What if I don’t like putting my dog in a crate?
Crate confinement is a temporary training measure and it’s the best way to teach your dog three-step housetraining, where to eliminate, and what to chew. Once your pup has learned those lessons he may be given free run of the house and garden for the rest of his life.
If, on the other hand, your untrained dog or puppy is given unsupervised free run of the house from the outset, the odds are that he’ll be confined later on–first to the yard, then to the basement, then to a cage in an animal shelter, and then to a coffin. Without a doubt, housesoiling and destructive chewing are the two most common terminal illnesses in dogs. Using a dog crate will help you solve these problems or prevent them from ever developing.
However, if you absolutely can’t stand the idea of keeping your dog confined, there’s an alternative. You can keep the dog on a short leash, which you attach either to your belt or to an eye-hook that’s screwed into the baseboard of your house. If you put eye-hooks in every room, you can take the pup with you as you move about the house. This way the dog is still restricted to small areas where he’s unlikely to eliminate.
The rest of the technique is the same as for regular housetraining. Every 45 to 60 minutes, take the dog outside to the toilet area and reward him lavishly with praise and treats for using it. Once your pup is urine- and feces-free, you can give him about 10 or 15 minutes of off-leash supervised play and training time with you. What better reward for a successful elimination trip?