Housebreaking your dog can be a daunting task, especially if it's a puppy. But it's a necessary evil, and you need time and patience for it. Would you like it if your dog, no matter how much you love it, dirties your new carpet, or keeps dirtying the very patch of floor you just cleaned? Surely not!
Start housebreaking puppies at an early age―when they are 7-8 weeks old. You will have to be strict with them. Being a dog lover myself, I know that when you look at their innocent eyes, you will not have the heart to scold them, but it's for their own good. You don't want a disobedient dog that you can't control, so better be strict with it when you can.
Take Them Outside
Since puppies cannot express what they want as eloquently as older dogs, take them outside quite frequently, mainly after they have had their meals, and after they wake up from their sleep. Walk them around for at least 15 to 30 minutes, 6-8 times a day. Allow them to roam around freely when they are outside, but do keep them on a leash. You do not want your dog to excrete on your neighbor's lawn (you don't, right?). Avoid areas where other dogs excrete, in order to prevent yours from catching any kind of infection. There should be a consistent location, so that the previous odor can be an indicator to guide the puppy. Allow it to sniff around. Movement helps stimulate elimination. Do not allow it to play around unless it's done with the business. While the dog is excreting, keep repeating phrases like "do your business", "go potty", etc., so that the dog associates the phrase with the action, time, and location.
When your dog excretes where it should, reward it. Do it as soon as they excrete as once they go back home, they become engaged in other activities. By doing this, you associate the act of eliminating in the correct place with the joyous reward of a treat or getting petted.
Indoor Supervision Required
Puppies can go just 2-4 hours without eliminating. Hence, you should always keep a track as to where they are when they are inside the house. Tie a bell around their neck or keep them in puppy-proof areas, such as a crate or a box. If you are away from home for long hours, you can't expect the puppy to have full control over its bladder. Ask someone who can take the responsibility of taking out the puppy, or provide it with papers or pads, left inside their crates.
Be Strict and Punish Them
You have to be strict while training puppies. Whenever it excretes where it is not supposed to, punish them. Sounds difficult, I know, but you have to do it. Sometimes, the owners try to punish the dog after they have excreted, but that is of no help. It will only instill a fear of the owner in the mind of the dog. What you have to do is whenever you see your dog showing signs of wanting to eliminate, stamp your feet hard or reprimand them, and then take them outside or wherever they usually eliminate. This will take time, but once the dog learns it, it really pays off.
Clean up the Soiled Areas
If your puppy accidentally soils a confined area, then clean it up immediately using antibacterial products. Do not let the odor remain, otherwise the dog will use the previous smell to excrete at the same place again.
Training, especially housebreaking, puppies needs lots of patience and time. But if you stick to it, your pet will be the best-behaved. A worthwhile tradeoff, definitely!