Hello all!

I am not personally living in an apartment but my situation is similar and I need advice as to how you get them all the way down and out when it's potty time. Like in the middle of the night or even just in the middle of the day? Are you using puppy pads and if so does that make training more confusing because they are given more than one option?  I recently adopted a Goldendoodle and bless his peeing and pooping little heart but he is now twelve weeks and still not getting it and having a pee fest all over my house. The issue is that my home is multi level and I spend the vast majority of the time on the upper floors. Taking this little guy out is exausting because I have to go down three flights of stairs just to get out to my back yard. I don't want to put him in a crate where he might be alone a lot of the time depending on where I am in the house. At night he sleeps in the upper floor with me and needless to say I am exausted from the middle of the night travels all the way out to the yard. In addition to this I will take him out and literally sometimes stand there for thirty to fourty minutes and if he finally goes I give him rewards but no lie it happens often that after all that time he will come back inside and pee thirty seconds later whether he went outside or not. I really don't know what to do. I feel sorry for him because while up in my room I have him sitting up on the bed with my other dog and don't let him down unless I am going to take him out. I am right here and will talk to them and go and pet and play but I spent all yesterday with the rug doctor and the day before that as well. Please someone help!

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  • Is there some reason that you need to spend the vast majority of your time on the upper floor? 
    If there is, I'd get another crate for that floor as well. However, staying closer to the back door would help a lot.
    You should also try tethering him to you. We have lots of info on tethering in the Training Group here.

    He should never be allowed to be loose and unsupervised anywhere in the house. If you can't keep eyes on him, he needs to be crated or tethered to you.
    The fact is, he isn't "getting it" because he's not being supervised well enough. Every accident you don't see and correct on the spot is a missed opportunity to teach him that potty indoors is wrong and potty outside is correct. It's also reinforcing the behavior of "going" inside.

    At night, he should be in a crate in your room. At 12 weeks, he should be able to hold it at night. My puppy did from the very first night he came home, and he was only 10 weeks old. And at 6 lbs, had a small bladder, I might add. I credit my breeder with crate training the pups and moving them to individual crates at night.  

    When taking him outside, don't "stand there." Keep him on a leash and walk around with him. Moving helps a lot, and keeping him leashed will help him focus on business and not playing. If there is are areas outdoors where your other dog "goes", walk him close to those areas and let him sniff them. That may help. 

    IMO, puppy pads are not only disgusting, lol, but they do confuse them and complicate issues. Either pottying inside the house is okay, or it isn't. 

    I hope this helps.

    • I agree the puppy pads are disgusting which is why I have resisted. As far as keeping an eye on him he is always within a few feet of me. He sleeps with me in my bed and is at my feet or on my bed if we aren’t outside playing. I don’t like being cooped up and so we do spend a lot of time outside and when I take him out specifically to potty I take him to the same spot every day and then water plants or whatever while still keeping an eye on him so I can praise and reward him. Even with all of that and when he has gone we will walk inside and he will pee again. He never goes at night on my bed but when he whines I take him out. I am a writer and my office is upstairs which is why I am up here a lot but also have the freedom to go outside often during the day. My other doodle is five and think in the end I must have used the crate but my situation wasn’t the same as it is now. Believe me I really am trying here. 

      • I guess what I am not getting is that you said in your post "He is having a pee fest all over my house." How can he be doing that if he is never more than a few feet away from you?

        Obviously, you can't keep your eyes on him every minute, nobody could. So it's really not about how far away from you he is as it is about being able to catch him in the act immediately as it's happening. Tethering or crating are the only ways I know to do that. 

  • When I got Maggie her foster family had used pee pads when they had long days at work - their floor was otherwise tile. And they said she used them consistently. I struggled (probably not only for that reason) to transition her to only pottying outside because I have carpet, and I think she thought the whole house was one big pee pad. I do think pee pads are confusing for the dog. You start out teaching them that it's okay to potty inside in certain circumstances. Then later you leave a newspaper (I know, who reads an actual newspaper, right?) or clean laundry, or towels or something on the floor. Does the dog generalize that it's okay to potty on those items? 

    For me, housetraining is probably the single most important thing a dog ever learns. No one wants to live in a doggy toilet. And I feel like everytime I messed up and the dog had an accident I was reinforcing that it was okay to potty inside instead of outside. And it's not my favorite part of training, because they really do seem like little pee factories at that age. So really put in the work now and hang in there, because once they understand and you can actually trust them it's so much better.

  • It's been a while since I potty trained.  My worst was Rosco.  He took F O R E V E R to quit peeing indoors.  But his peeing was less constant and more "OMD I have a bladder the size of a grape and I can't hold it a second longer."  

    Anyway, for the first many weeks I was obsessive about taking him out every 15-20 minutes if he was loose in the house or NOT in a crate.  If I couldn't watch him he was in a crate.  I think you HAVE to do that.  A puppy cannot be left to wander at all.  Period.  Can you bring a crate up on the third floor?  Then you can play with him a bit and then crate him....then an hour later, take him out, wait for him to pee, then play with him and then back to the crate if you can't keep eyes on him.  Or like Karen said, tether him to you.  


    • Thanks everyone for all the helpful advice. I am taking it all to heart and today I put him on his leash and just tied him up when he wasn't outside playing. I have also started taking him out by himself when it's strictly a potty stop because I think that when I bring both Teddy and Lola out they are just running around and goofing off. I am lucky in that because of Lola he is a really chill puppy, they wear themselves out and burn off all that doodle crazy. I know I am going to just need to be patient and remember that it did take a bit for Lola to learn as well but now she is the most trusted dog and never has accidents in my house or any of the other homes, hotels, etc. where we visit. Teddy will eventually get there and that's what I will tell myself every time I stand outside and wait. And how could I avoid loving this face?3576217820?profile=RESIZE_710x

      • so cute :-)
        best of luck!

  • Hi,

    You are really hanging in there and I give you lots of credit for doing all that you are, it sure isn’t easy.  And yes,  how could you not love that face! He is so absolutely adorable!

    I did a quick read through of the prior posts, and they are indeed the experts.  I’ll just add in that when Nala was a puppy, I would use Nature’s Miracle spray to clean under the pee pads after she went, just to make sure there was no urine smell left.  She didn’t have too many accidents as she came from the breeder practically trained to the pads, but there was the occasional and I made sure to use that spray to get rid of the smell so she wouldn’t smell it there later on and think it was ok to do it again.

    I was one of those people who did use the pee pads.  Nala had no issues transitioning.  As she got bigger, I trained her to potty outside.  She rings bells to tell me she has to go.  But I think Nala is part human as she knows everything I say, and she made my life so easy...lol.  

    I was home with her all day, and not restricted like you, so it was far easier.  But your beautiful pup will get the hang of it!
    Best of luck,
    Christine & Nala 


    • We used pee pads successfully as well because we had to leave Riley all day for work a week after we brought her home.  She couldn't be expected to hold it all day in a crate so she was gated off with a sleep and pee area.  Anytime we were home though she was expected to potty outside.

      She ended up shredding the pee pads most of the time and like you we sprayed down the whole area with nature's miracle under where the pee pads were.  It didn't take long to potty train her and she has been very good ever since.  I am home with her these days since I'm on mat leave but she can often go all day without asking out.

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