How to Potty Train a Doberman Puppy

Medium
3-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

You've finally received the call. The breeder has decided your new furry family member, a 12-week old Doberman puppy, is ready to leave his mom. Beyond allowing your new pup to get used to everyone and his new home, the minute you bring him into your home, it's time to start potty training. Yes, that's right! At 12-weeks old, your puppy is old enough to start housebreaking if the breeder hasn't already done so. Most breeders won't, as it is much better for you to train your dog your own way. 

Defining Tasks

The task is to teach your Dobie that the only place it is acceptable for him to go potty is outside of the house and that at no time is it acceptable to go inside. In most cases, all it takes is a little hard work for you to bring out the natural instinct in your Dobie to do his business outside of the den-- a skill they would learn in the wild by imitating their mother. One thing to keep in mind is that you should always stay consistent in your training methods and maintain a calm, relaxed demeanor. Your dog will pick up on this and reflect it in his own behavior. 

Getting Started

No matter which training method you decide to use, the first thing you must do is decide where in your yard your pup will be claiming as his private bathroom. There are a couple of considerations you need to keep in mind. The spot needs to be close enough to the house to avoid accidents, yet far enough away from doors and windows to keep smells outside where they belong. Beyond this, you need a few supplies:

  • Treats – You can never have enough of these
  • Leash – To take your pup outside on.
  • Crate –A safe place for your pup to go when you need to leave the house.
  • Cleanings supplies – cleaners, deodorizers, stain removers, all for those tiny and not so tiny accidents.

Other than these items, you just the time and patience to work with your pup. In time, there won't be any more accidents and your pup will be asking you to take him outside. 

The On-Leash Method

ribbon-method-1
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Find the spot
Choose your pup's potty location in your backyard. Make sure you always take your pup to this spot when it's time to go potty. This will help him associate the spot with going potty and getting a reward. It also helps avoid confusion.
Step
2
Every half hour
Every half hour, put your pup on his leash and using a cue like "let's go potty", take him out to this spot. Stay there until he goes potty. When he does, give him a treat and plenty of praise.
Step
3
If he won't go
If he won't go, take him back inside and keep a very close eye on him. At the first sign that he might need to go or 15 minutes later, whichever comes first, take him back out and repeat the process.
Step
4
Stay on schedule
The best way to potty train your Dobie pup is to stay on schedule. Take him out at certain times of the day such as every 30 minutes. Then take him out after he wakes up from the night or a nap, after meals or large drinks of water, or extended playtime.
Step
5
Keep working at it
The rest is all about staying on top of the training and working with your pup until he masters the art of not going potty in the house.
Recommend training method?

The Smells Good Here Method

ribbon-method-2
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Day trippin'
Time to take a trip to your local pet supply store. You need a spray bottle of potty training scent. Designed not only to attract your pup to a specific spot on the lawn, but also to gently coax him into leaving his own scent there by going potty.
Step
2
Mark the spot
Choose a spot on your lawn and liberally apply the spray, marking the spot you want your pup to use as his personal bathroom.
Step
3
Come fly with me
Well, more like come walk with me. Put your pup on his leash, say "let's go potty" and take him straight outside to his designated spot. Let him get a good sniff and then give him a good 15 minutes to go potty. If he won’t go it probably means he really doesn't need to. Take him inside, keep an eye on him, and try again in a few minutes.
Step
4
When time is of the essence
There are certain times of the day when you need to take him out no matter what. These are first thing in the morning, after any nap, after meals, if he suddenly guzzles a lot of water, after playtime, and just before bedtime.
Step
5
Keep taking him out
The rest is all about working with your pup, taking him out when he lets you know he is ready and working on stretching out the time between the times he needs to go out until he can go as long as you need him to between potty breaks.
Recommend training method?

The Hourly Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Collect your supplies
For this, you need a crate, a leash, and lots of treats.
Step
2
Two weeks
For the first couple of weeks, you need to take your pup out every hour on the hour. Do this even if he doesn't act like he needs to go out. Be sure you take him out after he drinks a lot of water, eats a meal, or wakes up from sleeping. Make sure you give him plenty of praise and a treat when he goes.
Step
3
Moving on up
After week two, move the time between taking him out to an hour and a half for the next couple of weeks, this helps extend the time he can hold it before he needs to go.
Step
4
Week four
After week four, increase the time up to 2 hours and be sure to reward him with treats and praise each time he gets it right.
Step
5
Keep working it
The rest is all about practice and cleaning up any messes he might make during the training process. Keep working it and your pup will soon figure out what is required of him.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Betsy
Doberman Pinscher
6 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Betsy
Doberman Pinscher
6 Weeks

Shes keeps peeing everywhere on my bed and on the floor and pooping too but I feel bad cause she don’t know where to go

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is detailed information on potty training, as well as crate training if you decide to use a crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

Add a comment to Betsy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jack
Doberman Pinscher
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jack
Doberman Pinscher
11 Weeks

My dog is not so friendly with me,it often trying to bite me though I'm so nice to him. He is not so obidient too. What am I supposed to do?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, puppies often like to bite. But this does not mean that it is okay to do. Make sure that Jack is getting a lot of exercise - this breed is an active one and he'll need to be walked every day, morning and night for half an hour at the very least each time. Give Jack interactive toys that keep him busy, like an interactive feeder. As for the biting, this guide has excellent tips. Please read through the entire thing and try one of the methods that you think will work for you. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-puppy-to-not-bite. Be consistent in your training, and as well, work on Jack's obedience skills. Having a dog that knows commands like sit and stay will be useful. https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-great-dane. Practice 10-15 minutes every day. This will also give Jack mental stimulation that may tire him out. When he starts to bite, say no firmly and provide a distraction, such as a chew toy made for strong jaws. Good luck and happy training!

Add a comment to Jack's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tiger
Doberman Pinscher
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tiger
Doberman Pinscher
2 Years

I need to potty train him but its really difficult as he doesn't listens to, kind of restless

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, the methods described here work very well: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Try the Timing Method or the Crate Training Method. Be consistent and clean all accidents with an enzymatic cleaner that removes every trace of odor (no other product will, you buy it at the pet supply store). Take Tiger out every 30-60 minutes until he gets the idea. It may seem excessive but remember, it's only until he is trained. Tiger will need obedience training. Find a class near you and you will see a big change in him. Doing so will help you bond and that will make him listen better, as well. Good luck!

Add a comment to Tiger's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rex
Doberman Pinscher
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rex
Doberman Pinscher
3 Months

Always do pissing and poops inside the cage even i take him to the cage just from outside after pissing.

Add a comment to Rex's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
diablo
blue doberman pinscher
6 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
diablo
blue doberman pinscher
6 Weeks

how do i potty train him and stop him from crying .

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Octavio, Check out the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside To help pup adjust to the crate, practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate At this age pup is very young, if they are not able to hold it for an hour between potty trips, pup may need to be kept in an exercise pen with a disposable grass pad until formal potty training can be started at 8 weeks. Reward pup with small soft treats or kibble whenever you see them going potty on the grass pad in the pen. When you cannot directly supervise pup and pup has not gone to the potty recently, pup should be in the pen at this age. This method mentions a litter box but it can be used with a grass pad instead to make the transition to outside potty training later easier. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable real grass pad brands: www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com Also, check out the free PDF e-book, AFTER You Get Your Puppy, which can be downloaded at the link below: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Know that pup is very young still so all of these things will take some time, and that is normal. Stay consistent with training and caring for pup. At this age pup will have a very limited bladder capacity. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to diablo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd