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Potty training is one of the many forms of training that are required of a German Shepherd if you want him to be proper. That said, mishaps will happen, whether potty training is done or not depending on a few factors, and appropriate measures need to be taken to punish it.

The punishments shouldn’t be any form of physical harm as that won’t do anything except make your dog fear you, which will make further training and general interaction difficult.

Instead, you’ll want to resort to one of two of the more humane methods, the choice depending on your German Shepherd’s overall behavior.

It’s basically the option between ignoring him or “shaming” him, in a sense, though prevention of the problem is always going to be the best option going forward.

Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter, shall we?

1. Shaming The Act Of Pooping Where He Shouldn’t

german shepherd lies on the floorgerman shepherd lies on the floor

Normally, dogs relish the attention they get from their owners, but some also seek your approval.

In this case, we’re playing on that approval bit.

Should your German Shepherd go number two in a houseplant, or worse, on the carpet, then you need to point toward the poop and turn his attention to it and tell him that it’s a bad act.

Once that’s done, you want to follow up by moving him to the outside, or his designated pooping area, and pointing at it to further cement the point of where this is appropriate.

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During this whole process, you shouldn’t be furious by any means, but judgmental.

The latter is more authoritative and more likely to evoke that feeling of guilt without making him fear you.

2. Deprive Him Of Attention For The Rest Of The Day

Close Up Young German Shepherd Dog Puppy Sitting On Wooden FloorClose Up Young German Shepherd Dog Puppy Sitting On Wooden Floor

The other option is one that’s more likely to work with most dogs as most of them crave that oxytocin hit when we give them attention is to deprive them of it.[1]

If you find out that he made a mess in the house, just don’t react to it at all and take him out of the room so he can’t see you cleaning it up.

This way he doesn’t get the satisfaction of a reaction and will be a bit confused at the start.

Once the poop is out of the way, you should continue with your day as you would normally without giving him much in the form of attention.

Eventually, he’ll pick up on it and realize why this had happened and will hopefully end up being more mindful about where he leaves his little butt gifts around.

It’s not a foolproof method by any means, but it does get the job done more often than not.

Will These Punishments Guarantee My German Shepherd Stops Pooping In The House?

Dog German Shepherd inside of roomDog German Shepherd inside of room

Not really, no.

It all depends on your dog’s general demeanor. Most German Shepherds tend to fix their slip-ups, but these are dogs that have had some semblance of potty training.

This shouldn’t be a replacement for said training by any means and should be utilized sparingly.

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If your pupper keeps dropping his business around the house too often, then he definitely wasn’t properly potty trained.

Is The Pooping Always Intentional?

Cute German shepherd dog at homeCute German shepherd dog at home

Not always, there are certain factors that can cause it to happen outside of your German Shepherd’s control no matter how well you’ve potty trained him.

These usually revolve around any stomach issues like tapeworms, diseases and the like as well as allergies or a sudden change in diet.

Any of these can upset his stomach and cause an involuntary defecation which he shouldn’t be blamed for.

If you have him pooping inside the house, make sure to check for any other symptoms like weakness, vomiting and the like, anything that may indicate a potential health issue.

On top of all that, it could also just be a little bit of anxiety over something that happened recently and it may have messed up his tummy a little.

Naturally, incontinence can happen in GSDs just like it can in humans and other dogs, and is something you should be wary of, though it mostly affects older dogs.

When IS It Intentional?

german shepherd dog laying down on sofa couchgerman shepherd dog laying down on sofa couch

Your German Shepherd pooping indoors can be a number of other things too, ones that he consciously does as a way of protest because you may not be doing your duties to him.

Whenever he feels like you’re away from the house too long or aren’t taking him out for walkies, or playing with him enough, he may display his dissatisfaction in a number of ways.

Pooping in the house is definitely one of them.

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As mentioned in one of the methods, it’s a way of seeking your attention and GSDs in particular will be more prone to this given how demanding they are with their physical and mental exercises.

