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Preventing your dog from lifting his leg and peeing in the wrong spot can be especially difficult when you live in an apartment or condo. But there are several things you can do to make sure you and your pup adjust to urban living with minimal stress and accidents.

Be consistent! In order for your dog to learn where he can and can’t go to the bathroom you must not only give him amble exposure to where he should go to the bathroom but also correct him if he makes a mistake like lifting his leg in the hallway as you wait for the elevator or in the common area before he makes it outside. Make sure to take him out at the same time every day too so he starts to learn bladder control.

Create a solution! If taking your dog from the 5th floor to street level to potty is inconvenient, you can also create a proper potty spot on your balcony or in your condo. Artificial turf or potty pads in your condo provide great, low odor alternatives.

Be in charge! Dogs mark because they think an area (like a hallway or your living room) belongs to them. But if they understand that you are the leader then they are less likely to mark. Having your dog do simple tasks like sit, stay, or down, before he goes on walks, gets fed, or is let into the hallway can make a world of difference. If your dog does start to mark or have an accident in the wrong area, swiftly and firmly tell him NO, then immediately take him to where he can go to the bathroom.

Prevent mistakes! Dogs repeat things that “feel good”, so if he has a full bladder, then pees in your condo or in the common area on the way down for a walk, his bladder feels better, and he is more likely to do it next time. To prevent accidents, make sure you take your dog out numerous times a day. If you have a smaller dog you can carry him till he is outside the building.