Are German Shorthair Easy to Potty Train?

General Shorthairs are quite easy to potty train owing to their friendly personality and high intelligence, which often makes potty training a breeze. That said, how efficient your dog is when it comes to potty training also depends on how well you have trained them. 

In this blog, you will find out: Are german shorthair easy to potty train. We will also be sharing some potty training tips and tricks to help you navigate your journey as a German Shorthair parent. Dive in! 

German Shorthairs and Potty Training

In order to find out whether or not your German Shorthair is truly a good boy when it comes to potty training, we will have to explore the behavioral roots of its ancestors. 

This breed has a rich history that traces back to the mid-19th century, where this dog was bred by hunters after crossing many other hunting breeds like the English pointer, Foxhound, the Bloodhound and the Old Spanish pointer. 

Since all these dogs had a strong sense of security towards their owner and were incredibly easy to train, the German Shorthair came out no different. 

Traits like their high energy, strong prey drive, keen sense of smell contribute to their trainability as well. 

That said, no two dogs are exactly the same when it comes to potty training and habits. Here are a few reasons why GSPs are generally considered good at potty training: 

  • Intelligence: GSPs are known for their intelligence, which enables them to learn and understand new commands quickly. This trait can make potty training relatively easy, as they can quickly grasp the concept of eliminating outdoors.
  • Eagerness to please: GSPs are typically very eager to please their owners, which can make training smoother. They are likely to respond well to positive reinforcement, which is a key component of successful potty training.
  • Trainability: German Shorthaired Pointers have a history of being versatile hunting dogs, which means they were bred to be highly trainable. This breed is generally good at learning various tasks, including potty training.

Potty Training Your German Shorthaired Pointer

Before starting the potty training process, gather the following essential items:

  • Crate: Choose a crate that is large enough for your GSP to stand, turn around, and lie down in comfortably, but not too large, as it might encourage your pup to poop in a corner.
  • Leash and collar: A sturdy, adjustable collar and leash will help you maintain control during potty breaks.
  • Potty pads or newspaper: These can be used to cover the area you designate for your dog’s potty breaks, making cleanup easier.
  • Treats: High-quality treats will serve as rewards for successful potty breaks and help reinforce the desired behavior.
  • Cleaning supplies: Accidents will happen, so be prepared with pet-safe cleaning products to remove stains and odors.

Step-by-step In-depth Guide

Now, let’s switch gears to the potty training process itself. Follow these steps to effectively housebreak your German Shorthaired Pointer:

  1. Establish a routine: Consistency is crucial when it comes to potty training. Set up a schedule for feeding, playtime, and potty breaks to help your GSP understand when it’s time to go.
  2. Take your pup out frequently: Young puppies have small bladders and may need to go out as often as every 30-60 minutes. As they grow and gain control, you can gradually extend the time between breaks.
  3. Choose a designated potty spot: Select an area outdoors where you’d like your GSP to do its business. Consistently taking your pup to this spot will help them understand where they should go.
  4. Use a command: As your dog begins to poop, use a consistent verbal cue, such as “go potty” or “do your business.” Over time, your GSP will associate this command with the act of defecating.
  5. Praise and reward: After your pup successfully poops in the designated area, provide immediate praise and a treat. This positive reinforcement will encourage your GSP to repeat the behavior.
  6. Crate training: Utilize crate training to help prevent accidents indoors. Dogs naturally avoid soiling their sleeping areas, so confining your GSP to a crate when unsupervised can aid in housebreaking.
  7. Monitor for signs: Watch for signs that your GSP needs to go, such as sniffing, circling, or whining. When you notice these behaviors, promptly take your dog outside.
  8. Clean up accidents: If your pup has an accident indoors, clean it up immediately with a pet-safe cleaning solution to remove odors and discourage repeat incidents.

General Training Tips for a German Shorthair Pointer

In addition to the step-by-step guide, here are some valuable training tips to ensure potty training success for your GSP:

  • Patience is key: Potty training can be a frustrating process, but it’s essential to remain patient and calm. Getting angry or punishing your dog for accidents may only hinder their progress.
  • Keep a close eye on your pup: Monitoring your GSP closely, especially during the early stages of training, will help you intervene before accidents happen.
  • Adjust feeding times: Feeding your dog on a consistent schedule will make it easier to predict when they need to poop. Avoid feeding your GSP too close to bedtime, as this can lead to accidents overnight.
  • Gradually increase freedom: As your German Shorthaired Pointer becomes more reliable with potty training, you can start to give them more freedom to roam the house under supervision. However, do this gradually and always monitor them for signs they need to go out.
  • Consistency is crucial: Ensure that all family members are on the same page with potty training techniques, commands, and expectations. Consistent communication and reinforcement will help your GSP learn faster.
  • Socialize your dog: Expose your GSP to various environments and situations to help them become well-rounded and confident. A well-socialized dog is more likely to respond positively to training.
  • Maintain realistic expectations: Remember that every dog is different, and potty training success may take longer for some GSPs. Don’t get discouraged if progress is slow – keep up the consistency and positive reinforcement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know everything about this topic, here are a few more questions & answers that will help you as a pet parent: 

How Long Does it Take to Potty Train a German Shorthaired Pointer? 

A German Shorthaired Pointer is a quick learner and can be easily potty trained within 3 weeks provided you give him/her at least 15 minutes of attention daily. Make sure to use positive reinforcement and stay patient when training your dog. 

What Dog is the Hardest to Potty Train? 

Dogs which are the hardest to potty train include: 

  • Dachshund 
  • Dalmatian 
  • Jack Russel Terrier 
  • Afghan Hound 
  • Pomeranian 

What is the Easiest Dog to Potty Train? 

Border Collie and German Shepherds are renowned for their impressive trainability. Other breeds which are easy to potty train are: 

  • Doberman
  • Papillon
  • Golden retriever 
  • Labrador 
  • Poodle 
  • Australian shepherd 


To sum up, German Shorthaired Pointers are quite easy to potty train, provided you take all the right steps when training your dog and be patient & loving. 

Since this is an intelligent breed, they do quite well with instructions and are also excellent when it comes to pooping in their crates or designated places. 

Make sure to seek professional help if you encounter any issues when training your GSP. With dedication and the right approach, your GSP should learn proper potty habits and become a well-mannered member of your household.

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