Tips for House Training
Decide on a command for "going potty" that you probably won't say accidentally during the day. My dog's command is "Do your business" then when he goes, I tell him "good business." As she is going, tell her "good (insert your command here)" and give her a small (pea sized) treat when she's done. When you take your puppy outside, it should be all business until she goes, then you can have play time.
Have a designated "Potty Area" in your yard where she is supposed to go. This will not only help establish a routine for her, but also make it easier to keep your yard clean. When first starting out, it's good to leave a few piles of feces in the area so that she can smell them and recognize her potty area. However, don't allow her to eat her feces, since this is a very good way to transmit intestinal parasites.
Hang a bell that's loud enough for you to hear but not loud enough to scare your puppy on the door that you use most frequently. Make sure the bell is at a height that she can reach it with her nose. Every time you take your puppy outside, ring the bell first. She will begin to associate the ringing of the bell with going outside and doing her business. Pay attention, because after a few days you'll hear the bell ring and she will be standing there waiting for you to take her outside. Don't dawdle when she rings it, stop what you're doing and take her outside immediately, give her the command, and proceed as usual. Eventually you'll be hearing the bell more than you ever wanted to!
When you're home, keep a close eye on your dog. You want to take her outside before she's thinking about going potty. This means you should take her outside every hour and a half to two hours. If she has an accident, it's because you were paying close enough attention! When you cannot give your dog your undivided attention, she should be confined to a crate or small pen area within the house.
A short blurb on crate training:
Your dog's crate should be her sanctuary where she can go to rest when she's tired and a place that she feel comfortable being. There should always be a selection of her favorite toys in her crate. I like to always have a rawhide in the crate too, to encourage appropriate chewing, not destructive chewing. Crates shouldn't be used for punishment, time outs should occur in a separate area of the house. If you have questions on crate training, please see the crate training guide.
If your dog is messing in her crate, it's probably too big. A dog's crate should be just big enough that she has room to enter, turn around, and lay down. Puppies grow rapidly and who wants to buy a bunch of crates she'll outgrow in no time? There are a few solutions:
• Many crates come with dividers that allow for adjustment as the puppy grows.
• Get a large box that will take up the extra space and block off the extra area in the crate. One disadvantage to this approach is that the box may become a chew toy, or become soiled if she has an accident.
If your puppy has an accident in the house, DON'T punish her. Pets have a very short memory span regarding their actions. She won't know why you're punishing her, so DON'T. Simply clean up the mess, being sure to use a suitable cleaning solution that will eliminate the odor she can smell and you can't (I recommend Nature's Miracle Pet Stain & Odor Remover). If you catch her in the act of making a mess in the house, calmly tell her "No!" (which will usually startle her and stop the messing), pick her up, and take her outside to her potty area, give her the potty command and proceed as usual.