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Crates should be large enough for the adult dog to stand, sit & stretch out. (Ideally for a puppy, you start with a smaller crate, or block off one end, so he can't turn one end into sleeping and the other for eliminating) A key principle is to teach you don't mess where you sleep and eat. Place the crate in an area so he is with you, and part of family activities, even as an observer. Do not put him in the basement. Place the crate in the kitchen or family room - if possible move it around with you. If possible, at night the crate should go in your bedroom. Not only does this provide comfort to the puppy, but your own sleeping patterns will encourage the pup to slumber on and form instinct. If there is any fussing, you're there to deal with it. Never take a pup out of a crate when he is fussing, that only teaches if he fusses enough, that he can come out. It rewards bad behavior. I wait till he stops fussing for about 5 minutes, and then take him out, without a big welcome. You can give him a special chew toy or treat, just for when he is in the crate. Lots of praise when he's inside, lengthening the periods you leave him in. Your crate routine should begin as soon as you bring your puppy home. Close the puppy in the crate at regular one-to-two-hour intervals, and whenever he must be left alone, for up to three or four hours. Remember, putting your dog into a crate, does not of itself house train a dog. To be successful, you want to prevent your puppy from making mistakes. Many people punish a dog like mad for messing in the house, and then virtually ignore the good behavior when they eliminate outside. So you get a dog that learns it is wrong to mess in the house when the owner is present. Never clean up a mess when the puppy is watching.
To prevent mistakes, don't let your pup have the run of the house. He needs 100% active supervision. If you must leave the room, even for a phone call, crate him or take him with you.
The first step is to start a regular feeding schedule. Confine him after eating for 10 to 15 minutes , then take him to elimination spot. I say "Go pee", they do understand, and will learn to pee on command. PRAISE him after he eliminates.
Then take him back in and play with him, or if he likes it outside, play with him outside, or take him for a walk (after 3rd set of shots). If he REALLY likes it outside, and you continually take him inside after eliminating, he will learn to HOLD it to extend his outside time. If you plan to take him for a walk, then he should do his eliminating at home, before you go. Many people take their pups for a walk, and as soon as they eliminate, they bring the dog home, thus sending the message that they are going home because they eliminated. If you want to start your walk right away, do not turn around and head home, as soon as he poops.
After ½ hour play, crate him for a nap. Every hour, (or so as he ages) take him out to pee. If he pees, give him play time, if not back into crate. Just remember prevention of mistakes, and rewarding for good behavior.
6 weeks - elimination every hour 2 month - pup should have 2 to 3 hours of control 3 months - 4 hours 4 month & up - 5 hours. Many young dogs can go all night at 3 months
Always take the puppy out the same door, the one you are going to want him to signal at. Bells work great for some owners. Hang bells on the door, and give them a kick every time you open the door. Some dogs can be quiet, and stand at the door and look at it, some will let out a little yip, but others rely on you to see them standing at the door. So bells can be a marvelous tool. They will learn to swat them to get the door to open. Others use doggy doors. But a young pup can never be sent out to pee, he must be taken out.