If you are free-feeding your dog, I would advise switching to a feeding schedule just as you are starting to housebreak her. If there is always food available, then she won’t have a good schedule and it will be harder for you to keep up with her housebreaking as you’ll never know when she has to go. I feed my own dogs twice a day, but if you have a puppy, you could offer meals 3 times a day. Put it down for 15 minutes, and if she doesn’t eat, pick it back up and don’t give her more until her next scheduled feeding time. It shouldn’t take long for her to realize that food isn’t available 24 hours a day, and that she should eat when it’s offered. You’ll want to get her on a routine potty schedule as well. Puppies thrive on schedules, much like infants. Take her out to potty (or to her pee pads) immediately after she wakes up from a nap, after she eats, after she drinks, after she plays, etc. You’ll want to take her out at least once an hour while she’s awake. When you are gone, or can’t have both eyes on her, I highly recommend using a crate. Most dogs will not soil their crate unless it’s an absolute emergency, which make them great tools for housetraining. To help her get accustomed to the crate, sometimes it helps to give her special treats in it. Kongs (a rubber toy you can get at nearly any pet store) are great for this. I like to fill them with peanut butter or spray cheese, freeze it, and give it to my dog in his crate when I am leaving for a length of time. This is a good starting point.
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