Housebreaking a Puppy - 12 Tips for German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training

Updated on February 6, 2016

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training

Afraid to take an eye off your new puppy? Hoping that your carpets won't be ruined and your house won't stink? Don't worry. If you do your part, German Shepherd puppy potty training will be quick and relatively painless.

This lens has my 12 tips for housebreaking a puppy successfully. I've learned these the hard way, but you can save your rugs by using these tips.

This lens is not about paper training a dog. If you want your dog to go to the bathroom indoors, paper train it. If you want it to be housebroken, follow these tips for successful potty training.

photo credit:

Tips for Housebreaking - Potty Training your German Shepherd Puppy

Kinder the black German Shepherd puppy at 9 weeks.
Kinder the black German Shepherd puppy at 9 weeks.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #1

Decide where your puppy will go. Yes, this is your choice. Pick an area and keep your puppy there. Once it goes in its corner of the yard, it can explore.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #2

Always take your puppy outside after meals. I have fixed feeding times for my German Shepherds, which are the only times food is available. Your puppy can adjust to eating on your schedule, which lets you know specific times when you will definitely take it outside.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #3

Crate train your puppy. Dogs don't like to mess in their living space.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #4

Always take your puppy outside when it wakes up or when you let it out of the crate.

Focus on Crate Training

You can make expensive mistakes buying a dog crate and bed. Your German Shepherd puppy will go to the bathroom in its crate if it is too big. Your puppy needs a crate that is the right size for a puppy. The bottom of the crate needs to be a solid pan, and the bed should be machine washable and fast-drying. Big, thick pillows are the wrong choice.

Here are some recommended products.

MidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate
MidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate

This crate comes in many sizes. The correct size for a German Shepherd puppy is the 18" x 24" model, listed on the same page.


More Tips for House Training - More Tips on German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training

Beautiful white German Shepherd puppy
Beautiful white German Shepherd puppy

photo credit:

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #5

Excitement distracts your puppy from giving signals that it has to go. When something unusual is occurring, take your puppy out more often.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #6

When your puppy whines, take it outside - unless it's in the crate. Whining in the crate initially means, "Let me out!"

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #7

Teach your dog a command that becomes the trigger to go. You will never regret it. It's tremendously helpful in the rain, at unfamiliar places, or when there is a lot of distraction.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #8

Learn your puppy's signals that it's about to go: sniffing, circling or walking oddly are typical.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #9

Reward with praise when your puppy goes outside.

Puppy Potty Poll - How Long Does It Take to Potty Train a Puppy?

How long? That's the question every owner has about puppy housebreaking. How long did it take until you could trust your puppy indoors?

How long did it take for you to potty train your puppy?

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Final Puppy Potty Training Tips - To Housebreak a German Shepherd Puppy

German Shepherd puppy playing with a toy
German Shepherd puppy playing with a toy

photo credit:

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #10

Let your puppy enjoy being outside for a little while after going potty. If you always take your puppy inside as soon as it goes, you'll teach it to delay going for as long as possible so it can stay outside.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #11

Remember that what goes into your puppy must eventually come out, so if it eats something between meals - including a lot of treats, - adjust the potty schedule.

German Shepherd Puppy Potty Training Tip #12

You can not take a puppy outside too much. If in doubt, take it out!

Share Your Experience - Add your successes and war stories about potty training, German Shepherds or dog training

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    • profile image


      3 months ago

      hi what is meat tenderizer?

    • profile image

      Joann Smith 

      3 months ago

      Lundy Seabolt,

      I had a dog years ago that also ate her own poop.I also have a three

      month old German Shepard now. She had started to eat her poop.I remembered that years ago when this happened my vet told me to sprinkle a little meat tenderizer in her food. I tried it and it works. I did it

      for about four days. I've not seen her do it anymore. You may need to do it a little longer. Hope this helps.

    • Heather Glasgow profile image

      Heather Glasgow 

      16 months ago

      I am at my wits end. I have had my lil chewey for 5 months and he is a pain in my ass....with that being said I love him. I need help and more tips I have used everything and try to keep him on schedule but he thinks after he goes pee and comes in it is time to crap in the house how do I break this it does not even matter if I keep him out for hours...... Some one HELP!

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      I have a 12 week old German Shepherd ....and she stays in the crate and is on a very tight schedule...I've had a week and not one time has she used the rest room in her crate as soon as I take her out the crate she goes out to potty if she doesn't potty she goes right back in the crate if she does potty then she gets to come in for free time please I'm eating pie and after she eats only take her back out if she doesn't potty she goes right back into the car like I said she's on a pretty tight schedule and it's been working so far she is very very smart!!! You have to start as soon as you bring them home

    • profile image

      Lundy seabolt 

      2 years ago

      Any help would be nice. I have a german sheapared puppy he's 9 weeks old. I take him out, and he will go out by his self and still wants to potty in the house in the middle of the night he has no food or drink after 8:00pm. And this is gross and I hate it but I have even caught him eating his poop. Yes I correct on him that but it don't seem to help. Any advice would be helpful.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      All these are helpful hints but what type of discipline do you use when they continue to go potty in your house? I have a Golden Shepard which is Golden Retriever/German Shepard. She is 4 1/2 months old and continues to go potty but only in one certain area which is the door to the back yard. We try to take her out every half hour and I make sure she has gone to the bathroom then 5 minutes later I walk in the room and she has pee'd again. Some days she does really good with no mistakes in the house but most days it's the other way around. We praise her when she potty's outside and when she has a day without any mistakes she gets a special treat. I'm going out of my mind and I'm not sure where to go from here. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Nice article

      In my experience I've found that that German shepherds tend to learn a lot quicker than most other breeds and have even seen some potty trained in a little as a week.

      I have recently published an article on puppy potty training. You should take a look when you get a chance:

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It's hard to say no to getting a puppy, and then the first night, you realize it's too late. Thanks for the advice. These puppy pictures are awesome.


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