The first step in house training is to decide whether your pup will be trained to only eliminate outdoors or have the option of using a dog pee pee pads.
A dog or puppy is either house trained or not. Unless you can catch him, it really does not do any good to drag him off to the site of his mishap and try and punish him. Keep your dog in sight and if he is bold enough to try something in front of you, say "No," get his attention, and take him outdoors quickly so he can finish eliminating in the appropriate area. He is in your house, he has to earn his freedom through good behavior and this is your responsibility.
If your dog will be trained to eliminate only outdoors, start by establishing an elimination spot. In the morning, clip his leash to his collar and take the dog outdoors to his spot for elimination. State commands like "go potty" or "hurry up." After he does his duty give him a treat and tell him he was a good boy, Use your Happy Voice.
Providing your dog or puppy with a crate that is way too large may allow him to relieve himself in one end and sleep in the other. Make sure you take your dog or puppy outdoors to eliminate on a regular schedule and especially prior to being left for prolonged periods of time.
If you are going to be playing and interacting with your puppy, he would be free to be out of his crate as long as you like. He will start to circle and sniff and look for a place to potty when he has to go and when you are watching him, you can quickly take him to his potty spot. By watching closely, you will soon learn your puppy's individual body language. Minimize your pup's chances of making a mistake by predicting when he will need to relieve himself. The critical times to watch are : as soon as he awakens, as soon as he finishes a meal, first thing in the morning, after a play session, and of course, as soon as you take him out of his crate. Do NOT let your puppy run lose when your eyes are not on him....even for a couple minutes. Each time your puppy has an accident, he is being trained to potty in that spot. Each time the puppy goes in the right spot, he is being trained to relieve himself there. Consistent training will bring consistent results.
You may found it helpful to have an exercise pen for the house, and one for the yard, (Please so not leave them out in real cold or hot weather). The exercise pen inside the house is puppy's safe haven when you are not at home. Place the other exercise pen in the spot you wish your dog to use as a permanent potty spot, both as a puppy and adult. Put your puppy in the exercise pen when it is time for him to potty, and step back a few steps (or watch him through the door or window). This will help your puppy get down to the business of going potty more quickly than if he was on a leash, or running loose.
Even well-trained dogs sometimes have accidents. Clean the accident area with a pet odor neutralizer so your dog won't be tempted to repeat his mistake. Raising a puppy is very much like raising a human baby only a puppy will mature at a faster rate. It is up to you, the parent, to establish boundaries, train your puppy and understand their various stages of physical and mental development and provide all their care. When you're raising a pup there are going to be moments of frustration, times when you have to be creative with training (not all things work with all pups). By 4-6 months your pup will be well on their way to a well trained individual as long as you've done your part but they won't be perfect. With your hard work, patience, continuity and love, your energetic puppy will bloom into a dedicated and well trained adult.
It will be helpful to you and your new puppy if you enroll in a puppy obedience class. This class will strengthen the bond between you and your puppy, teach you both about basic obedience and be a continued socialization opportunity for your puppy. This class can be started as soon as your puppy has completed his puppy shots (usually between 12 and 16 weeks). If you prefer, professional trainers can also do individual classes, or come to your home for private lessons.
Tabatha (Tabby) Tracy