Potty Training Puppies in the City


Aug 9, 2006
I live in NYC and will be bringing home a new puppy in 3 weeks. I was planning on teaching him to go to the bathroom outside right away, as I really think the pee-pad can be confusing, and eventually the dog will have to be re-trained to go outdoors. But then I began to read that dogs in the city need to stay indoors until they receive all their vaccinations (getting my puppy at 8 weeks- he will only have one set of vaccinations).

Does anyone have experience with this? Anyone HAVE to train their puppy on pee-pads for this reason? How was the transition to going outdoors?

One other thought- we live in a condo building with a private, locked parking lot out back. Building has 6 parking spots, only 3 are used. Plenty of empty space. No other dogs go back there. My apt has close access to this space. Would it be safe to bring the puppy back there until he has all his vaccinations?

I am going to ask the Vet these questions, but that's a few weeks away still. Just curious if anyone has had a similar experience. TIA!
Sep 14, 2007
My friend had a golden retriever puppy in the city until she moved to Boston (he was 2 at that time). She used a stroller for her puppy if you can believe it! Before she borrowed the stroller she actually just carried him to central park and let him pee until he had all his shots.
Do you have a flexible schedule? If you plan on either having a dog walker or walking the dog yourself (in the middle of the day) etc then I probably woudln't get the dog used to wee-wee pads. I think they can come in handy but I just think they're kind of gross (in my opinion).
Maybe you could bring a wee-wee pad out to one of those parking spaces and have him pee on it? Puppies need to pee pretty frequently.
Good luck. Congrats on the puppy


Apr 1, 2007
i'm in nyc too- i think the parking lot will be a great option! it's okay to let the pup pee outside, you just want to make sure you're not walking him/her all around. try to get the puppy to pee right when you take him/her outside, as opposed to walking all around the block. you just want to make sure the pup isn't walking in places where lots of other dogs walk.


Jan 1, 2006
I think the parking lot is a great idea. I chose to only train my dog outside for the same reasons as you, and I also wanted her to get used to the sounds of the city.
I stayed in a limited area, didn't take her into the park, and tried to avoid contact with most dogs until she had all her vaccinations. I know that a dog could get parvo or other diseases from the sidewalk, but also believe that in my area, the vast majority of dogs have been vaccinated, and were not carrying disease.
Some people on the street did choose to tell me that they thought I was wrong, but my vet agreed with me.


Mrs. Lawson <3
Jul 21, 2008
Sorry that this thread is almost 2 months old and I'm bumping it, but I wanted to know how things were going?

I also agree about the parking lot. Puppy pads are a bad idea because you're just teaching the dog to pee inside. Eventually your puppy will be able to go outside and pee/poop wherever. We moved here 3 months ago with a 2 year old dog who only knew how to pee/poop on grass. Eventually they learn to go wherever because they have to. At least we have 4 trees out front that have mulch beds underneath them. Now she just ignores them, lol.