Okay, lets take a step back here. Personally I think you should try to keep the puppy if you can. If you return him, the breeder is just going to sell again to someone else. At least you're here taking the initiative and asking for help. We can discuss the reputability of the breeder in another thread.
Anyway, to stay on topic, I got my first puppy a few months back, when he was 4months old. I also had lots of trouble potty training him. I tried all the textbook methods, but finally what worked for me was this:
The puppy liked to pee all over the house, but certain areas were more appealing, certain areas were less appealing. Remember, the dog will not potty where he plays, eats, and sleeps. For example, he knew the living room was a play/eat area, he would not pee there.
I limited him (using babygates) to the living/dining room area. He still had access his favorite corner of the room to pee on though, so I just placed lots of puppy pads where he liked to pee. From here on, if he made a mistake, I would quickly pick him up, put him the pads, and tell him "go potty". Even if he was still peeing, or if he was done peeing! You have to be consistent. After about 1-2 weeks, he got it, he was trained to go on the pads and also to the phrase "go potty". It takes a lot of time and patience so make sure you give it a good shot. It could take you 1 week, or 4 weeks, depends on the dog, so be patient.
Make sure you praise and reward the dog if he comes close to getting it right. Act like he just laid a gold brick for you, give him treats, get him excited, make sure he knows you are pleased.
Also, be sure to clean the pee spots thoroughly from the "no no" areas. You have to get the pee scent out of floor/carpet. There is a product out there called "Nature's Miracle" that is made for this purpose.
Just in case you need to know about pee pads: You can buy them at any pet store. There are different brands out there, some are just plain sanitary sheets, some are scented to stimulate the puppy to pee there, and some even have an absorbent material that also minimizes odor. I recommend the scented/absorbent kind.
Summary for potty training, my method is this:
1. Limit the puppy's movement.
2. Let the puppy pick his pee spot (for now at least) and put lots of puppy pads around
3. Correct the puppy if he makes a mistake, pick him up, put him on the pad, and tell him "go potty".
4. Clean the area and replace the dirty pads with clean ones. Dogs don't generally like to soil an area that is already dirty.
5. Be consistent and very patient.
6. Reward him generously when he does it right.
To make sure he doens't feel bored:
This may be easy, but I could be wrong. Puppies get tired quickly, and they need lots of sleep. If you can take the dog out for a quick walk, or a quick play session in the morning, he will nap for a good portion of the day until you get home. You can also give him a toy to pay with.
When you are home, take him out for quick walks, again, puppies get tired easily so short but frequent walks are good. Maybe half an hour when you get home, and another half our before bed time.
There are lots of different foods out there. Some good brands are wellness core, Orijen, Eagle Pack, Acana, Horizon Legacy, Canidae, Innova Evo. These are often refered to "holistic brands".
Generally speaking, "supermarket" brands like Iams and pedigree, aren't very good. If I had to pick a "supermarket" brand, it would be Royal Canin.
When you go shopping out for food, look at the ingredients on the back of the food pack. The ingredients are listed according to their proportions. ie: the ingredient that makes up most of the food would be the first ingredient. The first three ingredients should be some sort of meat. I would stay away if I saw any kind of grain, corn, potato as the first three ingredients. Maybe someone here can suggest a few good stores in Richmond Hill.
Almost forgot, the back of the food pack will tell you roughly how much you will need to feed. Fill up a bowl with the recommended daily amount and leave it out in the morning. I think thats the easiest way for your situation.
Hope this all helps. Come back if you have questions.
Last edited by LittleMonster; February 16th, 2009 at 09:41 PM.