How To Do It and Why It Is Important
The easiest way to accomplish that important house training of your new puppy is to use a crate. By following the steps described here, success will be assured and your puppy will be accident free much faster than with any other method. What is even more important is that he will be a happier and safer puppy because he is accustomed to being crated some of the time.
Using a crate is gentle and humane and dogs, being den animals, like their crates because it is "home". The most important rule in house training is consistency. Set up a schedule and stick with it for as long as it takes (and a week or two longer, just to be sure). The puppy is to be in his crate at all times unless he is (a) out for a brief playtime or (b) being exercised. Only after he has urinated and/or had a bowel movement outside can he be let out to play and then only for a brief period. Puppies like to eat and sleep so they really don't need to be out for long periods. They should always be crated at night and when you are away from home. This protects both the puppy and your furniture and carpets.
The key to training the puppy (or adult that has not been crated before) is to make going into the crate a treat and not a punishment. Keep a container of puppy kibble nearby and each time the pup is put into his crate, a single piece of kibble goes in first. He goes in to get his treat and the door is closed. Inside the crate will be a small sized toy, one that cannot be swallowed or destroyed by chewing. If the pup fusses, he is spoken to and calmed. Once he is quiet, he can be removed from the crate for cuddling – but never while he is being vocal. Not all pups can have a towel in the crate, if they are chewers, but bedding also adds to the level of contentment.
It is important that there be playtime before putting him in the crate so that he is tired and ready for a nap. Keeping the crate near your chair is good because he feels your closeness and you can always stick a finger or two through the grate to let him lick and to reassure him that he is not alone. Once he stirs and is awake from his nap, take him outside, praise him to the hilt when he does his business and bring him in for a drink and more play-time.
Now about his house training:
Puppies should be able to sleep all night in their crates without an accident by 3 months of age. He is to go outside immediately when he wakes up. Stay with him until he goes, praise him to the extreme and give him a small treat (piece of kibble, cheerio or bit of dog biscuit), then bring him back inside.
Use a high pitched voice for praise and a low pitch for scolding - but dogs do much better with praise than scolding! Only scold if you are present when the accident occurs. To scold him, pick him up and look him in the eye, then take him outside.
NO HITTING EVER!
Feed the puppy when you bring him in and then take him back outside within 15-20 minutes after his meal. His crate is a good place for him to eat without the cat or the baby getting into his food. Continue to take him outside at least every two hours until you determine his schedule for relieving himself. This may involve all members of the household keeping a chart so that you can understand how often he needs to be outside. Obviously he must go out just before bedtime.
Anytime during the day when you cannot give the puppy your full attention, he should be in his crate. This means when you are on the phone, cooking, cleaning, dressing, playing, eating, sleeping, ad infinitum. If you are to be successful, you must be able to watch him when he is not crated. If you must leave the puppy longer and do not want to crate him, use a small confined area free of dangerous electrical cords or anything that can be chewed. Leave his crate with the door open for easy access. However, crating is the better method for housetraining and should be done as much as possible.