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My DH agreed that my oldest son, could have a dog. We have been a cat family for over 20 years. My son found a 4 month old GSD in need of a home. We were told she was raised with cats. We have 6, 16, 18, and 19 year olds plus the cat. The cat has always got along with dogs.

We are on day two. We named our beautiful new GSD Bear Bear. An ode to my son's first named stuffed animal. She is a delight except she was not potty trained. She pees in the crate right where she sits. And we were aware that we might need to be diligent so we have been taking her out every hour. My son and I have been reading like crazy how to meet her needs. But she still prefers to pee in the crate. Is this from her previous owner?? She has peed outside but not time after time. And she goes out but comes in after 20 min and sometimes goes again in crate. We keep washing it out.
I don't want to ruin her! Please advise or show me where to find answers.

And since primary care falls to my son - his dog, but he has never had a dog and then me when he is at work and school- I don't want to confuse her. She acts like son is her leader but also seems to be obeying me/following me.

Am I overthinking and worrying too much about all this. My husband says just wait and you are overthinking! Am I?

In need of reassurance...
 

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Congratulations on the new puppy! And relax, it actually takes a lot to damage them! But since you've only had this puppy a couple days, you have to give her time to adjust!

Peeing in her crate could be a learned behavior from her past home, or it could be the result of adjusting to her new home, hard to tell. But taking her out frequently is the right thing to do. It helps to walk them around while you're outside as the movement somehow seems to remind them they need to go. That being said, just spend the first couple of weeks making her comfortable and gently guiding her toward what you'd like to see. Keep the routine fairly stable so she gets used to it and how she fits into that...she'll come around once she's a little more used to your routine and the environment.
 

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My DH agreed that my oldest son, could have a dog. We have been a cat family for over 20 years. My son found a 4 month old GSD in need of a home. We were told she was raised with cats. We have 6, 16, 18, and 19 year olds plus the cat. The cat has always got along with dogs.

We are on day two. We named our beautiful new GSD Bear Bear. An ode to my son's first named stuffed animal. She is a delight except she was not potty trained. She pees in the crate right where she sits. And we were aware that we might need to be diligent so we have been taking her out every hour. My son and I have been reading like crazy how to meet her needs. But she still prefers to pee in the crate. Is this from her previous owner?? She has peed outside but not time after time. And she goes out but comes in after 20 min and sometimes goes again in crate. We keep washing it out.
I don't want to ruin her! Please advise or show me where to find answers.

And since primary care falls to my son - his dog, but he has never had a dog and then me when he is at work and school- I don't want to confuse her. She acts like son is her leader but also seems to be obeying me/following me.

Am I overthinking and worrying too much about all this. My husband says just wait and you are overthinking! Am I?

In need of reassurance...
Relax, you won't ruin her.

It sounds to me like she may have been conditioned to have to pee in her crate. So two things, yes taking her out frequently is key to house training but you may need to reverse this. Take her outside and when she goes pee throw a party! Best puppy ever, so very smart, such a good girl. Lay it on thick so she has no doubt she did something great, most of my neighbors have doubts about my sanity, lol.
But you also need to break the peeing in the crate so put her in for a few minutes and take her out. If she keeps her crate clean, much praise, what a great and awesome puppy. If she pees ignore it. You need to do this in few minute intervals and gradually expand the time so that she can put it together in her little brain. Rather then crating her all the time while you are correcting this problem try tethering her to you.
 

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Great advice, so far. If I may add, have a designated potty area outside for her. Take her there on lead and she will get the picture. Also, feeding her in her crate may help to speed things along. I always used ratty towels in the crates until they were housebroken. Saves a lot of time cleaning both the crate and dog. A mop and bucket at the ready makes it less stressful, as well.
 

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I'll be agreeing with what's already been mentioned....you're doing the right thing taking her out like clockwork and setting up a routine.....when she does her business outside-praise-praise and praise make her think she's the best dog ever...assuming her crate isn't too large feeding her in the crate is great also they instinctively don't want to pee/poop right where they eat....but the main thing IMO is the "like clockwork routine of taking her outside"
 
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The others already have most of this covered, but I do have to add... Has she been to the vet? Are you sure she doesn’t have a UTI that is causing her to not be able to hold it? If you have not already, take her to the vet. Otherwise, keep doing what you’re doing! She sounds like she found a good home.
 

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Once her vetting is complete, and she's 3 weeks past her last puppy shot, please have your oldest sign sign up to take her to a puppy/beginner obedience class with a good trainer (not PetSmart/Petco -- I'd look for an AKC obedience club or a trainer who works with lot of GSDs, include pet dogs with newbie owners who need to learn everything from scratch).



The AKC STAR puppy program would be a good starting point:
https://www.akc.org/products-services/training-programs/canine-good-citizen/akc-star-puppy/



There's a good life lesson in doing this: training isn't optional in this breed-- getting an experienced person to lean on for advice, help with technique, and problem solving is the best money you'll ever spend on a dog. Your son might even pick up a new hobby and decide to keep going with some advanced classes as the dog grows up! Becoming the kind of owner who goes to classes will set your son up for a lifetime of happy dog ownership.


A good beginner obedience course is the foundation for everything with this breed. You learn how to communicate as a team fluidly, and that makes all sorts of things possible.
 

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A couple of thoughts - (And yes, have her checked for a UTI) stick a piddle pad in the crate, if she has another "wreck" you will have a piddle pad to put outside to enhance the idea that urinating outside is a good thing. Vigilant humans, maybe a bell on the door? could also help.


Do not worry that she minds you as well as your son. That is a good thing. A good puppy class could be beneficial to the pup and your family and your son. Then advanced training as in at least standard obedience but maybe something more active depending upon the pup's natural abilities.



Congrats on taking the leap from cats to dog. I'm sure it is a big one (my perception is that they are vastly different but I'm primarily a dog person.)
 

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My 2 cents...along with every hour, take her out after play, after naps, after meals. When she pees/poops, just like they said above, make it a huge deal..."Yay! Good girl! Way to go!" Treats. I gave mine treats every time he did his business outside. When he did it inside, he got nothing. My pockets always had treats. Still does. I kept a log...what time they peed and pooped. It helps to predict when she'll go next. My pup is almost 8 months old and I still keep a poop/pee log. When he gets down to 2 poops a day and is consistent at what time every day he goes, then I'll stop keeping a log. Also, after a while, days seem to be the same, and then you can't remember if she peed at 4pm or if it was yesterday that she peed at 4. Also, take her to the same spot outside. She'll leave her scent there and it'll help with the pooping and peeing.
 
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