Statistics show that more puppies are abandoned every year because of house-training problems than for any other reason. Correct house-training is one of the most important foundations of a healthy relationship with your puppy. It is your responsibility to establish good house-training habits.
I use and highly recommend using a crate for potty training among other things. Use schedule feeding your new pup until they are completely potty trained. I recommend feeding 2 or 3 times a day based on your schedule, though consistency is always best. The puppy will feel safe and secure knowing what and when to expect food and when he will get to go out to potty and play.
I fill the pups food bowl full and offer it to him for 20 minutes 2 or 3 times a day, allowing him to eat all he wants in that time. I then put the food away and pick the puppy up and take him outside to the location that you have chosen for him to go potty. I give him 5 or so minutes to go potty, if he goes I make a HUGE BIG DEAL about ” What a good puppy” and really praise him so he knows that is what you wanted.
If he doesn’t go potty right away I pick him up and hold him or if I cannot keep my eyes on him I put him in his crate and then in about 5 or so minutes I take him back out to go potty and if he doesn’t go I again crate or hold him. I do this until he finally goes potty outside. Once he does go potty you can allow him to run free inside, though supervised. I always keep my pups very close or on a leash next to me. He may start sniffing or walk in circles, which means he is looking for a potty spot. The main point is to not let him run free out of your site to prevent any accidents. The rule of thumb to remember is with a little pup, it is always “FOOD AND WATER IN and FOOD AND WATER OUT” usually within 10 to 15 minutes of eating or drinking. So if you schedule feed you have the control of when he goes potty for the most part. I use this method until he is completely potty trained usually within a week or two.
Another very important thing to remember is to use a divider (try a cardboard box placed in the back of the crate if you don’t have a divider) in your crate so you can keep his crate just big enough to stand up, turn around and sleep. Any bigger than that he may potty inside the crate. Pups do not like to potty where they sleep, so if you keep it small enough to sleep only they will be less likely to have accidents in their crate.
Young pups usually need to be taken out in the middle of the night to potty. They will usually let you know by either barking or whining.
It is hard for them to hold it all night at a young age, but the older they get the longer they can hold it and will be able to wait until morning.
I try to make the last meal of the day early enough that he goes to potty long before bedtime and then I take him out again just before bedtime. This way he may actually be able to hold it all night and I might get lucky and be able to sleep all night.
If you stick with this sometimes rigid schedule he will be potty trained in a few weeks or so and save you and your pup hours of frustration and clean up later on!
After the pup is completely potty trained you can remove the divider from the crate and use the crate for his own special place.
Dogs are Den Animals and love having their own place to sleep and hang out away from the world. His crate should always be a positive and safe place for him. He will grow to love it.
Your puppy should not live in his crate! Let him spend periods of time there when he can’t be watched, or when he is resting, and while being house-trained. When used this way it will teach the pup to hold himself and to help adjust to his new life in your home. Even when house-training is completed, the crate can continue to be used as a place for your pet to go rest and still feel a part of the family.
Crates are also great for confining your pup to keep him out of trouble when you can’t watch him. They are convenient if your pup needs to stay with a pet-sitter or if you are traveling and stay at a motel. A crate helps to create a familiar spot that your pet will be comfortable in.