How to Potty Train a German Shepherd: How Long, Timing and Problems


German Shepherd is an extremely clever dog and very susceptible to training, especially if it’s properly done at the young age. So, let’s go together through some tips about potty training for your puppy, to make this process painless for everyone involved.

Important! Very first thing you have to take care of is to make it clear to the dog that elimination inside the house is completely off limits. Otherwise, it will still poop indoors from time to time when it seems convenient.


On one hand, people try to get their puppies home as soon as possible and recommended time to do so is around 7-9 weeks old, but this is the time mother still takes care of their elimination, so all the toilet training you’ll have to do yourself.

When you take older puppy, the mother might have already taught him to go outside for a poo. This sound too easy, but depending on how long the puppy has spent with its parents, the potty training can be all done already and the most natural way.


If you are not the lucky one to get your puppy already with good pooping habits, you need to start with figuring out a schedule. Just like a human baby, a young puppy eliminates always between 10 and 30 minutes after eating.

And for the peeing – the puppy can hold his bladder for around 2 hours at 8-16 weeks age, the older – the longer, so taking him out every hour should do the trick at first. There’s no difference in this between a female and male puppy.


When you understood your dog’s routine, the process will be going pretty much like this:

  • In time for pooping or peeing you take your dog out to the designated area outside and you stay there until he does what you have come for.
  • You congratulate your puppy, reward it and go back home.
  • If he didn’t get the idea straight away, go home and come back outside in 15 minutes. Eventually the dog will eliminate and you can do your praising.
  • If the accident happened, don’t punish him – it can make the puppy to become sneakier and hide better when it poops, because he might decide that he’s punished for being seen in process.
  • Clean the place the dog peed at with special chemicals, so the smell doesn’t attract him again to this spot. Avoid using ammonia, it smells a lot like dogs own pee. You can also take the poo and carry it to the designated area, so next time it smells like a toilet for the puppy.

The Red Flags

Pay attention on the signs of the puppy searching for a place to poop. He will be circling around, sniffing and look anxious. In this case, immediately grab him and carry outside, even in the middle of process, so there’s no chance he thinks that it can be done indoors


Remember that the best way is to have a schedule for a dog, clear and consistent and for sure take the dog out:

  • first thing in the morning;
  • after eating;
  • after a nap;
  • after playing.

Your Attitude

All you need is patience and time and your puppy will very quickly learn to eliminate outdoors. And once he got this habit, it will stay with him the whole life.

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Author of Noah Sanchez
Written by Noah Sanchez
Hi, there. I graduated Bergin College of Canine Studies I loved Animal Grooming there. So it's my passion and sometimes I write articles about dogs, and also love to train dogs. I have 2 amazing friends: German Shepherds

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