Let’s talk potty training for a bit shall we? It is probably what we stress over the most those first few months of new puppy ownership. Some dogs take right to it, and other dogs… not so much. Either way, potty training helps to lay down the foundation for your dog to learn how to be a polite, and well-mannered member of the household. No pressure. 😉
I hate to break it to you, all of my wonderful Yorkshire Terrier obsessed readers out there, but Yorkie’s are notoriously difficult to house train. That’s not to say that you won’t get lucky and end up with one who gets it from the start, but typically, it doesn’t quite go down like that. Luckily, I have a pretty awesome product to share with you today, which helped me tremendously with potty training my second Yorkshire Terrier!
The Potty Training Puppy Apartment by Modern Puppies, was a lifesaver when I was training my Yorkie, Willow. Never heard of it before? Or maybe you have and just want an honest opinion from someone who used it?
Stick around. You will want to read this. There may just be a coupon code for you to use as well. 😉
What is a Potty Training Puppy Apartment?
The Potty Training Puppy Apartment (PTPA) is essentially a dog crate, which has a patent pending room divider, separating the crate into two different sections. One side is meant for sleeping (a bedroom) and the other side is meant for pottying (a bathroom). The room divider has a cut out in the middle of it so that the puppy can easily go back and forth between the two rooms.
The PTPA comes in 7 different sizes! So it is definitely not just for small dogs. There are also beds, and potty pads available for purchase on the website, which are specifically designed to fit in the different sized crates.
Here is a size chart for reference from the Modern Puppies website
|XSmall||Up to 4 lbs||24″L x 18″W x 19″H|
|Small||5 – 10 lbs||30″L x 19″W x 21″H|
|Medium||11 – 20 lbs||36″L x 23″W x 25″H|
|Large||21 – 40 lbs||42″L x 28″W x 30″H|
|XLarge||41 – 80 lbs||48″L x 30″W x 33″H|
|XXLarge||81 – 140 lbs||60″L x 36″W x 38″H|
|XXXLarge||Over 140 lbs||Please call or email for details|
They have a ton of other products available as well such as: Covers for the crate, a nightstand to put the crate on so your puppy can be close to you for bedtime, a playpen to attach onto the crate, and more!
How does the PTPA work?
Dogs naturally do not like to use the bathroom where they are sleeping. The bedroom side of the PTPA is small, designed to be just big enough for your puppy to stretch out, stand up, and turn around. In effort to keep their beds clean, a puppy will go to the other side of the crate to use the bathroom. The other side of the crate is lined with a disposable puppy potty pad that is made to fit perfectly within the bathroom side of the PTPA.
When you go to sleep at night, or leave your puppy home during the day, you should place your puppy in the PTPA on the bedroom side. If the puppy needs to go potty in the middle of the night, or while you are gone, he will naturally use the side of the crate that the puppy pad is on. Once he has done this a few times, he will start searching out his “bathroom area” while he is out and about your house as well! Reward him when he uses his bathroom, and he will continue to do so.
The PTPA has three doors for easy access to both rooms for your pup during the day, and the doors can even be removed once your puppy doesn’t need to be shut in his crate anymore. He will eventually be consistent enough that you can leave him out while you are gone, and at night, and he will use his bathroom as needed.
Benefits to using this potty system
- You don’t have to get up every few hours in the middle of the night to let your new puppy out
- You don’t have to take your puppy outside into the bad weather to go potty.
- You don’t have to hire a puppy sitter or dog walker to take your dog out to potty if you’re going to be gone for a while during the day.
- It takes the stress away of constantly having to watch a new puppy for signs that he has to go out and use the potty. He will just learn to go to his indoor potty!
- It can be used as a permanent potty system even for an adult dog if you choose to use it that way.
- It can be an alternative potty for an adult dog, for only the days you will be gone for a long period.
- You won’t have to worry about wild animals possibly attacking your dog in your yard while you are not watching. (This one may sound silly, but our Vet has personally seen a Yorkie that was almost killed by a hawk when the owner wasn’t watching. It does happen, especially to little dogs.)
- No more poopy scooping your back yard. When your dog uses his indoor potty you simply remove the leak proof potty pad, fold it up, throw it away, and replace it with a fresh one.
– – I have included a video created by Modern Puppies, to show you exactly how this crate works.
My experience with the Potty Training Puppy Apartment
So that all sounds pretty great right?? Too good to be true? Well, No, Not really!
