How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Pet Trainer
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 11424
Experience:  40 yrs. training pet dogs and performance dogs in obedience, agility, herding, tracking, and therapy.
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

hello Joan. you answered a question about my german shepherd

This answer was rated:

hello Joan. you answered a question about my german shepherd a few days ago.

we are house training our pup and he's doing ok but we still have to watch him 24/7. we don't trust him yet. when people talk about crating the dog for training does that mean just keeping him in a small area where he will not poop/pee and not letting him roam the house?

we do spend a lot of time with him and take him out every hour to pee, which he does each time. he does sleep a lot. thank you

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have many years of experience training dogs in a variety of venues, such as herding, tracking, obedience, and therapy work, as well as household pets. Joan and I work together, and since she doesn't answer training questions, she has asked me to help you.

Crate training usually refers to teaching a dog to stay in a crate happily by showing him/her that it is a safe place. In the context in which you're using the term, any small space will work to help a puppy get the idea of house training. At 11 weeks, your puppy is barely old enough to start such training. They don't have very good bladder and bowel control until about 12 weeks. Once the puppy is physically able, a highly-intelligent breed like the German shepherd, usually catches on quickly.

Since your puppy already pees most of the time when you take him out, I'll give you a way to speed up the process even more. It's a good idea to have the dog know a command. Take out some very tasty treats in your pocket. Tell him to 'go potty,' or whatever term you want to use. When he goes, immediately give him a treat and praise him. By doing this, you're teaching him two things - what the words mean and that when he goes outside, she gets a very nice reward.

If you catch him having an accident inside, say 'no' in a calm, quiet, but firm voice and carry him outside. When he finishes outside, praise him and give him a treat. If you find a mess, but didn't see him do it, don't say anything to him, just clean it up. If you try to correct him for an earlier mistake, he won't understand.

Taking him out every hour is fine, but it's most important to take him outside after every meal, after exercise, and every nap. Those are the times he is most likely to need to go. Continue the rewards until he clearly knows what 'Go potty' means. At that point, you can gradually eliminate the treats. Do continue to praise him.

You may also want to associate a word with defecating. I tell my dogs "Go more," for that. Some people just use "Go poop." Puppies do not like to defecate in their little area, so most learn to do that outdoors only quite quickly. bowel control is also easier for them than bladder control, so we usually see peeing accidents more often.

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I wish you rapid success with house training.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!
Anna and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you very much. I didn't realize that at this age he wouldn't catch on just yet or that it is too early. we are doing everything you say. we have a very good puppy and we do have a trainer coming in at the end of the week. what can the trainer teach us at this puppy's age?

Puppies can learn a lot at this age. They just don't have complete bladder control yet. They can learn to come when called, walk on a leash, and to sit on command. One of the best things you could do would be to enroll him in a puppy class. Also, take him as many places as you can and introduce him to many people. Socialization is critical from this age up to 16 weeks. A trainer coming in can offer you tips, but I do think there would be more to gain from enrolling in a puppy class. There are advantages and disadvantages to both private lessons and group classes. I have taught both, and I have attended both as a student. The group lessons often result in slower progress because all the people and dogs serve as a distraction and the instructor's time is divided. However, once the puppy learns to ignore distractions this can lead to steadier obedience. Most puppy classes allow time for socializing, too, and that is another advantage. With private lessons, the instructor is only dealing with you and your puppy, and can individualize the instruction for you.

If it's possible, I recommend that you do both. I'd begin with a couple of private lessons to get you off to a good start. Then go through a class. After completing a class, you may want another private lesson or two to work on any problem areas.

Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure the trainer or class instructor uses only positive methods. Using old-fashioned alpha/dominance training methods can do immeasurable damage. Dog training is in a state of transition right now, with some trainers insisting on the old ways, while others move on to the new ones. Positive training is supported by good research, while the older methods, especially the alpha theory are not. That doesn't mean you can't use a firm command, such as "Leave it" or "No." Sometimes those things are necessary. The alpha rolls, picking dogs up by the skin on their cheeks, and manhandling them are the things that have been discredited. Dominant wolves never force a submissive wolf into a position on the ground. The submissive wolf rolls over voluntarily to show it is submissive. The alpha roll doesn't exist in the wolf's social world, and it mostly confuses dogs when a human does it to them. Here is an interesting thorough article on the subject:

To find a positive trainer, I recommend finding a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Here's a link to their website:

If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask.

Anna and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Rebeccca,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?


Related Dog Training Questions