Need a little help potty training an 11 month old - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Need a little help potty training an 11 month old

Hey everyone. A couple days ago I brought home an 11 month old German Shepherd from a breeder. Its actually a sad story, he was there his whole life locked in a kennel because nobody wanted him because he has one floppy ear, which personally, I think gives him character and uniqueness. Any way, we brought him home and found out he is a very submissive dog, he cowers when I go to pet him and has a case of submissive peeing. This is the first house he has lived in, he had no idea how to even use stairs and we really want an indoor dog, id hate to leave him outside, but even though he goes on an hour long walk each night and goes out to go to the bathroom every couple hours, we cannot get him to relieve himself outside, he will come in and go on the floor minutes after being outside. He went ONCE outside and I gave him all the praise and affection any dog could receive but will not go outside again. I certainly will never give up on him but am wondering if there are any methods to get him to relieve himself outside? We have tried cardboard and he simply tears it up. He's a great dog, very sweet and is learning to sit already so I know he can learn this too. Also, he's currently not fixed and is going in today to get that taken care of, will this help? We have an 8 month old chow female that is potty trained and thought it would rub off on him but sadly is not. Any suggestions? Would 2 weeks in a crate help? Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 10:39 AM
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I would really recommend crate training for him. When you take him out of his crate go outside and do not come in until he has pee'd (this could be an hour if he doesn't go he goes back in the crate and try again in 30 minutes). I do not recommend going for a walk while you wait for him to pee. I would just wait in the yard with him on a 6' leash until he goes. I like dogs to learn that they pee before we go for a car ride or walk you don't want a dog who only pees after you walk for 30 minutes

Potty training will not be learned through another dog in the house. You need to treat him like a puppy. He also may not be able to hold it for very long if he was in a run so the crate will start to teach him to hold it. When he is loose in the house have him attached to someone on leash so you can interrupt him if he is going to have an accident. Do not get mad when you interrupt him or he will be scared to pee in front of you later when you take him outside. Get a good reward system going for when he does pee outside I like to give a treat for the first few weeks or until the dog is no longer having accidents in the house.

Anticipate his needs to reduce accidents in the house. If an accident does occur think of it as how could you have prevented it not that it was his fault.

Also if he cowers when you pet him praise and affection are probably not a good reward choice for him after he goes outside. If he likes treats give a treat otherwise saying nothing at all but heading out on a walk right after he goes might be best.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Ill get started on that as soon as he's back from the vet. Also, can the other dog roam freely when he's in the crate? Its basically showing him everyday life in the household, right?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 11:38 AM
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You can also tether him to you so that when he starts to go you can rush him outside. Be sure to keep everything positive but low key, since he is a submissive peer.

And be sure to set him up for success to help him gain confidence.

Avoid petting him on the head but instead pet him under his chin, in the neck area. Again, keep it low key until he understands that this is a good thing.

And, if you don't already have them, get some really yummy treats for rewards.

Good luck to you with two, big puppies!

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MyPalBullitt View Post
Thanks! Ill get started on that as soon as he's back from the vet. Also, can the other dog roam freely when he's in the crate? Its basically showing him everyday life in the household, right?
my foster dog spent a month in the crate (unless he was out on a leash), he had time to adjust and see my dogs daily routine.
for the most part, just ignore the dog when he's in the crate unless he's doing something wrong that will get him hurt.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 11:55 AM
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Even though he is a big puppy, treat him as a puppy. Try to get him used to praise so he knows what it means when it comes from you. When you are in the house and he comes to you (even on his own) say in a quiet voice, "What a good boy! Good boy!" You can use any verbage that you are used to, but use that tone. Try to find any reason what so ever to praise him. If you glance over at him and he looks at you, praise him. You don't have to be loud and throw a party if that causes him to shy off.

This will be a good time for you to get him used to the crate since he's coming home from the vet and needs to be quiet for a few days. Remember, EVERY time you take him out of the crate, take him directly outside. Keep him on a leash. Walk slowly around (to discourage him from sitting down and waiting on you) and you can say to him in a light tone, "Go potty!" When he goes, let him get started first, then say, "Good potty!" Using the same quiet, happy tone you use for praise.

I have a very food driven puppy, I can't use food to potty train. He would start to potty then finish as he jumped on me looking for his treat! Praise works for him for the potty deed.

Thanks for taking a GSD that nobody wanted! Good luck to you!

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I will definitely take every piece of advice into account. Ill tell ya one thing though, he will be hard to ignore, he has one of those faces that just makes you want to love him
Need a little help potty training an 11 month old-557210_10150766720130781_679670780_11863871_1608266929_n.jpg
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 12:46 PM
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I want to give him a hug...look at that face
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 01:20 PM
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Aww bless his heart.
I don't even get why a breeder would stick a dog in a kennel and let him grow up there instead of treating him like a family pet until he was sold/adopted/whatever.
It sounds as if he's undersocialized.

I would do the two week shut down to an extent, yes.

Also - you may have overwhelmed him with the happy party when he pottied outside.
A simple "good boy" would probably suffice.
I think this dog is going to be overwhelmed by many many things and you'll have to gradually work up to any exuberance at all with him.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-03-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
.

Also - you may have overwhelmed him with the happy party when he pottied outside.
A simple "good boy" would probably suffice..
And a thumbnail-sized bit of hotdog or cheese.

I agree with the others. Take a book, smartphone, handheld game, etc outside with you because you'll have to wait a while. It's helpful to take him places other dogs have gone potty, even more helpful if he can see the other dog going potty. He stays outside with you until he goes potty. Then he gets praise (not overwhelming) and a small tasty food snack. If you're not directly supervising him, he goes in the crate.


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