When I first brought Willow home, she was 12 weeks old, and was very tiny. I had already bought the PTPA, but also wanted to teach her to go outside as well. It was spring when I got her, but it was still very cold where I lived at the time. When I would bring her outside to try to go, the poor thing would climb onto my feet, curl up into a ball, and just shiver. She would not even try to go. She was too tiny, and it was too cold. So I decided to use the PTPA exclusively until she was a little bigger.
My experience with this system was amazing overall! I cannot tell you enough how easy and convenient it was to be able to just let her use an indoor potty. I did change the rules a bit with the system to fit our lifestyle. I kept Willow in a very small crate on my nightstand at night instead of the puppy apartment. She was more comfortable, and wouldn’t cry if she was right next to me. I also had to get up with her at least every 5-6 hours in the beginning anyways to make sure she ate a little something to keep her from becoming hypoglycemic… BUT that is a whole different topic, for another day.
I created a little puppy play pen out of shelving cubes from Amazon, and connected it to her PTPA, so that she could have a bit of space to roam while my husband and I were at work for the day. I left a few potty pads out in that area too, and slowly decreased the potty pads to just the one in her PTPA.
Willow caught on very quickly, and by the time she was 16 weeks old she was hardly ever having accidents anymore. I also started to teach her to go potty outside at this age. I had another dog at the time, so he did most of the teaching. Ha! But basically, I just brought her outside and would tell her to go potty, and when she would finally go, I’d give her a treat.
I will admit that transitioning her to go potty outside, and in her PTPA only when needed, was slightly difficult, and it did cause a bit of confusion and regression for us. However, it didn’t last long and she soon understood what she was supposed to do.
I would FOR SURE recommend this system to everyone. Especially owners of small dogs, owners who are away from home a lot, for senior dogs, and for dogs that live in apartments! It really does work, it’s very convenient, and it does help to potty train a small dog much faster in my opinion.
Helpful tips for using the PTPA from my experience.
There were some things that I learned that I will pass on to hopefully help your experience with the PTPA be a positive one if you decide to purchase.
1. Change the pad every 1-2 uses. Obviously if your dog does #2, it should be changed right away due to the smell, and possible mess if your dog goes in there again and steps in it. When Willow did #1, I would usually leave it and let her use it again, which also helped her to smell and remember where to go. Once she was an adult she became rebellious and would actually pee on the floor right outside of the crate if she had used the pad a few times and I hadn’t changed it yet! So make sure you change it after one or two uses to keep your dog from turning her nose up at it.
2. Purchase a baby diaper pail to toss the used potty pads into. This was a lifesaver for me!! A baby diaper pail will hold in all the stink until you are ready to take it out of your house. I was at first just throwing the pads into my kitchen garbage, and I could smell urine in my kitchen. NOT COOL. (for the record, my husband said he couldn’t smell it, so maybe I just have a sensitive sniffer, but I definitely couldn’t handle it!) I also would flush the poo down the toilet so it wouldn’t stink up the kitchen garbage, but when I got the diaper pail I could just roll that up and throw it in there too. Yay for no stink!
– I linked a picture here of the one I used, it’s not cheap, I know, but WORTH IT.
3. Small rugs may have to go into hiding for a while. Because Willow used potty pads for so long as her potty place, she thought every small rectangular rug was a potty pad. I don’t think every dog would do this, but Willow did. I had to get rubber door mats instead of rug material, and had to remove my kitchen sink rug for bit. Now that she is five years old she always uses the potty outside unless we are gone for a long time, which is hardly ever, and she doesn’t seem to have the “small rug issue” anymore.
A great potty training alternative
Now that I have been through the process, would I do it this way again? YES. I would! It was SO much more convenient, especially for a Yorkie, which like I said, can be very difficult to house train.
Willow did great with it, and it was a wonderful alternative for us. My husband and I were both working outside of our home at the time, and couldn’t get back every few hours to take her outside. I didn’t have to worry about her sitting in a crate trying to hold her tiny bladder until someone got there to let her out. Her potty was always available to her when she needed it.
The transition to going outside most of the time was a tad bit messy, but really not that bad. It was worth it in my opinion to do the potty pad training first. In my case, the pros FAR outweighed the cons, and the cons were pretty easy to deal with.
I highly recommend the Potty Training Puppy Apartment, and I have a special coupon code to offer to you if you decide you’d like to try this for your puppy!
You can purchase the Potty Training Puppy Apartment at www.modernpuppies.com
Type in code ATY27604 at check out to receive 5% off of your purchase! Because, who doesn’t love a discount!? 🙂
We wish you good luck in your potty training adventures!
To read about the best food for Yorkies, head on over to this post.
Looking for a great harness for your small dog? Check out Willow’s personal recommendations here. 😉