How to Potty Train Great Danes

Potty-training a great Dane is not a difficult task if you start early enough.

Potty-training a great Dane is not a difficult task if you start early enough.

When you think about great Danes, you probably think about how big they are. Though this may be true, great Danes are also very intelligent and easy to train. In fact, potty-training a great Dane is a very manageable task as long as you go about it correctly.

Create a personal space for your great Dane somewhere in your house where you will be able to leave it permanently set-up. Include a dog crate and your dog's water and food dishes as well as a box of his toys. This will be an area where your dog can go when he wants to rest and it will also play a large role during the potty-training process.

Line your Dane's crate with a soft blanket or dog bed. The crate itself should be just large enough for your dog to sit, lie down and turn around comfortably.

Keep your great Dane in his crate overnight and during long periods of time during which you are away from the house. Great Danes are naturally very clean animals, so keeping your dog in his crate during long absences will help limit the number of accidents he has in the house.

Let your dog outside just before putting him in the crate and do not leave any food or water in the crate with him because it could increase the risk of his having an accident. You should also let your dog outside immediately after releasing him from the crate.

Select a certain area of the yard to be the designated "potty zone" -- the area where you want your dog to go each time he needs to do his business. Lead your pal to this area of the yard each time you take him outside and wait for him to do his business.

Use a command phrase such as "go pee" or "let's go outside" each time you take your dog to the designated potty zone. Over time, your great Dane will learn to associate the command with the action, and he should eventually go to the potty zone whenever you use the command phrase, even if you do not lead him there yourself.

Praise your dog enthusiastically and offer him a small food reward each time he does his business in the designated area of the yard. Praise and reward are two highly effective ways to increase the probability that your Dane will repeat the desired behavior.

Keep a close eye on your great Dane while you are at home and limit his range within the house. Use baby gates or close doors to keep your dog within sight -- this way you will be able to watch for signs that your dog has to go, and if he does begin to go in the house, you may be able to interrupt him and take him outside.

Be patient and consistent with your dog as you are potty training. Great Danes typically respond well to training so, as long as you are consistent in issuing praise and reward when your dog performs well, the potty-training process could actually be fairly short.

Avoid punishing your dog for any accidents he has in the house during the training process. If you punish your dog for having an accident he may not only fail to connect the punishment with the action but he could also develop fear toward you as a result of the punishment.

Items you will need

  • Dog crate
  • Food and water dishes
  • Dog toys
  • Soft blanket or dog bed
  • Dog treats
  • Baby gates (optional)


  • Selecting the right size crate is an incredibly important step in potty training. Dogs have a natural aversion to soiling their dens, and if your dog's crate is just large enough to sleep in he will begin to think of it as his den, thus reducing the frequency of accidents in the crate.

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About the Author

Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.

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