Crate Training is the start you need for potty training your puppy, as puppies naturally do not want to eliminate in their sleeping area, so if you are not right beside your puppy in the early stages of potty training, use the crate as described above.
Once you have your crate set up it is important to note that puppies have to eliminate within 10 to 20 minutes after they eat or drink. Puppies will also naturally want to eliminate in the same spot, so find a spot in your yard that you take them to, that feels safe for the puppy and is easy to get to once out of your house. The scent from previous urinations on that spot will act as a trigger for them to go there again. Because we litter train our puppies, it is natural for them to want to go in one spot and keep the rest of their area clean. This goes from our puppy play area, sleeping area (crate) and potty area and translated into your house (play area) and their crate (sleeping area) and your yard (potty area).
To start off with you are going to want to set a routine for your puppy. Start by picking them up and bringing them directly from their crate to the outside in the morning. This is to make sure that there are no accidents on the way to the door. It is important to give positive reinforcement when they do go potty outside. This can be with a small treat or a gentle pet and verbal approval. To start off with I recommend taking the puppy out within 10-15 minutes after eating and drinking and going out every 45 minutes to start off with, then extending that time as the days go on. This gives very little chance for accidents in the house in the first few days being in your home, so they get the idea quickly.
The most important thing to remember when potty training your puppy is to never scold them for having an accident. It will only cause more problems when training. Always use positive reinforcement for good behaviour.
Training Your Puppy!
Bell Training can be a great tool for your puppy to show you that they have to go outside to potty. This is easier for them to communicate with a bell versus sitting at the door, or barking when they need to go out.
To bell train, you are going to need to go get a bell that you can hear from a distance. Set the bell up hanging close enough to the ground that your puppy can reach it with either it's nose or paw.
1. Find an appropriate sized crate. Preferrably you wan to get one of the crates that has a divider that can grow with your puppy because if you get a crate that is too big when they are a puppy, they may still have accidents in it. It needs to be just big enough they can lay down comfortable and stand up and turn around comfortably.
2. Find bedding and toys for your crate to make it comfortable and appealing for your puppy. This area should be a sanctuary for your puppy so put their favourite chew toy in there with their favourite bed.
3. Place the crate in a busy part of your home that your puppy feels comfortable. You don't want your puppy to associate the crate with isolation from everyone. At night you can bring the crate into your bedroom so your puppy doesn't feel alone and can be with you.
4. Don't ever use the crate as a punishment for the dog and use the crate when you are home, this way the puppy doesn't associate the crate as a bad place or where they go when you leave them.
5. When you take you puppy out of the crate, always pick up your puppy right away and bring him/her outside to a designated 'pee' area. This will help to avoid accidents. Praise your puppy when they go pee outside. Never scold your puppy when they have an accident in the house, especially if you didn't catch it right away, just clean it up and disinfect with non-ammonia based cleaner to remove the smell and avoid future accidents.