How To Potty Train A German Shepherd Puppy (Guide)

When you get home after adopting or buying your puppy, you must prepare the potty area where your puppy will do his business. The problem comes in when he does not poop at the designated area and you don’t know how to make him ‘do it in the right place.

The best way to potty train a German shepherd puppy is by crate training. Put food, water, and play toys in the crate and make him enter the crate but not by force. This will make him identify the crate as his territory. Dogs do not like spoiling their territories hence they will control themselves until you let them out


How to potty train a German Shepherd puppy

Bringing Your Puppy Home

How you welcome your puppy to your home on the first day will greatly impact the whole potty training process. You should let him explore the house freely by sniffing for him to feel at home.

You should ensure that he is not frightened or harassed by the other pets in your compound, this can make him depressed and anxious making potty training hard.

You should play with your puppy to make him relaxed and like his new environment. Nevertheless, do not make the mistake of letting your guard down and failing to potty train him on the first day.

Diet Control  

The time at which you feed your puppy will determine when he will require potty breaks. Normally puppies will pee fifteen minutes after a meal and poop an hour.

A puppy’s stomach can only hold a small amount of food, you shouldn’t feed him two big meals per day, make them three small meals. This will help to predict when your puppy will require potty breaks.

Understanding Your Puppy’s schedule

After your puppy has taken his meal, remember that he has to excrete. Take him out at this times;

· Immediately after waking up in the morning.

· After play

· After day naps 

· After eating

· After drinking

· After chewing on a bone

· Before bedtime

Remember that the main aim of potty training is to avoid ‘accidents’ than clear them.

Crate Training

By putting your German Shepherd in a crate, you give him a place that’s like his territory. Dogs cannot poop in their ‘territory’.

Put his favorite toys, meal, and a blanket to make the crate inviting.

How to Make Your Pup Love the Crate

  • Your pup might resist entering the crate on the first day, do not force him.
  • Place food and toys in the crate. The toys should use hollow toys to stuff peanut butter to make him stay longer in the crate trying to eat it.
  • After entering the crate, give him treats to reward him for a good job.
  • Use a verbal cue to command your puppy into the crate like ‘bed’ or ‘crate’. Use the word anytime you want him to get into the crate.
  • Use a crate that can allow him to sleep, stand, or turn around but is not too large to give him room to poop inside.

Choosing a potty place

You should designate a potty place in your compound where your puppy will relieve himself.

Follow these rules;

  • The potty area should be easily accessible.
  • Have the appropriate cover like; grass, pea gravel, or mulch.
  • Always take your puppy to the potty area every time he needs relieve himself. Changing the location even for a day can confuse him.
  • Shower your pup with praises after using the potty place.
  • Use the same command all the time when taking him to the potty area. This will make him go to the area without your assistance anytime you mention the word in the future.

After Potty

When you let your dog out for a potty break, it is not recommendable to get him back inside immediately after he is through.

Dogs are wise and can easily pick up a routine, if your dog notices that every time he is done with potty breaks he gets back immediately he will be hesitating to relieve himself. These can lead to health problems like;

· Urinary tract infections

· Urinary stones

· Incontinence

Learn to pick up on the signs

You should be alert to avoid accidents by reading signs when your puppy needs potty breaks.

These signs are;

· Snuffling the floor.

· Turning around the room.

· Looking fidgety and nervous.

· Visiting the place he has relieved himself before.

How to Handle Accidents

It is normal for ‘accidents’ to happen when the puppy is not fully potty trained.

Do not scream or smack at him, this will make him frightened and can make him fear to relieve himself which is not healthy.

Wash the scene of the accident immediately, make sure that the place is clean so that the puppy cannot smell it. Dogs can smell even the faintest smell and can relieve themselves in the same spot.

Harassing your dog after an accident will make him worried and stressed, he might eat poop before you notice it to avoid the punishment.


You can use hire a dog trainer to potty train your German shepherd puppy. I do not recommend using a trainer because it will weaken the bond between the two of you.

Use positive reinforcement to potty train your German shepherd puppy, using force will only make him stubborn and aggressive.


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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