One of the easiest and most effective ways of housebreaking your new puppy is to use a crate or airline carrier. With this method, the crate becomes the pup’s own “room” for sleeping. Put in bedding and a non-spillable waterbowl. A period of adjustment is required, but most dogs come to prefer their den for sleeping.
Since they naturally do not want to soil their sleeping area, they will try to control eliminations until they are out of the crate. The owner must begin by placing the pup in the crate for short periods of time and taking the pup outside for eliminations immediately after letting the puppy out of the crate. It is very important that the owner stay with the puppy until he eliminates, praising him when he does so. This practice provides positive reinforcement of the idea that the proper thing to do is to eliminate when allowed out of the crate.
Initially the pup may only be able to stay confined for a couple hours, but this time may gradually be increased. This method does require some effort on the part of the owner; the puppy cannot just be left 8 to 9 hours at first. If left too long at first, the puppy’s desire to keep it’s sleeping area clean will be overridden by it’s physical limits, and the method will not work well. The puppy can be placed in the crate anytime the owner is unable to watch directly over him.
Other tips include taking the pup out immediately after meals, waking, playing, or any excitement, such as a visitor. Although time and effort are required initially, the investment will pay off with a much better pet and fewer housebreaking worries in the long run.