The most important thing is to make your puppy's crate a place that he/she likes. Never use a crate as punishment. I normally give a treat when I first put the puppy in the crate and have their favorite "blankie" and toy's in there also. I have also found that putting a quilt or sheet (depending on the weather) over the crate (leaving just the door side open up to allow the baby to see out, and you see in), making it more "cave" like, which is a natural environment for a dog. I think it makes them feel more "secure" and "homey" for them.
The first that I see the baby waking up from a nap, he/she is out the door to pottie. Then it's feeding time and within 15 minutes, back out the door for another pottie time. An hour or so after play time (depending on the age of the puppy), I take the baby and back outside for one last "pottie" trip before back to bed for another nap. I continuously repeat these steps till he/she gets the idea that pottie is outside..Be sure to really "praise" the baby after he/she "tinkles" or "poops", and reward with treats.
A puppy really doesn't quite understand all this until he is 10 to 12 weeks old and sometimes even older. Consistency and rewards eventually makes the puppy understand what inside and outside is for. It takes time and alot of keeping one eye open but he/she will catch on...Whatever you do...PLEASE, NEVER USE A CRATE AS PUNISHMENT !!!!!!!
If you have an area that you can enclose with a little paddock fence right off your back door, put the fence up and put the crate door facing out the door (leave the crate door open) so the puppy has access to the outside fenced in area but can also go into his/her crate to sleep. I push my crate up to the sliding glass door, pull the door into the side of the crate and the puppy can go in an out as he/she wants. They train themselves..but of course this can only be done weather permitting!
If you want housebreaking to go quickly, regardless of the method you use, spend as much time as possible with your puppy.
Housebreaking Rule Number One: This is The Most Important Rule If you don't catch your puppy doing it then don't punish him for it!
Housebreaking Rule Number Two: Praise your puppy when things go right. Don't let this be a situation where your only action is saying "No" when they are caught in the midst of using the wrong area. If they do it right, let them know! House training your puppy begins with a good feeding and watering routine. Establish set times for eating from the beginning. A young dog needs to eat several times a day so this means that he will also need to eliminate several times daily.
Feedings should be scheduled whenever someone will be home to allow your puppy to the proper elimination location. Your puppy will most likely eliminate within 10-20 minutes after eating. Your housetraining will be most successful if you can take your puppy outside at these times. The focus on housetraining should then be to teaching your puppy where to go. With encouragement, your puppy should soon learn that where to go is outside.
INSIDE THE HOME
Supervision and confinement are the two most important tools in successful housetraining. Keep him in the room with you, using a leash if necessary to prevent him from wondering off. When you notice restlessness or whining hustle him outside. If you cannot supervise your puppy, confinement may be necessary. Try using child gates or a dog crate. Don't confine the puppy so frequently that it feels isolated. A puppy is a sociable animal and needs to be with people or other pets.