House training a puppy is not difficult but it is time-consuming and requires attention on your part. It's easiest when the puppy is young. Older puppies and adult dogs can take longer since they have some bad habits to overcome but the process is the same.
First, have patience! You are building a relationship with your puppy and establishing communication that will be the foundation of future training. You want it to be positive for both of you. Prepare to clean up some "accidents" without making a deal out of it one way or another. You certainly do not want to either reward or punish. Just quietly clean it up and get over it.
Understand when your puppy will have to potty and plan to take him outside before that moment. It will be about 15-20 minutes after he eats or drinks, after he wakes up in the morning and after his naps. Your daily routine taking your puppy out will go something like this:
1. First thing in the morning as soon as he wakes up
2. After his breakfast
3. After his lunch
4. After his naps
5. After his dinner
6. Just before bedtime
7. During the night if your puppy wakes up and whimpers
Stay near your puppy when you go outside, even if he's able to run around the yard so you can praise him as soon as he does his business. Play with him for a few minutes afterwards or let him romp so he does not associate completing his potty with immediately having to go back inside. He could learn to stall and you do not want that!
It is often helpful to give him a gentle, happy-voice command, like "go poopie!" Egypt "piddle time!" as soon as he starts to go. This can sometimes speed the process later.
As your puppy gets older and he's better able physically to control his elimination, or "hold it", your trips outside will be less frequent, especially during the night. While the speed of maturity varies, you can expect a few accidents until your puppy is 4 months or so of age. There is no substitution for vigilance on your part!
You want to avoid your puppy piddling or pooping in the house as much as possible. There are two reasons for this. One, it is rewarding in itself for the puppy who really has to go for the relief of eliminating. Two, once urine is in the carpet specifically, that scent is always there and can stimulate your dog to urinate on that spot again and again.
If you have to be away from your puppy while he's still in training, a crate or small playpen where he's secure and comfortable can be very helpful to avoid accidents. Do not leave him in there for any longer than absolutely necessary. You do not want him to see this as punishment. On the contrary, your puppy's crate should be a safe, pleasant haven for him with a comfy pillow and toys.
If you do not want to use a crate, a kiddie or doggie gate at the kitchen door or similar place in a smaller area of your home that is not carpeted can be used. Be sure to make a comfy corner for him with a puppy bed and toys to keep him occupied when he is not napping.
Housebreaking a puppy does not have to be an unpleasant task! Think of it as a bonding experience – because it is – that will begin a long and wonderful relationship if it is done positively. The more fun you make potty training your puppy, the faster you will see results.