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How to Potty Train a German Shepherd Puppy; Step-by-Step Guide

Your experience with puppy potty training can differ among the breeds. Potty training a German shepherd can be a bit challenging due to their unique nature and physique.

Each breed has its ways to communicate and interact with their environment. Therefore, they should be trained accordingly. It is important that you understand the differences and unique nature of your German Shepherd puppy to conduct a well-structured and effective potty-training experience.

Your German Shepherd puppy should be potty trained around 7-8 weeks old. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to potty train a German Shepherd puppy to have an efficient potty-training experience.


Why is Potty Training a German Shepherd Puppy Different?

Due to the intelligence, size, energy levels, and sometimes stubborn nature of German Shepherd puppies, your experience of potty training your puppy may come across as challenging. Your German Shepherd puppy may need more frequent bathroom breaks as their energy level is quite high.

They have a higher metabolism rate as a result of a more active lifestyle.

German Shepherds easily get bored by routines due to their high intelligence. The reward tactics with other breeds may not be as effective in this situation. Accordingly, due to their size accidents can be messier.

The socialization process also impacts the potty-training process as they can be wary of strangers and other animals if not exposed to them from a young age.

Finally, your position with your German Shepherd puppy as a leader will result in a seamless potty-training experience.

9 Easy Ways to Potty Train a German Shepherd Puppy

Potty training by itself is a time challenging process. Regardless of their unique nature, German Shepherd puppies can be potty trained using 9 easy and simple steps.

Over my 7 years of career as a breeder, I, Jessica Comstock, have trained many German Shepherd puppies and established discipline in their daily routine.

Let’s discuss my 9-step guide on how to potty train a German Shepherd puppy.

● Step 1: Preparations

Start by setting up the foundations with pre-training steps. First, start researching how to potty train a German Shepherd puppy.

Choose a specific potty area near your home and easily accessible. Gather potty training supplies. You may want to get a leash and collar/harness, treats for rewards, poop bags for clean-up, enzyme-based cleaner for accidents, crate or playpen for confinement.

Plan a routine that is convenient for you, as post potty training your dog may like to maintain the routine. The Ideal time for relief can be after waking up, after eating, after play or exercise sessions, or before bedtime.

● Step 2: Train your puppy to respond to positive reinforcement techniques

German Shepherds respond very well to positive reinforcements. Using rewards, treats, and praise, you can make your puppy follow your command to achieve the desired behavior.

This will be extremely helpful in potty training as this is a completely new experience for your puppy and they need to follow your commands consistently.

Utilize rewards like treats, toys, or verbal praise. Reward your German Shepherd puppy, to encourage desired behavior.

● Step 3: Implement crate training

Your German Shepherd puppy may need to have a routine lifestyle that easily accommodates their potty-training routine. Crate training provides an opportunity for your puppy to have their own secure and comfortable space.

An important part of crate training is to establish a schedule of potty training in your puppy with frequent bathroom breaks. Follow our step-by-step guide for crate training your puppy.

● Step 4: Observe your puppy’s natural relief schedule and plan accordingly.

Some of the predictable times to observe are after waking up in the morning or after a nap, within 15-30 minutes after a meal, after a vigorous play session, or during nighttime accidents. Take your puppy out to the desired place for relief in such situations. Based on your German Shepherd’s activities.

● Step 5: Establish a consistent routine for feeding

How, what, and when you feed your puppy affects your German Shepherd puppy’s potty habits. Therefore, the feeding schedule is closely tied to successful potty training.

Creating a consistent feeding schedule can look daunting. But you can easily plan the meals by feeding your puppy at the same times each day, monitoring and controlling your puppy’s water intake with consistency.

● Step 6: Establish consistent potty-training practices

Take your German Shepherd puppy to the designated potty area at the desired time. Do not break the cycle of time. Utilize verbal cues and commands like “Go Potty”. You may also offer delicious treats as a reward. After your puppy is done doing their business reward them.

This will encourage good behavior. Following this predictable routine of feeding, playtime, and bathroom breaks will eventually make them do their business by themselves.

● Step 7: Maintain patience

Your little German Shepherd friend is not aware of how to relieve themselves without causing you any inconvenience. In your journey of potty training, you may face challenges and setbacks. Patients will help to maintain consistency regardless.

Refrain from imposing punishments, this can only hinder progress and damage the trust between you and your puppy. This whole process is a learning curve for your puppy. Therefore, they may take some time to get accustomed to the routine.

● Step 8: Be aware of challenges and mitigate them effectively

German Shepherd puppies are often easily potty trained but as your puppy is young and untrained you may face a few challenges on your journey of training your pup. In case of accidents, immediately clean up the area, while avoiding punishments and being patient with them.

At the same time refrain from giving rewards in such situations as it may end up encouraging them to repeat the unpleasant act.

Accordingly, if your German Shepherd puppy shows resistance or fear to the potty training, try creating a positive association with the designated potty area by using treats, toys, and gentle encouragement. Building trust between you and your puppy can help in this issue.

● Step 9: Gradually and finally make the transition from indoor training to outdoor training

For this final step start with monitoring the progress in current training. Now choose a time when you have the opportunity to observe and guide them.

Ensure your puppy is consistently using a designated indoor potty area at the designated time. Use familiar cues that are already associated with the puppy’s potty time.

Just like before, lead your puppy to follow your command using treats, toys, and praise. Keep monitoring and guiding while being patient and consistent.

Gradually, increase the outdoor potty time in comparison to indoor potty time. Now establish outdoor potty time as the norm. Lastly, keep celebrating progress with your puppy.


Best tips and tricks on How to Potty Train a German Shepherd Puppy

  • Start with indoor potty training and gradually move to outdoor potty training.
  • Utilize comparatively more interesting reward techniques to keep their attention.
  • Establish yourself as a leader for your pup.
  • Maintain a regular hygiene routine like bathing and grooming.
  • Create a strong bond and trust between both of you.


Potty training a German Shepherd puppy is not as challenging as it looks. You can easily start by understanding your puppy’s needs and follow a few easy steps with patience and consistency to train your lovely German Shepherd puppy.

This experience will not only establish a disciplined routine but also a stronger bond between you and your pup.


Jessica Comstock

Jessica Comstock

As a passionate dog breeder with 7 years of experience, I've dedicated my career to ethically and responsibly breeding dogs. My expertise in genetics, breed standards, and nurturing environments has allowed me to produce healthy, well-tempered puppies, ensuring their future owners receive loyal and cherished companions.

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