Perhaps the only downside to getting a cute German Shepherd puppy is the potty training. No one likes it and if it not done properly, you may end up with a dog that has accidents throughout his life. It’s important to start out right from the very beginning in order to be truly successful. To that end, here are 5 potty training tips to make sure your German Shepherd puppy gets it right from the start.
#1 – Say NO to Potty Pads
I don’t use them at all and here’s why: potty pads are made to encourage your dog to go to the bathroom in the house, which is the exact opposite of what you want! So then you have to fade out the pads (which most people do not do correctly). Instead, what they get is a German Shepherd that sometimes goes in the house because you’ve allowed him to before.
#2 – Confined Space
Until your German Shepherd puppy knows not to potty in the house, she needs to be confined. This is because dogs will not go where they eat and sleep – so if the space is small enough, it aids in house training. This is where crate training really comes in handy. A crate is a natural den and your shepherd puppy will be much less likely to soil it – not to mention it keeps them from chewing on things when you are not around to keep an eye on them. It also teaches them to be calm in a crate when needed for travel and stays at the vet or groomers.
#3 – Have a Set Schedule
If you feed your German Shepherd at set times every day, you can get your pup on a bathroom routine, making it easier on both you to not let accidents happen. Most puppies go about half an hour after eating – but each dog is different so pay attention to timing. If your puppy keeps having accidents, you may be waiting too long to take him out after eating.
#3 – Reward!
Dogs are more likely to do behaviors that are reinforced, so make sure you are rewarding your German Shepherd puppy every time they go potty outside. Give him treats, praise, playtime, a big party! He will be more likely to go outside again.
#4 – Tether To You
If you’re home and want your German Shepherd puppy to be where you are but don’t have a good way to confine him, tether him to you with a leash or rope. Most potty accidents happen when our puppies wander away from us and go quick as a blink, before you even notice where they wandered to. This prevents them from doing that – and it also helps keep them from chewing on things.
#5 – Don’t Forget To Take ‘Em Out…
First thing in the morning and last thing before bed are times most people think about. But, you should also take your German Shepherd puppy out immediately after a nap or play time, and a little bit after mealtime or drinking water. Finally, any time they have had a lot of excitement, including meeting new people or dogs. These are the main times your puppy will need to go, and often we forget because we are busy and that’s when accidents happen.