How To Potty Train A German Shepherd Puppy


The inevitable puppy accidents are the most irritating part of bringing a new dog home. However, you shouldn’t have trouble potty training your GSD puppy if you give it some time and have the patience to create a routine.

This article will detail potty training a German Shepherd puppy and give you success advice and step-by-step tips.

When should potty training for a German shepherd puppy begin?

German shepherd puppies know their ability to control their body systems three weeks after birth. It is best to start potty training your puppy as soon as you bring them home, usually around eight weeks.

Even if your puppy is younger when you bring it home—say, at 6 or 7 weeks—you should still start potty training because your puppy won’t be able to hold its bladder for very long.

Puppies can generally hold their pee for no longer than one hour per month of life. Therefore, a two-month-old can hold their pee for about two hours.

To avoid accidents, take them for potty breaks once per hour. You must do that at all hours during the day, including while you are asleep.

Do not fret! This stage doesn’t last long, and as they age, you can extend it by an hour each month. They’ll soon start sleeping through the night and quit waking you up every few hours.

Are All German Shepherds Potty Trained in Adulthood?

No, not all adult German Shepherds have been taught to use the bathroom. Just because dogs are adults doesn’t mean they always know how to eliminate themselves the way you would expect them to. Everything is based on what they are accustomed to and what they have been taught to do.

If you are bringing a German Shepherd into your home for the first chance, you might still need to potty train them. At the very least, you’ll need to get them used to your own home and rules.

The process of potty training an adult, however, frequently resembles that of training a puppy.


Step-by-Step Potty Training Guide

Potty training a German Shepherd puppy is not that tough, even though it requires effort and persistence. The key is to establish your ground rules and a timeline immediately.

This step-by-step guide can help you quickly housebreak your puppy:

Step 1: Choose a restroom location.

Choose a clean site to travel to from your home that is easy to maintain. The ideal location is quiet. Your dog will function better in a distraction-free atmosphere to finish the activity more quickly.

German Shepherds are creatures of habit, like many dog breeds. Having a designated bathroom and using it frequently is necessary to ensure the success of this therapy.

The pee and waste left behind by dogs have a unique fragrance. Even when you clean up after them and pick up their messes, they can still smell that scent. Once they smell it, their thoughts will know it is time to go to the bathroom.

Step 2: Establish a schedule.

It’s essential to stick to a routine, just like it’s important to have a functional bathroom. Dogs often have predictable bladder and bowel movements, making it easy to predict when they need to go.

Young puppies should be transported to their designated potty location every hour. You can increase the time between their potty breaks as they get older and more accustomed to the routine.

Increase by 1 hour at a time, usually 1 hour per month of age, after they are old enough to be able to hold themselves for up to 8 hours each day.

Step 3: Attach a command

If you link commands to your puppy’s potty routines, they will soon be able to eliminate themselves on order. Start by sticking in there and obeying one command. Some say, “go potty,” whereas many working dogs are taught to “empty.”

Use any word you like as long as you consistently; the exact phrase is not essential. The use of expelliarmus cannot be postponed until it is regarded as embarrassing the following week.

Say the command you’ve chosen when your pup gets to the specified potty spot. Repeat your order and give praise when your dog successfully urinates.

To give the command immediately before they squat to poop, you’ll eventually want to try to predict the precise order before they do. Usually, this can be seen in their body language.

Once you get here, you’ll know that the command and the action are connected. You should give up doing that until you can command your pup to squat and poop. It won’t take as long as you think if you are consistent.

Step 4: Promote healthy bathroom practices

Every time your GSD puppy uses the restroom successfully, have fun with them! Become joyful and exclaim, “Excellent potty!”

Reward them, especially if they go potty when asked. Make sure to give them compliments and maybe even a good head scratch.

Depending on what motivates them, reward them with food or with play. Make sure to do it flawlessly and as soon as they exit their poop squat to be aware of the reward.

Step 5: Give your time and be patient.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have the best chance of success, but be patient; it will take time.

Don’t immediately start extending the time between restroom breaks in an attempt to reduce accidents. All you can do is be patient, keep going, and thoroughly clean up your puppy’s accidents, even if accidents are occasionally inevitable.

The good news is that your GSD puppy will only experience this once in its lifetime. It’s unlikely that once they get it, they will regress. Keep going, and trust that it will all be beneficial soon.


Top Tips for Potty Training Success

Because German Shepherds are easy to train, you should have your GSD pup trained in no time if you follow the recommended steps for potty training.

However, if you follow the advice below, you’ll succeed and get over this trying phase much faster:

Step 1: Make crate training.

Crate training provides some significant benefits, particularly for puppies. The right crate may give them a private space where they can feel safe and an excellent housebreaking method.

Since dogs are naturally unwilling to contaminate their own “den,” they regularly cry, wail, or give you other indications that they need to go outdoors to discharge themselves. Just take care to properly educate your dog to use the crate and use it as a tool to promote physical and mental health in the dog.

Step 2: Establish a routine.

German shepherds appreciate routines and can thrive on them, so do your best to make every day the same for them. This will aid in effective housebreaking and lessen the likelihood of behavioral issues as your pup ages.

Step 3: Follow a feeding schedule.

Regular mealtimes play a more significant role in establishing a routine than just one aspect. Additionally, it will help you more accurately anticipate their bathroom needs.

Free-pooping is a side effect of free-feeding young puppies, precisely what you want to avoid while potty training them.

Try to keep feedings for puppies under six months old to three times daily. As long as they are at least six months old, German Shepherds can eat twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening.

When potty training a dog, it’s better to keep food and large treats to a minimum if you can’t immediately take the dog outside.

Step 4: Steer clear of drinking water after dark.

Having unlimited access to a water bowl will make potty training more difficult, even though it’s crucial for dogs to always have access to clean water for drinking.

Remove your dog’s water bowl around two hours before bedtime to ensure that there are as few overnight accidents as possible. Do this only up until they are fully housebroken. Once it has been potty trained, your dog can have unrestricted access to water.

Step 5: Remain objective till they’ve finished their job.

Verbal praise for your pup may make them get distracted and even frightened or excited. When taking your dog outdoors to use the restroom, try to maintain your composure. Only talk when giving the command to go potty.

Please bring them to their designated potty spot, give them the command, and maintain your composure until they are completed. This will also make unique touches to your post-potty reward.

Step 6: Don’t stress over accidents.

Accidents can still happen even after you’ve completed your training successfully. It is already too late to avert an accident by the time it occurs.

The chances of doing more harm than good if you punish your puppy for a poop mishap are higher. Bad potty habits, such as being reluctant to eliminate oneself in front of you or worrying about having to pee or poop, will arise from it.

So, do not let it overwhelm you. Just straighten everything up, and I hope you both do better the next time. If your dog has accidents regularly, you should take them outside more often if you want to stop them.

Step 7: Completely clean up any accidents.

Because they use their scent to find the optimum area to eliminate themselves, it is imperative that you thoroughly clean up any interior accidents. This is the best way to maintain excellent health and proper hygiene.

Find a cleaner specifically for puppy accidents because ordinary household cleaners cannot eliminate the stench your dog leaves behind. Additionally, there are a ton of excellent pet stain removers that will find you get through this stage of puppyhood.

Step 8: Listen and pay attention

Dogs will express their urge to go potty in their unique way.

If you pay close attention to the signals they give you, you might be able to determine when they need to leave. Some dogs may whine, while others may paw at the door.

If you pay attention to your dog’s signals, you’ll have a better chance of successfully potty training him.

Final Thoughts

Potty training, even for a young German Shepherd pup, shouldn’t take very long because of how intelligent these dogs are. Establish a routine and give them time to regain complete control over their bowels and bladder. If you are committed to following your way, you should soon be able to enjoy a long housebroken dog.