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Sirscarecrow: I agree with Sigurd's mom. A puppy should always be in your line of sight, even tethered to you if need be. It should also be frequently taken outside, even when it does not make an obvious sign of wanting to go to the bathroom. But especially after meals and naps, it should be taken outside and whenever it is giving the slightest hint that it wants to go to the bathroom. I used to take my puppy out at least every two hours and profusely praise him when he did poo or pee.

When he learned to use his doggie door, followed me outside, and relieved himself once on the back lawn, he not only received praise, he received a treat. When he had two accidents, I picked him up right away and took him outside. No yelling or punishing. Like everyone said, I consider the accidents my fault in a moment of being inattentive to him. Like Sigurd's mom, my puppy was housebroken in one week, regularly using his doggy door without being coaxed or invited and going to the yard to relieve himself.
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