I am considering getting my first dog which will be a German Shepherd or Border Collie puppy. The thing I am most worried about is effectively potty training the puppy. After doing some research, I found that crate potty training is most effective since dogs tend not to go where they sleep.

My question is will the following approach work: I plan on placing the crate throughout my house where I don’t want the dog to go. I will do this in intervals of a few days per location while taking the puppy outside regularly. The goal is for the puppy to learn that essentially the entire house is where he sleeps. Would this approach be effective or can the puppy learn overtime to go outside with a permanent crate location?

  • From I've read shifting location isn't necessary. You're aiming to teach where to toilet (outside) and taking advantage of it's natural aversion to soiling it's bed. I know there is a method where you teach puppies to use a piece of astro turf. You gradually move it from inside the house, when they are too young / not fully vaccinated, to the area of the yard you want them to toilet in.
    – SAM A
    Jan 14, 2018 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


Sounds more complicated than it has to be. Leave the kennel where it's supposed to be, as a safe space to sleep, get some time off, etc. something the puppy can rely on. If there's something scary outside, the dog might want to hide in it while it's not right on the way in.

Instead just make the whole house into a playground. Accidents can and will happen, no matter where you move the crate. Also remember that "playing" doesn't have to revolve around throwing balls or running. Just moving around with some talking and body contact can be enough.

You can also get training pads (which are basically like flat diapers) to place on the ground. Your puppy can use those for emergencies and you can move it closer to the door over time. For more details have a look at this related question regarding to potty training.

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