During housetraining, it is very important to stick to a feeding schedule. If you always feed your dog at the same time, you'll be able to figure out in no time when he'll need to eliminate. Consequently, every time you give your dog the chance to do the right thing (that is, bringing him to his elimination zone or toilet stop on time), you help him learn faster what you expect from him.
Think about it from your puppy's perspective: dogs learn by association and want to repeat behaviors that cause something positive to happen. During the housetraining process, praise and play are for your puppy the positive consequences of eliminating at the right spot.
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Fundamentals of Dog and Puppy Training. Although dogs shouldn't be attributed with having human characteristics, they are intelligent enough to be able to understand the concept of, and execute, certain actions that their owners require of them - if these actions are asked in a way that dogs find rewarding.