she had full reign of the house while we were at work. If she need to go while we weren't home she would use bathroom on a pad in a designated area outside of her apartment. Otherwise she would wait until we got home and let her outside. Best potty training I ever had. Once we adopted a dachshund her potty training went out the window and the new dog which was supposedly already potty trained has been driving us crazy. We originally bought a medium apartment think once trained both dogs they can sleep together.. I will be purchasing another small apartment and start training from scratch with the new dog. Already see positive results from regular crate training but like the option of a bathroom if we can't make it home in time. Based on my chihuahua I would highly recommend the puppy apartment. The disruption with her I feel was because of us bringing a new dog into the house.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 06, 2014:
Provide more interesting toys so that the puppy pad appears boring in comparison. Look for interactive toys you can fill with food like Kongs or Buster Cubes.
Donna Smith on December 05, 2014:
I'm having a problem with my puppy playing in the potty side. Playing with her puppy pad and pulling it into the bed side. ??? HELP !!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 22, 2014:
Ebay is great for finding great deals, congrats!
April on October 22, 2014:
I found a brand new identical crate on eBay with 3 doors and a divider that I made my own out of foe only $40! Only problem is that it may be to big
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 21, 2014:
Before making such a great investment without any assurance it may work, you can try what respected trainer and behavior expert Ian Dunbar calls the "long-term confinement area " Basically, use a small room with an easy to clean surface such as tiles found in a kitchen or bathroom. Create separate areas for sleeping, eating, playing and soiling. Since they are small, it should be easy to confine them there with the use of baby gates. Here is an example: http://leemakennels.com/blog/puppies/long-term-con...
You can even download Dunbar's puppy guide here, it's chockful of wonderful information and info on potty training with these confinement areas! http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/downloads/AFTER_...
Don't forget to play with, train and socialize the puppies separately to encourage them to bond with you rather than too much on each other! Best wishes!
TheRicker on October 21, 2014:
rescued a couple of Dachshund Terrier mix breed (we think). They are brothers from the same pack. The foster mom basically let them run all over her house and pee on newspaper. We are in a small apartment. Didn't get any advice as to whether 2 brothers from the same litter are a good idea. Anyway, that's on us. These little cuties love to be together 24/7. We have crates and a fenced area. They escaped while we were at work (we check on them at lunch but it's still too much separation for them) and trashed the house. After a few nights of this type of antics we are considering an enclosed apartment such as the reviewed. We need peace of mind while at work and to know that at lunch time, they will be there waiting inside their area. For what I pay in pet rent for the apartment complex I live in, I don't care about whining if we aren't there. These doggies are about 6lbs. I think 20 lbs max. You think I should spend the $470 for two of these things? I've dropped 2K already for all the supplies and toys/chew toys and vet shots. I just might go broke if I don't do something. I would hate to buy these and have them hugely fail. Anyone heard of a money back guarantee?
I go through 150 pee pads a week btw and my once beautiful apt is falling to chewing and poop and pee.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 15, 2014:
Thank you for your review of the puppy apartment.
Imzadiprincess on June 15, 2014:
I have a 3.6 pound yorkie and use the puppy apartment and I love it. I am getting another puppy and will use it again.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 26, 2013:
When dogs love their crate so much, they won't want to soil near the areas they sleep in. This is the purpose of crate training, and why small crates work best-dogs' hate to potty where they sleep, play, eat and drink. The Shiba Inu is known for being a very clean breed that is easy to housebreak. If he walks around and whines. he clearly doesn't want to soil his immaculate crate. This is a good thing many dog owners would envy. It may be just better, to just regularly crate train him normally, taking him out as needed. If you work though and can't take him out as needed, you may want to try a bigger area. like create a bathroom area, sleep area in a corner of your kitchen or try a bigger crate. Eating stool is not abnormal in dogs and some puppies go through a stage where they'll eat their poop. Here is an article on this:https://hubpages.com/animals/Dog-coprophagia-when-...
LauraAshley86 on September 26, 2013:
This article was so helpful!
