How to Train a German Shepherd to Poop Outside

Medium
1-6 Months
General

Introduction

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a new German Shepherd owner is thinking that you need to wait until your pup reaches a certain age before you can start potty training him. Nothing could be further from the truth! You can start working with your pup from the moment you pull up in your driveway with him for the first time. In other words, as soon as you get home with him, take him over to his "spot" in the yard to go potty. If he goes, be sure you praise him and give him a treat. 

Defining Tasks

German Shepherds are highly intelligent and easily trainable as long as you are willing to put in the time to work on training him. No one wants to step on an ice-cold pile of poop in the middle of the night. In the wild, your pup's mother would have taught him not to go potty in the den. But, since you took him from his mother and the breeder before she has had time to train him, it's now your job. Take your time, be positive, and never punish your dog for having an accident.

Getting Started

You can start working with your pup as soon as you bring him home. While potty training doesn't require much in the way of supplies, it will require you to invest a significant amount of time. The less time you have to spend working on the training, the longer it is going to take. The only real supplies you need are:

  •  A crate – For training, safety, and fewer accidents
  • A leash – To take him out to his spot in the yard
  • Treats – A large supply to use as rewards

The rest is all about having the time and patience to see your pup's training to a successful conclusion. Take your time, work at your pup's pace and before long, he will no longer be leaving you those landmines all over your house. 

The No, Not There Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Start with a bag of his favorite tasty treats
Make sure you have a plentiful supply of your pup's favorite treats on hand.
Step
2
Eyes on the pup
Your pup will let you know he is thinking about going poop. He will sniff at a spot, scratch at it, and start walking around it in circles. When you see him behaving like this, say "NO!" to stop him in his tracks.
Step
3
Not there, here
Choose a cue like "Let's go potty!" and use it as you carry your pup or take him out to his spot on his leash.
Step
4
Success
It might take a few minutes, but in time he will finish what he started by pooping on the lawn where he is supposed to go. If he does, be sure to give him plenty of praise and a treat.
Step
5
Failure
If he doesn't go right away, give him 15 minutes and then take him back inside. You can put him in his crate or leave him out where you can keep a close eye on him. When he looks like he is trying to go, take him back out so he can do so.
Step
6
Practice
Keep practicing with your pup, adding more time between excursions until he can go for several hours without needing to go. Be patient, he is smart and will soon figure it all out.
Recommend training method?

The On the Hour Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Supplies first
For this you need a timer, plenty of treats, his leash, and a crate.
Step
2
Weeks 1-2
At this point you need to be taking your pup out every hour on the hour or by setting a timer. This sets up a nice routine and increases the chance your pooch will be in the right place at the right time.
Step
3
Weeks 3-4
Move the timer up to 90 minutes and start introducing your cue phrase "time to go outside" each time you take him out.
Step
4
Weeks 5-6
By now you should be able to stretch the time to a full 2 hours. Puppies can usually hold it for an hour per month of age, so lengthen the time between trips accordingly.
Step
5
Each time
Each time your pup poops out in the yard, be sure to praise him and give him a treat before taking him back inside.
Step
6
The rest
The rest is all about working with your pup and repeating the steps until he no longer poops in your house.
Recommend training method?

The Sprayed Grass Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
For this you need spray
Start out by picking up a bottle of Potty Training Spray from your favorite pet supply store. This stuff is amazing, it will entice almost any dog to explore the spray area and then mark it by peeing or pooping there.
Step
2
This land is your land...
...also known as using the spray to mark an area of your yard where you want your pup to go. The idea is he goes here and nowhere else in your yard.
Step
3
Time to potty
Put your pup on his leash, take him out to the area and let him sniff around. Chances are the spray will make him go potty. But, if not, that's okay too. Just take him back in the house for a few minutes and then tray again.
Step
4
Good boy!
Each time you take your pup out to his "potty spot" and he does his business, be sure to praise him and give him a nice treat.
Step
5
The road goes ever on
The rest is all about practice, practice, practice. The more you practice the more you should be spreading out the time between potty breaks. In time, he will learn to let you know when he needs to go. Once this happens, fait accompli (your job is done).
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Benzie
German Shepherd
16 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Benzie
German Shepherd
16 Weeks

Hi, We have a germen shepherd and we will take her out in the morning, for instance this morning at 8 am she was out peed and pooped, by 9am she already pooped in the house while in her gated area while we got ready for work, she does this everyday and we cant seem to get her not to poop, she never poops in the house or even pees when she is free roam only if she's gated off.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

Hello Catelyn, Are you feeding her between 8am when she goes outside and 9am when she has an accident? Puppies at that age need to go potty after very specific events happen. One is when they wake up, which is why she probably goes at 8am easily. Another is within ten to thirty minutest after they eat. That one is very specific to needing to poop and there is a very small window between when they eat and need to eliminate. Unlike an older dog, puppies cannot hold their poop for very long after eating. If that is the case try taking her back outside ten to fifteen minutes after she eats, even though you already took her at 8am. The area that you are placing her into is probably also a problem. If you are using a cleaner that does not say it contains enzymes, even if it says it's for pets, then the poop is not being broken down enough to fully eliminate the smell, and with her stronger sense of smell the scent left is encouraging her to go again in that same area. Try cleaning that entire area with a pet safe spray that contains enzymes. You can also try moving her gated area to a new location until the problem is solved. She might be going there out of habit at this point and only moving the gate will break the cycle. Try taking her outside again before 9am, right after she eats, cleaning the area with an enzymatic spray, and if that still does not work, moving the gated area to another location while doing the first two things. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Jager
German Shepherd
3 Months
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Question
0 found helpful
Jager
German Shepherd
3 Months

I take him outside when he is showing signs of pooping and my record is being out there with him for 1-1/2 hours before giving up and coming in but 10 minutes after we come in i find a pile of poop somewhere in my house. I dont understand. Its like he thinks the house is where he poops ive tried reversing to the best of my knowledge but to no avail..

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

Hello Pheonix, Many puppies this age get super distracted (or nervous) while outside and will wait until things are calmer (inside) to go potty. Check out the article I have linked below and strictly follow the crate Training method. Anytime you take him potty and he doesn't go both pee and poop when you know he probably needs to poop too, after 15 minutes of walking him around without him going, bring him back inside and put him into the crate, then try again 30-45 minutes later. Repeat this until he poops outside. Once he has pooped outside, you can give him more freedom after he pees outside, until he may need to poop again - then start the whole process over again - only giving freedom when he pees AND poops outside, and crating and trying again if he doesn't go when you take him. Read the method carefully. It talks about walking him around slowly on leash to help him focus, teaching the "Go Potty" command - which will help him focus and know what to do once he learns it, and rewarding with treats to motivate - keep the treats hidden in a pocket until after he goes though. It's also important to walk him around slowly to get his digestive tract going so he feels the urge to poop. After running around, and 15-45 minutes after feeding him are also likely times he will need to poop. Many puppies poop 2-3 times per day. Pay attention to his body's schedule so that you can get an idea of when he may need to go and be more strict with the crate around those times. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Finally, don't put anything absorbent in his crate or he will likely soil that, and make sure it's sized correctly. Enough room for him to turn around, lie down, and stand up, but not extra room for him to potty on one end and stand in the other to avoid it - too big and he may poop in it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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