Are you looking for tips on house training a German Shepherd puppy?
Then you’ve found the right place for training strategies.
I’ve got 10 easy-to-follow tips, which will help you potty train your German Shepherd pooch before you know it.
I’ll even include videos to help guide you!
Related: Best puppy leash training tips
House Training A German Shepherd Puppy
What’s the right German Shepherd potty training age? That’s one of the first questions owners have when it comes to housebreaking a puppy.
Puppies can control their body functions when they are 20 days of age, so they are ready for potty training from the moment you bring them home.
As such, it should be on top of your list of things to do.
Waiting a day or two might result in the little one deciding that it’s all right to do their business inside.
Once a puppy forms a habit, it’s twice as hard to undo it. So, let’s see how you housebreak a German Shepherd puppy.
#1 Choose a spot
You have one job before you bring your German Shepherd puppy home.
That’s to decide where you’re going to take Puffy to do his business while you’re housebreaking him.
It might be in the yard or the grass in front of your house, but you must make your mind.
Consistency is critical if you want to form the right habits in your puppy.
Changing the stop will confuse your puppy and make accidents in the house more likely.
#2 Learn about your puppy’s limitations
Young puppies have small bladders. That means that they can’t hold it very long even if they desperately want to.
So, expect a small puppy to make a mess if you leave him for more than a couple of hours.
Puppies between 8 and 16 weeks can hold their bladder up to two hours. That means that you have to take the puppy to its spot every hour.
Puppies over three months can control their bladder for around four hours, so you’ll have to take them every two hours.
#3 Use crate training
Some owners consider crate training to be cruel. However, crates are an excellent way to teach your puppy to hold his bladder and bowels.
By nature, puppies don’t eliminate in their living space. That’s a lesson they learn from their mothers.
So, when puppies think about their crate as a den, they are not going to make a mess in it unless necessary.
However, for this strategy to work, you have to get the right crate. If your crate is too big, your puppy is going to use a part of it as a toilet.
So, you need a crate that is big enough for your puppy to turn around, stand, and lay down comfortably.
#4 Establish a schedule
Do you know what I love about German Shepherd puppies when it comes to housebreaking? Their toilet habits are quite reliable.
What I mean is that your puppy will need to do his business around 10-20 minutes after eating.
So, if you establish a feeding schedule, you’ll be able to predict when your German Shepherd puppy will need the bathroom.
#5 Take your puppy regularly outside
The key to house training your German Shepherd puppy is to take it out of the house to do his business frequently.
By frequently, I mean right after they wake up in the morning, after napping, after playing, and after drinking and eating.
Usually, puppies can sleep around seven hours at night without needing a bathroom break. However, accidents still could happen.
If they do, you should take your puppy outside more often. That’s because when your pooch gets comfortable soiling the crate, he is going to do it again and again.
#6 Choose a command
When you take your German Shepherd puppy to pee and poop outside, you’re going to need a command word to remind them to do their business.
For example, you can use “go potty” or another phrase, which doesn’t come often in conversations.
Use the same command every time you take your puppy outside to potty just before the little one does his business.
In time, your puppy is going to associate the word with the action, which will make your job easy in bad weather.
#7 Always reward
To house train your German Shepherd puppies, you must remember to praise and reward them.
You must do it immediately after they have finished peeing or pooping. Don’t do it when you get back in the house.
Moreover, you must remember that puppies get easily distracted by new smells and sounds.
So, it might take a while for your little guy to finish doing his business.
#8 Read your puppy’s body language
Besides, establishing a feeding routine and taking your puppy frequently outside, there is one more vital element to house training a German Shepherd puppy.
You have to learn to read your puppy’s body language.
Puppies can’t talk, but they can show you very clearly that they are uncomfortable.
If you don’t learn to recognize the signs that your puppy has to go, you don’t have anyone to blame but yourself.
So, keep an eye for:
- Walking strangely
- Licking their rears
- A sudden shift in their activity or behavior
- Pawing at the door
- Going to a previously used spot in the house
But what should you do if you have ignored these signs and you catch your puppy in the act?
The correct action would be to say “outside,” for example, and take your puppy immediately to the designated spot.
#9 Keep calm
Does it seem like your puppy is taking forever to do their business? Well, it happens.
You mustn’t try to rush your pooch or distract them with encouragement.
The German Shepherd puppy might feel too anxious to finish their business, and then they’ll do in the house.
In addition to this, you mustn’t punish, scold, or yells at your pet while they’re doing their business.
All you’re going to accomplish is make your puppy afraid of a completely natural body function. That will lead to a myriad of behavior problems and inappropriate urination.
#10 Avoid typical housebreaking mistakes
House training a German Shepherd puppy takes time and effort. Naturally, you might make some mistakes along the way. But here are the main ones you must avoid:
- Overfeeding your puppy during the day or feeding them too close to bedtime
- Leaving your puppy alone for too long in a crate or unsupervised
- Giving your puppy too many treats
- Not cleaning any accident well to remove the smell
- Ignoring any signs that your puppy has to go
- Allowing your puppy too much access to new spaces around the house before you have housebroken them
By this point, a lot of owners ask me, “How long does house training a German Shepherd puppy take?”
My answer is always the same – however long it takes.
House training a German Shepherd puppy depends on how old is your puppy, how dedicated you are to the training, and the puppy’s personality.
Some puppies take to training so well that they are housebroken in a couple of weeks.
Others might take as long as a month or more. Just be patient and never yell or punish your puppy for having an accident in the house.