Gail Fisher's Dog Tracks House training isn't difficult if you are willing to be diligent

LARRY, our Chinook , is 17 weeks old. It's been nearly two weeks since he's had an “accident” in the . I used quotation marks around accident because during the house process, if a puppy eliminates indoors rather than outside, the fault is the human's, not the puppy's. I've been really diligent about house Larry, and it seems to have paid off.

The best way to house train a puppy is to use a crate.

Since most dogs avoid soiling where they sleep, a crate encourages control. Before four months of age, a puppy doesn't have much bladder capacity or sphincter control. He'll need to relieve himself frequently. Many people mistakenly think that when a puppy can make it through the night without going to the bathroom, he can hold it for eight hours during the day. The truth is that bodily functions slow down at night, enabling dogs (and people) to sleep through the night. Not true during the day.

The many times a puppy will need to relief himself are predictable: upon waking, after eating, during or after play or excitement, during or after chewing, and just because it's been a while. If you puppy sniffs around and circles with his head down, it's likely he's about to squat – not always, but sometimes. Watch for these signs so you can quickly get your puppy outside.

Following these simple rules makes house training painless and relatively quick:

. Go outside with your puppy and praise him every time he eliminates outside. Continue quietly praising (verbal praise) the entire time he's squatting.

. When you

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