I purchased a regular crate with a divider and cut a hole in the divider and filed down the edges so they were not sharp. It is exactly the same idea and the puppy apartment but way cheaper. Anyway... I have a 9 week old shiba inu boy who loves his crate. That's his safe haven, however he will not go to the bathroom in the "potty" area. I watched him run around and whine for about 30 minutes once waiting for him to go potty. When I open the door out he goes and goes potty right away. He will pee in there but will not go #2. I know he is a puppy and this all takes time, but I was wondering if you had any pointers?
Also is it normal for him to want to eat his own poop? He tries to go after it after he has done his business.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 22, 2013:
Hello Shari, toy puppies are not the easiest to potty train because they have such tiny, tiny bladders. I hope the breeder made you aware of this. There's nothing wrong with raising pups in an indoor playpen, as long as the breeder puts some effort in separating potty areas from sleeping/eating/playing areas. At this age, your puppy may still not be aware when the bladder/bowel is about to release its content, hence, the reason he barks right after the fact. Please be patient, you'll eventually get there once he attains better bladder control. Make sure you clean all soiled areas with an enzyme based cleaner like Nature's Miracle. Here is an article you may find helpful https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Secret-Strategies-for-...
Shari Glenn on September 21, 2013:
Please we need help! We purchased a 3 month old toy yorkie from a breeder that we think just had the puppies in a large area indoors inside a baby playpen like fenced area where he would eat poop and play ! We have tried outside every 1/2 hour , inside on potty pads, outside on covered porch potty pads, and even outside on grass but nothing is working! We are on a schedule with him I'm with him all day & night I take him out in the middle of the night as well ! He doesn't have free roam to the house we watch him very close ! He goes to the bathroom everywhere even his cushion bed in his crate that is an apartment type
crate! When we catch him we praise him & take him to play ! When we let him out of apartment crate we hold him & let him run , & play then we put him up when we cannot watch him like if I need to shower etc. He only barks or whines after he goes potty! What do we do if this puppy doesn't care if he soils his area? He also has his own room but should we put his apartment near us at night or during the day at times when I have to be doing something but cannot chase him around the house so he can see us ! He is happy to be in his crate when he sees us ! Sorry it's so long we are knew at this and we are at our ropes end! Any help much appreciated!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 14, 2013:
Fail, no problem, your post is a good eye opener, indeed, I have also listed some disadvantages in using it. Unfortunately, not all puppies will avoid soiling the resting/eating area, especially those who were raised in pet stores or from breeders who haven't started potty training. A good breeder should start helping the puppy differentiate the bedroom/bathroom area so when the owners bring him home, he is already partly potty trained. Also, the puppy apartment just as a crate needs to be conditioned. It has to become a happy place, here's a helpful article:
Fail on August 13, 2013:
Sorry to be the downer here, but I have a 9 week old English Bulldog puppy, and the puppy apartment was an instant fail for him. Waking up in the morning to the entire place completely trashed, and his poop smeared all over him, all over his sleeping area, all over the sides, bottom, and everywhere in between. Pee all over. More relevantly: When he wakes up, screaming bloody murder, ear piercing freakouts until he is taken out of the crate. He absolutely can not stand being enclosed AT ALL. The whole system works to upset him and cause severe anxiety, which in turn causes him to trash the whole apartment without regard to his feces. This is an extremely docile little piggy 99% of the time. Mornings however, he is overwhelmingly upset by this thing. I am extremely disappointed and upset by this, but the puppy apartment does not work. And one thing I never see proponents talk about, is the fact that the dog should never be trained to urinate inside the house. As they get older this will be their habit, and its not one you want the adult dog doing is it?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 26, 2013:
Great to hear it has worked for you! It's also great the breeder started the training which put this pup at an advantage. Thanks for sharing your story!
