German shepherd puppies are quite adorable to keep. When trained and raised right, he is going to be the best friend you will ever have. However, you must kick off house training right away. The German shepherd puppy will need to be toilet trained from an early age. Below, I am going to help you house train your German shepherd puppy.
Use a crate to house train your German Shepherd puppy (See crate prices on Amazon)
Once you bring a puppy home, the first thing you may be worried about is house training. And since it cannot be done in a day, you, therefore, need a temporary plan. You may consider buying a dog crate for your puppy.
In a crate, you will be able to manage your German shepherd puppy’s movements. Thereby, you will ensure that the puppy does not run around ricking house soiling. Furthermore, it is going to take a few days before he becomes comfortable with his new living condition.
In fact, a crate is the best way to start house training a puppy. However, it should be comfortable enough and yet again not too large to allow him to pee or poop in there. And because your dog will be spending most of his time in the crate, you should ensure that he is comfortable.
Tips to successfully house train a puppy using a crate
While house training remains a basic need for you and your puppy to coexist, it takes patience and a lot of hard work. Therefore, you should make it a priority immediately you bring your GSD pup. You should be able to train him within a few weeks’ time.
When the puppy is in the crate, make sure that he is comfortable there. Also, get him a few exciting toys to keep him busy when he is in the crate. Your puppy is likely to have a rough night at first. However, do not be tricked into bringing him to bed with you. He will not want to sleep in the crate or elsewhere in the future.
The following tips should guide you through the training process;
Develop a Routine
It is always advisable to develop a schedule when you bring a new dog home. This includes feeding time and frequency as well as playtime. In most cases, you will also have to adjust your schedule in order to align with his.
It is important to understand that your puppy will need to pee or poop every thirty minutes after feeding. This means that you have an opportunity to get him to the potty place on time. Ensure that you feed your new puppy at the same time every day. This way, you can always estimate when he needs to eliminate and take him to the potty area.
Now, when you are house training your German Shepherd puppy, you may need to be home most of the time. Puppies may need to pee several times a day.
Introduce him to the potty area
The second step is to introduce your puppy to potty place. Understand that you are starting from scratch, which means he does not understand any words or actions. Therefore, it is up to you to figure out how to do this.
Once you have chosen an outdoor or indoor potty area, stick to the same spot over and over again. Take your puppy to the area every 20 minutes after feeding. At the same time, you can introduce the phrase ‘go potty’ to your pup.
When you take him to his potty place, instruct him to ‘go potty’ and wait for him. Understand that you will need to be patient with him. Sometimes you will take him to the potty place and he will not eliminate. This does not mean that you need to get him back in, especially after feeding. Instead, encourage him and stay with him until he does. This might take a few tries.
Never leave him outside to potty. In fact, you should have a leash on your German shepherd puppy when you take him out to potty. This way, you will ensure that he does not get distracted from the main business that took him there.
As we have mentioned above, it is advisable to always leave someone at home when you are house training your German shepherd. You should not plan any trips when you are adopting a new puppy. This is because he will need maximum supervision until he is fully trained.
On this note, you will also need to observe him for any signs that he needs to eliminate. Once your dog has eliminated after feeding, he will need other frequent potty breaks. Some of the signs that your puppy needs to eliminate may include circling and pacing. He might also cry or whimper.
Reward good behavior
This is a very important detail when you are house training a German shepherd puppy. Puppies are encouraged by positive outcomes of certain actions. Therefore, when your puppy knows that he will get something out of eliminating appropriately, he will always look forward to that.
For instance, carry a treat when you take him to the potty place. Encourage him to do his business or use the phrase ‘go potty’. Wait until he is completely done and give it to him. Alternatively, you can praise him or give him a toy as a reward.
Take him to the potty area immediately you get him out of the crate
When using a crate to house train a German Shepherd puppy, you will need to get him out of it sometimes. It could be because you want to play with him or give him access to other rooms in the house. Always rush him to the potty area immediately you let him out.
In addition to the above, also take him before bed and in the mornings. In some instances, you may have to wake up at night and take him for a bathroom break.
What could go wrong if I don’t house train your German Shepherd Puppy at an early age?
Puppies develop quite fast and they tend to stick to the habits they learned earlier in their lives. This means that if you do not train your GSD puppy when he is young, he might never learn how to go to the potty even as he grows up.
