When to begin potty training? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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When to begin potty training?

When to start potty training? I have always started as soon as pup comes home at 8 weeks, but have read that this may be too early and you should wait for them to have full control of their bladder first, some say 10 weeks while others say 12 to 16 weeks. I am just worried that I will get the puppy into the habit of going inside. But I also worry (protective dog mom here) that since I am now in the city versus rural, there are many more doggy germs about and my worst fear is Parvo. So I would not be opposed to waiting, either. I've read too many conflicting things about this that I have to ask. I do plan to crate train her. TIA
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 02:28 PM
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Potty training/crate training/house behavior are all tied together and begin at moment one of your lives together.
It is a begin as you mean to continue, no changing the rules once the cards are dealt thing. Clear, fair and consistent expectations.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Perfect, I am of the same opinion but I got nervous since I haven't had a puppy in quite a few years, so I bought a few books and they are all very different in their methods. Thanks!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 02:59 PM
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Perfect, I am of the same opinion but I got nervous since I haven't had a puppy in quite a few years, so I bought a few books and they are all very different in their methods. Thanks!
I will be more then happy to walk you through the basics, several other members here as well. Is your puppy home with you now?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I would be so thankful for that! Thank you for offering.

No, she is not coming home for another two months at least. She will be born any day now Fingers crossed!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 08:59 AM
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Is she born yet? I have not forgotten, we like people who are prepared and willing to accept help. We all need it sometimes, even if it's just to vent to someone or talk things out until they make sense.
We will need pictures as well!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Not yet! Currently patiently waiting.... or trying to, anyway. The puppy wait is so difficult, lol. I’ve already got her crate and a bunch of other things on the way. Thank you again for offering, I know we can have very busy lives. I would love the help but understand if that is not possible. 🙂
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 12:17 PM
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I don't mind sleeping with puppies but I have also done the crate by my bed. Puppy crate should be just big enough for the puppy to sleep in comfortably. A soft stuffy to snuggle with is a good idea unless you have a chewer.
I don't generally muck around about crating, it's just business. Puppy goes in and I walk away. I have had a couple that were in danger of hurting themselves, they slept with me while I worked on positive association with the crate.
The following is just a copy/paste from Shadows FB but I will add that I generally put puppies to bed around 11, get up at 3 or 4 for a pee break for the first few days then back to bed until 7ish. I restrict movement by baby gates, some prefer tethering. The short version is that I take the puppies out often enough and watch them closely enough that no accidents happen.
If your puppy messes in the house, you made a mistake.
Puppies do not get left unattended, loose in a house. Crate or eyes on at all times. It shouldn't take weeks to house train a puppy, and you are stressing yourself out allowing it to.
Food and water are restricted at night, morning comes you take the puppy out of it's crate and carry it outside. In your pj's and slippers. Once puppy has relieved itself you praise, praise, praise. Best puppy ever! Then inside, food and water, and coffee. Then back outside. Puppy pees and poops and you praise, praise, praise. Then inside, play for 10 minutes, back outside. This is not rocket science. Eyes on the puppy at all times or it is in it's crate. Don't let it have an accident in the house and pretty soon it will know to go outside.
I do not understand the bell thing? Why complicate the issue.


I also train my dogs for one spot in the yard only. I do this by taking them only to that spot and promptly cleaning up any other areas if an accident occurs.

Keep me posted. I like puppies.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 01:19 PM
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I think Sabis summed it up well. You have to be very diligent and I would add that in addition to praise for the pup relieving herself outside, you can also reinforce with a small piece of good food, which means you have to have them handy, like on her crate. Something like a piece of string cheese would work because it is not a dog treat per se and more of a real food, and I don't think it would spoil if you kept a days worth at a time out unrefridgerated. If you have to run to the fridge every time she might indicate she has to go out, it will become too labor intensive. You can't take a young pup outside too much so that the odds are better she will relieve herself outside. You can also use a command like, "hurry up and pee/poop."
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the information guys. With a spoiled little dog (hairless dog, who was a winter puppy and hates the cold, was the hardest pup to housetrain ever) already, I am going to be very dedicated and proactive with this girl's training. I have a puppy class lined up and have scouted a kennel club near me who will have rally obedience classes beginning again right after she turns 6 months old. Can't wait to try that with her.

Great idea about one specific part of the yard as well as the hurry up command! My spoiled pup will circle, and circle, and circle...

No word of puppies yet. Almost crumbling under the anticipation! Lots of photos to come once we finally get her home!
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