Please do not get discouraged. Like much in Dog Training, this can be accomplished if we develop a routine and are consistent.
As many of you know, I encourage crate training with puppies. When you are not at home or when you are sleeping the puppy should be in a crate.
These crates vary greatly in price depending upon where you buy them. The lovely Shane and I made a trip to a local store called "Tuesday Morning" I was surprised to find that not only did they have a good selection of crates but they also had pretty good prices as well. I will give you another tip, Petco sells their crates much cheaper on the website than they do in the store. They do not advertise this but, if you are nice to them they will usually match the web site price in the store if the item is identical. Also, Wal-Mart, Big Lots and Lowes all carry crates. So shop around for the best deal.
I also discourage people from spending a lot on crate pads or bedding for a puppy. Until they get out of the chewing stage, I recommend old towels, blankets, etc.
When you are at home, it is important that you keep the dog where you can see him. That means in the same room with you. Generally a puppy will eliminate in another room not right in front of you. So keeping him confined helps. Also this makes it easier for you to spot the indications that he may have to go (restlessness, circling a spot, etc.)
I know it is frustrating but, please resist the urge to yell at the little guy when he has an accident. If you catch him in the act, clip on the leash and take him outside. If you don't catch him in the act, simply clean the mess.
Speaking of cleaning: It is very important that any mess he makes is cleaned up very well. He should not smell the urine/feces. This is difficult when it occurs on carpet. I strongly recommend cleaning any accidents that occur on carpet with a enzymatic cleaner.
Okay, a few things to remember here, in regards to housebreaking:
- A puppy can generally only hold it for a maximum of one hour for every month of age. This is just a rule of thumb and this is only for waking hours. When the puppy is sleeping his metabolism slows and he can wait longer to go. Also, small breed dogs have smaller bladder and colon muscles. When they are puppies they are not yet fully developed. So, I have found that small breed puppies may need to go out more often. That being said, take your puppy out often when you are home.Give him the best chance to succeed!