You should therefore not let him enjoy the freedom to pee or poop just anywhere even if it is for the first few days. House training should always begin immediately you adopt a puppy.
3 Tips to house train a German Shepherd Puppy
Dogs are naturally context in that once you teach him something, he will always do so. Now, you should use this to your advantage as you housetrain a German shepherd puppy. Ensure that you take him outside for potty break at the same spot. This way, he is going to recognize it as the designated potty area for him.
In addition, always take him out of the same door. For instance, if he is going to eliminate in the yard, use the back door at all times. This way, he can always find his way there one he is already house trained.
However, you should understand that it may take some time before your GSD pup is fully trained. You will also need to be consistent as well as frequent with potty breaks. A German shepherd puppy has a reliable digestive system as well as a bladder.
Your pup will need to eliminate about 15-30 minutes after every meal. Beware of this and lead him to the potty area. Also, an 8-16 week old puppy is capable of holding his pee for at least two hours. These timings should guide you to take him to the designated potty place.
Also, observe and watch out for any signs that he might need to eliminate. For instance, when he is circling around or pacing and crying, take him outside for a bathroom break.
Buy a lot of toys
When you bring your German Shepherd puppy home, you may have forgotten about his entertainment. Whether you are training him using a crate or a small room, he must have something to play with. We recommend maximum supervision for puppies. However, leaving them on their own will help prevent any unhealthy attachment with you.
Furthermore, anxiety can lead to house soiling. Toys, on the other hand, will keep your new puppy from anxiety and stress. You can play with the toys together during your scheduled playtime. Always leave a few toys in his crate and some with him to keep him busy and prevent boredom.
Be ready to stay up for a few nights
As disappointing as this sounds, it is also true. When you adopt a new puppy, you are going to lose sleep for the first few nights. I mean, you just brought him to a completely new environment. Also, you are nothing but strangers to each other.
House training your puppy is definitely going to take some time. You might as well be ready to deal with minor accidents that may occur during the training process. Therefore, you will need to be patient as well as resilient.
It will take a few nights and the puppy will start adapting to his new home and owner.
3 Mistakes to avoid when house training a GSD Puppy
Overfeeding your puppy
When you begin to house train your German Shepherd puppy, you must observe his eating habits. In most circumstances, puppies will feed three to four times a day. Ensure that you feed him appropriately and only on healthy dog food.
We mentioned earlier that offering your pup a treat when goes to potty correctly. You may, however, limit the number of treats he gets per day. Alternate these treats with other forms of rewards like praises and a play session. Your puppy is going to love it.
If you overfeed your puppy, you will not be able to estimate when he may need to eliminate it.
Irregular feeding patterns
As we have mentioned above, your pup is contextual. This means that he needs a routine in order to modify his behavior, any behavior for that matter. Therefore, stick to a fixed schedule, especially when it comes to feeding. Also, do not allow your GSD puppy to free feed all day.
Also, do not feed your puppy when he is almost going to bed. You might have to stay up all night taking care of him.
Leaving your puppy all alone
When you are house training a GSD puppy, you must ensure that he is supervised. Even if he is in his pen or crate, leaving your pup alone might trigger separation anxiety. In return, your puppy might soil the crate or even the house.
You may consider restricting him from accessing other rooms in the house. This way, he will not have access to fluffy items in the house and end up peeing on them. If you want to introduce him to the rest of the house, always have him on a leash to track his movements.
If you have a work trip coming up, ask your friend or neighbor to look after him for you. Better yet, you can also take him to doggy daycare for the few days you will be away. Do not leave him alone for so long during the house training process.
In addition, always accompany your pup when he goes out to potty. You should ensure that he does not get distracted or go to any other place than the designated potty place.
When you bring your German shepherd puppy home, it can get overwhelming. This is especially if he has never been toilet trained before. You need to be prepared to house train him as early as he gets home. In fact, do not allow him to get comfortable with eliminating anywhere else other than the potty area.
However, there is a chance that he might get a few accidents here and there during the training process. Do not yell, or punish your dog at all. Instead, clean the area thoroughly and get your pup in a crate. To avoid accidents, keep an eye on your puppy for any signs that he needs to eliminate.
As we have discussed above, you can be able to estimate when your pup will eliminate. Use these tips to guide you through the process of house training your german shepherd and start as early as possible. Good luck!