How To Potty Train A German Shepherd Puppy

How To Potty Train A German Shepherd Puppy

After reading through this guide, you will understand what potty training is and how to teach your GSD puppy this new trick. Potty training is an essential part of raising an obedient dog.

An obedient dog understands what you want from it, but this takes time and patience.

Don’t only invest money in a German Shepherd as a pet but take the time to house train it to share your space acceptably.

Your efforts and energy will be rewarded by having a German Shepherd that is properly potty trained, which makes for a pleasant relationship.

What Is Potty Training for a German Shepherd Puppy?

What Is Potty Training for a German Shepherd Puppy?

Here’s some good news for first time GSD owners – a German Shepherd puppy is quite easy to train due to its high intelligence levels compared to other dog breeds. They take instruction well and retain learning with repetition.

All trainers will advise consistency and persistency as the foundations for proper dog training.

Trainers advise that dog owners use positive reinforcement to teach their young puppies how to behave indoors and outdoors. Proper training DOES NOT include shouting, hitting, or abusing your puppy in any way.

The worst thing you can do when potty training your German Shepherd puppy is to instill fear in your pet. Your job is to raise a balanced, stable dog that is confident and not fearful.

Be patient when potty training your puppy and other house training skills. Pets, like children, have a limited concentration span.

Keep puppy training periods short (about 10 minutes at a time) and frequent (up to 5 or 6 times a day).

Potty training your German Shepherd puppy means teaching it to relieve itself outdoors or a specific place indoors. Where you teach your puppy to relieve itself depends on the space available.

At What Age Should You Start Potty Training Your GSD Puppy?

At What Age Should You Start Potty Training Your German Shepherd Puppy?

Typically, the potty training process with your German Shepherd dog can start immediately when you bring them home. They are usually around 2 months when you take your new puppy home but can start learning to control their urges from three weeks.

Having said this, if your pet needs to relieve itself, you probably only have half an hour before nature takes its course and your GSD puppy begins peeing.

When your puppy needs to defecate, they can probably hold their poop in for up to two hours. Neither situation is desirable as it causes discomfort and distress.

During this time, it is up to you to get your puppy to a suitable area to relieve itself.

Pet owners will generally start this housebreaking process by laying newspapers or puppy pads on the floor to catch the mess while your puppy is learning self-control.

Remember that at 2 months, your puppy is like an infant and needs a lot of help. Your dog looks up to you for direction about behaving acceptably in the home and around others.

Use these early weeks of growth to raise your pet just like you would a small child.

Never expect your puppy to go for hours on end inside the home without relieving itself.

This situation will result in unnecessary stress and possibly lead to health bills if your pet develops an infection or other health problems.

Until you get your puppy properly potty trained, you should lookout for a few body language clues that it needs to relieve itself:

  • Within about 15 minutes of eating or drinking.
  • Your puppy becomes restless and paces up and down.
  • Your pet will begin arching its back or turning in circles, indicating that it is getting ready to squat.
  • The pet may start whining and looking at you to show its distress.
  • They will return to a previous indoor spot if the scent has not been removed.
  • They may start scratching at the door to be let outside.

Once you know what to look for when your puppy needs to go to the toilet, you have a better chance of avoiding a mess inside. When they do make messes though, be sure to clean up any accidents with an enzymatic cleaner, which will remove smells and unsightly stains. The enzymes will break down any protein in their excrement, which dogs can be attracted to.

Stick to the guide below to learn how to potty train your German Shepherd puppy.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Potty Training Your German Shepherd Puppy

The best way to potty train your German Shepherd is to:

  • Select an appropriate space for them to relieve themselves.
  • Understand your puppy’s limits
  • Support potty training with a crate
  • Create a strict schedule for their potty breaks
  • Take your puppy regularly to its outdoor spot
  • Select a command and stick to it
  • Encourage your puppy with treats

#1 Select an appropriate space for them to relieve themselves


Choose a space outside or inside the home where your puppy can begin toileting. Once you have selected a space, stick to your decision to avoid confusing your pet.

Consistency is a valuable part of any training given to an animal, and potty training your German Shepherd puppy is no exception to this rule.

#2 Understand your puppy’s limits

Your puppy is growing and learning every day. It has a small bladder and colon, and its world revolves around eating, sleeping, and playing.

Between 2 and 4 months, your puppy can hold its urine for half an hour which increases to about 4 hours from 3 months.

Take your puppy outside every hour until they reach 4 months and every 2 hours thereafter up to 5 months. By this age, and up to a year old, take them outside to the same spot every 5 hours.

Once your puppy reaches a year, you can take it outside once every 8 hours and it stays this way for adult dogs.

3.Support potty training with a crate


Crates are a good way to support your German Shepherd puppy’s potty training. While some people don’t like the idea of crate training, it has proven to be an efficient tool for potty training.

German Shepherds do not mess where they live, so the idea is that they won’t soil themselves while inside a crate container. If your pet thinks of its crate as an indoor kennel, it won’t relieve itself inside the crate.

Place your puppy in the crate, which must be large and comfortable enough to sleep in, stand up and turn around in.

Line the crate floor with newspapers or puppy liners for a couple of weeks, while your puppy becomes accustomed to its new home and routine.

The point is that you can eventually trust your puppy’s self-control by staying in the crate until allowed out.

#4 Create a strict Training schedule

Your puppy will want to go to the toilet within approximately 15 minutes of mealtime.

Feed your puppy its dog food at at a regular amount of time throughout the day so that you can take it outside within this timeframe.

Using a strict eating schedule will help you understand your puppy’s needs better and support a routine that they can get used to.

#5 Take your puppy regularly to its outdoor spot

Take your puppy to the same potty spot within 10 to 20 minutes after drinking and eating. Keep your puppy company while it does its business and reward it every time it is successful.

Should your puppy have an indoor accident, do not rub its nose in the mess as this creates fear. Remember that they are still small, and their self-control is limited at a young age.

Your job is to raise a confident pet and not one that is fearful and aggressive.

Ensure that you take your puppy outside as the last thing you do before you go to bed and close it in a crate for the night.

You will need to get up early as your puppy can sleep for approximately 7 hours through the night but will need the toilet immediately when you wake up.

#6 Select a command and stick to it


When you want to take your puppy out to the toilet, choose a command and stick to it. When you use the same command each time, like ‘go potty’, ‘make’ or ‘toilet time’ your puppy will later recognize that it is time to go outside for urination or to poo.

Regular trips outside should follow eating, drinking, and sleep times. If you see that your pup has messed in its crate, this means that more frequent nighttime toilet trips are necessary.

Please do not allow your puppy to get used to soiling its crate, as this can become an undesirable habit.

#7 Encourage your puppy with treats

Immediately after a successful toilet trip and while your puppy is still outside, give them a treat and praise them as rewards.

Praise and treats serve as reinforcements for positive behavior which your puppy wants from you.

When it learns that toilet trips outdoors are accompanied by positive reactions, he will want to please you more.

Wrap Up

Knowing how to potty train your German Shepherd puppy means that you are both on a successful journey towards raising a pleasant pet.

You both benefit from this experience, and further obedience training becomes easier. Now, you can look forward to training your pet on how to sit, heel, and stay.

You can also start teaching your puppy how to walk on and off a leash. Avoid any temptation to allow your pet to control you by remaining firm in your endeavors.

You will earn your pup’s respect and likewise find how much your intelligent companion is capable of for future training initiatives.


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