House Training Your German Shepherd Puppy
When house training a puppy you are the teacher and the success of your lesson depends on your time, patience, commitment, consistency and understanding of the task ahead. Below are some helpful suggestions for training your German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, or Belgian Malinois puppy.
Building upon the natural instinct of a puppy not to soil in a place where they sleep, it is a good decision to crate train at the same time you’re house training a puppy. They go hand in hand and make this experience less stressful.
Begin training every day when the puppy wakes up. Immediately take it outside to an area you want it to eliminate in. As soon as you put the puppy down, start repeating a phrase you will continue to use consistently – like “Hurry, hurry” or “Take a break”. The minute puppy starts to do the deed, lavish it with praise, remembering to say “Good Hurry: or “Good Break”.
You can count on the puppy needing to go outside to eliminate first thing in the morning, immediately or within 20 minutes of a nap, after chewing on a bone, after 2 to 3 hours of being confined to the crate and just before bed. While house training a puppy this is a demanding schedule, but well worth your efforts to make it happen.
It is highly recommended that you avoid paper training your puppy. It gives the confusing signal that it is OK to go potty in the house and it is OK to go potty on things on the floor.
Although it is your goal to prevent accidents, they are bound to happen. When they do, never hit your puppy with a rolled up newspaper, never shove your puppy’s nose into the mess and never scream at him or her. If you are lucky enough to catch the puppy in the act, quickly and calmly pick it up and take it outside. Lavish praise only if the puppy goes outside.
Sticking to a regular feeding and watering schedule greatly enhances your success with your new puppy. Remember to remove any access to food or water by at least 7:30 at night. An ounce of prevention goes a long way.
While house training a puppy you need to observe closely your puppy’s body language when it eliminates outside. After a while you will become skilled at reading cues like suddenly stopping play for no apparent reason, frantically circling, and sniffing the ground as indicators that the puppy has to go outside quickly. It’s potty time! Anticipating is half the battle.
Paper towel and an enzyme cleaner are needed to thoroughly clean up any accidents in the house. Do not use vinegar, club soda or ammonia to clean up accidents. These only draw your puppy back to its mistakes.