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7 Secrets to Quickly Potty Training a Australian Shepherd

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on April 26, 2023
iHeartDogs is reader supported, so some of the links below may include affiliate links where we are paid a commission at no additional cost to you. 

Australian Shepherds are intelligent and active dogs, making them a great addition to any family. However, like all dogs, they require proper potty training to ensure they don’t have accidents indoors. Potty training an Australian Shepherd can be a challenging process, especially for first-time dog owners. But with the right techniques and consistency, it is possible to train them quickly and effectively. In this article, we will explore seven secrets to help you quickly potty train your Australian Shepherd, so you can enjoy a clean and happy home with your furry friend.

Note: While the tips below should be very helpful for potty training your Australian Shepherd, you may consider seeking the help of a professional online dog training course such as SpiritDog or K9 Training Institute, two of our favorite training resources for potty training.

1. Start Potty Training Your Australian Shepherd Early and Be Consistent

The sooner you begin potty training your Australian Shepherd, the better. Puppies can start learning as early as eight weeks old, and it’s easier for them to pick up good habits at this young age. Consistency is also crucial. Choose a designated potty spot outdoors and always bring your Australian Shepherd to that same area. Stick to a routine, and take them out frequently, especially after meals, naps, and playtime. Your dog will associate the spot with going potty, and the consistent schedule will help reinforce the behavior.

2. Give Your Australian Shepherd Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is an effective training method that rewards good behavior instead of punishing bad behavior. When your Australian Shepherd successfully goes potty outside, offer praise, treats, or playtime as a reward. This will help your dog associate going to the bathroom outside with positive experiences, making them more likely to repeat the behavior. Make sure to reward them immediately after they finish, as dogs have a short memory and may not connect the reward with the action if there’s a delay.

3. Monitor Your Australian Shepherd’s Behavior

Pay attention to your Australian Shepherd’s body language and habits, as they can give you clues when they need to go. Common signs include sniffing, circling, whining, or scratching at the door. If you notice any of these behaviors, take your dog outside immediately. In time, you’ll be able to anticipate your dog’s needs, preventing accidents before they happen.

RELATED: Need to potty train your Australian Shepherd quickly? Try this affordable online course

4. Confine Your Australian Shepherd to a Small Area

When you’re not able to supervise your Australian Shepherd, confine them to a small, designated area or crate. Dogs are naturally clean animals and don’t like to soil their living space. By limiting their space, you encourage them to hold it until they can go outside. Make sure the crate is large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not so large that they can eliminate in one corner and sleep in another.

5. Gradually Increase Your Australian Shepherd’s Freedom

As your Australian Shepherd becomes more reliable in their potty training, you can gradually increase their freedom in the house. Start by allowing them access to one additional room, and monitor their behavior closely. If they continue to have accidents, return to the smaller confinement area and try again later. Gradually expanding their space will help them learn to hold it until they’re outside, even when they’re not in a confined area.

6. Try Using Potty Bells

Potty bells can be a useful tool to let your Australian Shepherd know they are ready to be taken outside to the bathroom. Teach your Australian Shepherd to ring the bell with their paw or nose before exiting the door that leads to their potty area. There are many types of potty bells available on Amazon, such as this: 

7. Be Patient with Your Australian Shepherd and Stay Positive

Potty training can be a frustrating process, but it’s essential to stay patient and maintain a positive attitude. Dogs can sense your emotions, and if you’re stressed or angry, it can hinder their progress. Remember that accidents will happen, but don’t punish your Australian Shepherd for them. Instead, clean up the mess thoroughly to remove any lingering odors that may encourage your dog to eliminate in the same spot again. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a step back and remind yourself that consistency, patience, and positivity are key.

8. Try an Online Dog Potty Training Course

If you’ve tried everything and your Australian Shepherd is still having accidents or showing no progress, it may be time to consult a professional dog trainer.

Our 2 favorite online courses are:

1. SpiritDog’s “Mastering Potty Training” Course

This affordable course uses science based and “fear free” tactics to potty train your Australian Shepherd quickly. You’re allowed to ask the trainer unlimited questions and it comes with a 60 day money back guarantee.

2. K9 Training Institute’s “Dog Masterclass”

More than just a potty training course, this more comprehensive training course tackles any behavior problem you might face with your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions About Housebreaking an Australian Shepherd

How do I know when my Australian Shepherd needs to go potty?

Some common signs that your Australian Shepherd needs to go potty include pacing, whining, scratching at the door, and sniffing around. You may also notice that they start to circle or squat in a specific spot.

At what age should I begin potty training an Australian Shepherd puppy?

It’s recommended to start potty training your Australian Shepherd puppy as early as 8 weeks old. However, keep in mind that every puppy is different and may have different learning speeds and patterns.

How can I potty train an adult Australian Shepherd?

Potty training an adult Australian Shepherd is similar to potty training a puppy. Consistency, positive reinforcement, and patience are key. You may also need to re-teach some basic commands and routines to reinforce good behavior.

How long does it take to potty train an Australian Shepherd puppy?

The length of time it takes to potty train an Australian Shepherd puppy can vary depending on the individual puppy and the consistency of the training. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

How often should I take my Australian Shepherd outside for potty breaks?

It’s recommended to take your Australian Shepherd outside for potty breaks every 2-4 hours, as well as after meals, naps, and playtime. As your puppy gets older and can hold their bladder for longer periods, you can gradually increase the time between potty breaks.

How should I potty train my Australian Shepherd in an apartment if I don’t have a yard?

If you live in an apartment and don’t have a yard, you can still potty train your Australian Shepherd using indoor potty pads or a litter box. Consistency and patience are key, and be sure to praise and reward good behavior. It’s also important to establish a consistent routine and take your puppy out for walks frequently to provide exercise and mental stimulation.

What’s the best online training course to potty train an Australian Shepherd?

Our 2 favorite online courses are:

1. SpiritDog’s “Mastering Potty Training” Course

This affordable course uses science based and “fear free” tactics to potty train your Australian Shepherd quickly. You’re allowed to ask the trainer unlimited questions and it comes with a 60 day money back guarantee.

2. K9 Training Institute’s “Dog Masterclass”

More than just a potty training course, this more comprehensive training course tackles any behavior problem you might face with your dog.

In conclusion, potty training your Australian Shepherd may require patience and consistency, but it is achievable with the right techniques and approach. With these 7 secrets to quickly potty training an Australian Shepherd, you can establish good habits and routines for your furry friend, whether you live in an apartment or have access to a yard. Remember to stay positive, reward good behavior, and be persistent in your training efforts. With time, your Australian Shepherd will learn to communicate their potty needs and you’ll enjoy a cleaner, happier home together.

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