Stopping Rather Than Punishing

German Shepherd puppy learning to pee outsideGerman Shepherd puppy learning to pee outside

While punishments are all well and good, you need to prevent this problem from happening, and the earlier in your German Shepherd’s life that you do it, the more likely it is to stick and the easier it’ll be.

1. Make Sure He’s Potty Trained

The first and most important thing is potty training. No canine companion, German Shepherds in particular, will know the right spots and time for pooping without being taught beforehand.

So, if you haven’t done so yet, get help from a professional trainer so you can iron that initial step out of the way and can continue with little hindrance.

2. Make Sure He’s Healthy

Aside from the obvious potty training, you also need to have your GSD checked for any potential health problems which may be the cause of his undesirable pooping etiquette.

Schedule a checkup with your local veterinarian if you suspect that something is wrong.

That way you can find out what it is and take the necessary steps in remedying the situation so everything can go back to normal.

3. Don’t Draw Attention To It

As mentioned in one of the punishment options, paying attention to the act may end up encouraging your canine companion to continue doing it.

Not giving HIM that satisfaction makes it less likely that he’ll repeat the action and will result in less accidents overall.

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4. Make Sure His Daily Needs Are Met

German Shepherds require a lot of attention, both in regards to his emptying his bowels and other physical and mental needs.

At least two hours outside with plenty of time to pee and poo wherever he needs to should be the norm.

5. Give Him A Designated Pooping Area Inside The House

While not everyone can have the luxury of having a yard or having their German Shepherd do all of his business while he’s out on a walk, you can provide him with a surface where it’s safe to poop on and makes cleanup easier.

Designate such a spot and train your German Shepherd to poop there and you should be seeing a lot less accidents than you normally would.

6. Crates Aren’t A Solution

German shepherd sitting locked in a cageGerman shepherd sitting locked in a cage

Crate training can be useful and is often praised for teaching dogs to hold their business until they have a valid surface to go onto.

However, it won’t help in the fringe cases where your GSD simply can’t.

It’s also not healthy for your dog to constantly stay cooped up in there. Dogs crave freedom and physical activity, German Shepherds in particular, so meter your crate use.

If you end up going overboard, you may find that crate training slip and your German Shepherd doing his business inside the crate too.

Now that’s going to be an even harder mess to clear up.

7. Learn His Pooping Schedule

A metabolism is like clockwork no matter the species so dogs, much like us, will likely have a particular period of the day when they do their business.

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When you first get your German Shepherd puppy, take him out often until you learn when this specific time is, then create his daily walkies routine around that.

8. Clean The Accident Area Properly

Finally, Seeing how all dogs have an exceptional sense of smell, you’ll need to properly rinse the area out.

After all, dogs tend to poop in the same place they always do, and if there’s no scent to guide them to that spot, it’ll be a lot harder to repeat the action.

EXTRA: Just Make Your German Shepherd An Outside Dog

While not available for everyone, those of you who have a back yard or a relatively large space surrounding your house, you can just make your German Shepherd an outside dog.

Just make sure that the area is properly fenced off so he doesn’t run off or attack anyone walking by your property.

This will fully eliminate the problem of your GSD’s home defecation as he won’t have the opportunity to do so.

This also means that you won’t need to learn how to punish your German Shepherd for pooping in the house in the first place.

In Conclusion

german shepherd puppy standing next to a woman at the beachgerman shepherd puppy standing next to a woman at the beach

No dog is perfect in his actions and is likely to have an accident at one point or another.

However, the important thing when learning how to punish your German Shepherd for pooping in the house is to not resort to any violent actions.

Instead, utilize one of the two methods mentioned above, both should work equally well for German Shepherds.

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Other than that, it’s important to meet your dog’s daily needs and to make sure he stays healthy.

Making sure his diet is adequate and that he doesn’t eat anything bad should be top priority alongside periodic checkups.

If you can manage that, I can guarantee that you’ll see minimal poops inside the house and won’t have to handle the nastiness.

Until next time, pet parents.


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[1] Sarah M.-P., Franka S. S., Alina G., Anne M., Tobias D., Friederike R. (October, 2019.), The Role of Oxytocin in the Dog–Owner Relationship, DOI

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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