If you are trying to housebreak a dog, it is essential to make special arrangements in order to allow the dog to relieve himself in the middle of the day. Until the dog is at least seven months, he will not be able to contain himself inside the crate for eight hours. You will only create mistakes if the dog is forced to relieve himself inside the crate, and make the job of housebreaking him even more difficult.
Once your dog is six months of age and no longer requires three meals a day, you can gradually extend the time that he is in the crate. This can be done by slowly pushing the lunch break closer and closer to the hour you are due home in the evening, as long as the dog is not making mistakes.
If you are paper training your dog, you will need to confine your dog in the area in which you have chosen to paper train him. Follow the schedule as you normally would, but before you leave for the day, take your dog out of his crate and confine him to the area with the aid of a wire-mesh puppy gate. Wire is a better choice than wood or plastic because the dog will not be able to chew his way through it. You cannot simply close the door in order to confine the dog to the room, as he will feel trapped and isolated from the rest of his family if he cannot see what’s on the other side. This creates “separation anxiety” and the dog will probably react by chewing and clawing at the doors and walls of the room, as well as barking and howling up a storm. A good sturdy see-through puppy gate will eliminate this problem.
When you arrive home at the end of your day remove the dog from the area and change the paper. Remember to put a slightly soiled sheen underneath a few new ones in the vicinity you wish the dog to eliminate, there by “seeding” a scent.
You will also need to “dogproof” the area in which you confine your pup. Remove all cleansers, soaps, rugs, towels, brooms, mops and anything the dog might chew or ingest. Covering wires and PVC pipes with a “Bitter Apple”, or comparable product should make it undesirable. If you have chosen to confine your dog in the bathroom, you may want to keep the toilet seat down and consider removing toilet bowl cleaners just in case someone accidentally leaves the lid up. Also, lift the shower curtain up out of the way and remove the toilet tissue roll. Most importantly, leave your dog something safe to chew on, like a Nylabone®