Please advise for potty training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Please advise for potty training

I have a 12 week old german shepherd. We got him saturday so it's been about 5 days. He seems really bad with the potty training. The first two nights there were no accidents in the crate (there is a divider to make it small enough just to lay down). But now he's been having accidents inside the crate. As for outside the crate he is constantly having accidents, mostly with peeing. I take him out practically every time he starts sniffing around, but the problem is about half the time he's just sniffing to explore. I have a bell by the front door to help him tell me he has to potty, but I've only had that for 2 days, he doesn't seem to like it. He is sometimes reluctant to go outside, but it's getting better. He doesn't seem to pick one place to go potty, even though for the first 3 days I only took him to one single spot. He potties when he goes out, but he just doesn't seem to get that he's not supposed to potty inside. I always catch him and I always make a loud noise to stop him, immediately take him outside to finish (though sometimes he doesn't even after 30 min out), but still he continues to just go whenever and wherever he feels like... Please help with any suggestions.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 09:59 AM
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first I would take him to a vet to rule out any health issues.... if that's not the case I can tell you at that age I spent more time outside than inside...I didn't wait for "clues" ...I every 1/2 hour if not less took Roxy to the door and said "out" ...we went "out" I spent a lot of time walking around until she would do her business and then praise the heck out of it. It only took a week or two at the most and we were done.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 10:04 AM
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I feel your frustration. You've gotten good advise. I can only add sympathy because my newest took forever to get trained. At about 7 months I think she got it. I'd never had this much difficulty with a pup before. I'd think we had it down and then discover we didn't. Good luck and buck up on a large supply of patience. It may get worn pretty thin.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 10:55 AM
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It also takes me forever to housebreak my puppies, but I have to keep in mind they PUPPIES with infant brains and really don't understand.

Have you read thru ---> What is crate training (why put my puppy in a cage?) for more tips and ideas?

I know at night for the first month(s) I take my puppy outside before I go to bed and make sure they 'go'. Then when I go to bed (puppy in crate beside me) I have my alarm clock set for whatever the 'middle of the night is' for me (2 am? 3 am?). When the alarm goes off I get up, scoop the puppy out of the crate and go outside. As soon as she pees then we go right back inside and back to bed (after brief puppy party ).

During the day I if my puppy is out of the crate I literally take them outside constantly. Every hour or so. Puppy gates and closed doors to keep them in the room with me. EVERY TIME they go outside and you 'puppy party' they are learning you like that. Every time you CATCH them 'in the act indoors' with an 'uh uh' and scooping them to take them outside............ they learn what you are NOT liking.

Every time you find a puddle or poo pile you have LOST the opportunity for teaching and just have an opportunity to clean You must catch them indoors squatting to 'uh uh no' them to teach what you do not want. You must catch them in the act OUTSIDE to praise/party to teach them what you want.

IT TAKE TIME! I've raised 5 puppies and never had them learn in a week or so. Instead, the better I pay attention the faster they learn, and it does take weeks and weeks (months) for them to be 100% reliable. And the bell thing is down the line as a different behavior.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thank for the stories and advise. It does help to hear that this isn't uncommon. I'll try to stay positive (at least in front of Zero) and keep working on him. Whenever he is out of his crate I watch him like a hawk and take him out every 30 minutes to 1 hour. I guess he's just stubborn

I had read that the puppy shouldn't be kept in the crate for long periods of time if it can be helped. However I have a friend who "crate" trained his german shepherd for everything. For the first 6 months the dog never left the crate except to potty and for an hour of training. Once he got home and let the dog potty he would go right back inside the crate until training time or the next potty brake. Anyone have any thoughts on continuous crating?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AngelaHazle View Post
Anyone have any thoughts on continuous crating?
I don't know anyone who does that, and I think you'll find that people here aren't fans of it either.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2014, 03:38 PM
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I got my pup at the beginning of April. Because of nice weather, I have spent hours outside with him. In this way, when he went to the bathroom, I always said "go potty." Playing with him outside kept him from having accidents in the house.

I did not want to reinforce whining to get out of his crate(s), so I set the alarm at night, came home at lunchtime, and regularly took him out, and stayed outside a lot.

He is almost 6 months, can hold it way better, and now I can work with him when he's in the house and acting like he needs to go by saying "go potty?" Or before we go somewhere I can take him outside and he will potty on command.

Your baby will eventually get it. Be patient and kind--puppy wants to do the right thing. Baby may not understand what the right thing is.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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at a month with the new dog (15 weeks old). He holds it all night long. We got an outdoor crate so we don't have accidents while we are at work and he won't get used to peeing in the indoor crate. He knows to ring a bell before we go outside to potty. He potties every time we go out (about every hour when we are home). But every weekend I test to see if he's truly started to understand that he's supposed to potty outside. I let him out to play. I will sit down with him, but let him play on his own around me. And he still randomly will drop the toy and pee. He doesn't get it at all that he needs to potty outside and to let me know he has to go outside to potty. Given that he is good with holding it for a long time and he knows the bell trick and will potty outside can anybody help me get it to click for him that he's not supposed to potty inside? I'm starting to get a little depressed that he has shown no improvement over the month with showing me some sign that he needs to potty.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 06:24 PM
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I never used a crate to potty train or a bell. I have always let the puppy out to play if I'm awake. I just make sure to take him out every 20 minutes or so. If I catch him going in the house I will stop him. It's easier when they are smaller though. I tell them "no potty in the house." I take them outside to the potty area and say"potty outside" and if he goes he gets "good" and lots of pets.

There were many accidents. The spotbot was my best fried. Just when I thought he would never potty train he started always going outside.

I don't spank, or yell at them. I also don't use treats for potty training. It's just a lot of consistency and trying to get them out on a schedule.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 06:33 PM
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I did the same as trcy and now I keep the gate of the backyard opened and she goes outside to pee then comes back inside it took me about 2 weeks and then I found her going outside by her self was really amazed!
It will take you some time but you should just go out every 20 minutes and if you can keep the door opened so that he can go when ever he wants

RIP , Lexy 18/2/2014-1/5/2014 (parvo victim)

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