Vrdimase on April 25, 2013:
Got a 3 lb 10 wk old pup from home breeder. First day the pup ran in & used potty area in the puppy apt. We keep potty area door open & bedroom door open. We limit her to den (where puppy apt is set up) hall & kitchen areas. When she has to potty, she runs in potty room door, does potty & runs out bedroom door. This is truly amazing. We had a pet store dog for 16 yrs before she recently died & she never truly was completely housebroken. We are senior citizens so this is wonderful for us...no late night walks, middle of the night accidents etc. I was very skeptical initially but it really works. The breeder initially started training on pad at night so that also helped. I would recommend this highly for anyone with new puppy or even an older dog
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 23, 2013:
It's a tough call then. The breeder may have worked on getting him to potty outside and reverting him to pee indoors may pose some challenges. Perhaps you can try a pet potty patch or something similar to help him generalize to use a similar surface indoors? here's an example:
traceyc04 on April 23, 2013:
Hi - he did use his toilet area last night but still prefers to go out onto the grass in the day. We live in NZ - cold, rainy winters and would prefer him to use the puppy pads preferably in his toilet area. Do I let him sit in there until he toilets after meals and water? He does not like it and whines a lot. He has been allowed to roam free in the garden at the breeders house. We only have him for five days now. He will also be home alone for a few hours everyday once school starts again and he will need to use the toilet area indoors. Should I restrict his acess to the grass and only use the puppy pads?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 23, 2013:
No problem, good luck with your puppy apartment!
traceyc04 on April 22, 2013:
Thanks for your awesome advice - it is greatly appreciated.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 22, 2013:
If your puppy is capable of holding it the entire night and doesn't show any signs of distress, you're not being cruel. He will have no problems going if he really needs to, and after all, he's always welcome to use the wee area. It's not nice when a puppy is left in the crate for more than he can hold it and he is miserably whining and has no other option than soiling and then sleeping on his soiled areas. Sounds like your pup is doing very well and sleeping soundly the whole night! Make sure you praise and reward with a treat when he uses the wee area.
traceyc04 on April 22, 2013:
Thanks for your reply. Yes, weeing on the wee pad is what we want but are we being cruel to allow such a young pup to hold his wee the entire night? Will he just go to that corner if he needs to or do we wake him to wee? He does not sit in the toilet section if it is wet but does enjoy the space when it has been cleaned with a new pad.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 22, 2013:
Isn't weeing on the wee pad what you want? The problem is therefore that he sleeps on the wee pad? Does he do this when it's wet? Perhaps it ,may help to make the bed area more comfy, try a different surface, perhaps he's hot and looking for a cooler surface? Try some experimenting...
traceyc04 on April 22, 2013:
Maybe you can help us with our 8 week old schnoodle who has a crate with a separate toilet area (no dvd) . He holds his wee the entire night (11.pm to 7.30am) - no waking - no crying. His crate is in my daughter's room very close to her bed so he sees her as he sleeps. In the morning after much coaxing and excited good morning greetings he will wee on the wee pad in the toilet section. Should we wake him to wee? Also, he enjoys the wee pad side of the apt and lies down in the area in the day.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 06, 2013:
Google "puppy apartment" it should take you to a website known as "modern puppies". It's not sold in stores but only online.
cyndee on February 06, 2013:
were do i get them
Joe Njenga from Nairobi Kenya on August 12, 2012:
I would like to second Alexadry, Puppy apartment is only successful if you are a little patient, and will require you spend ample time to train and condition the dog on its use. Thanks for sharing
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 15, 2012:
Thank you, I find it best to potty train in the spring/summer when it is less painful to go outside in the cold freezing temperatures!
Ann Leung from San Jose, California on April 15, 2012:
My kids have been asking for a puppy but I am afraid of the amount of work to potty train a puppy. It is good to know that there are potty training apartments for puppies. Thank you for sharing this useful hub. Voted up! :)
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 15, 2012:
I wonder if I was convincing in a good way or a bad way...I think people don't like it because they have very high expectations of it, but if used with a puppy with good bladder/bowel control, a puppy apartment may work if much time is spent in conditioning the dog to use it.
Bilghi on April 15, 2012:
I had mix feeling about puppy apartment; but you've been very convincing... Thanks.