When housebreaking, crate training a puppy should be used at the same time, for faster progress.
Dogs do not like to sleep where they poop and pee, and therefore will try and hold themselves longer than they would, if they were just out running around.
Being in an enclosure forces a dog to think about his actions.
When he is running around, he doesn't give a second thought to whether or not he HAS to go, he just goes!
However, if he is in a pen, then he does stop to think about whether or
not he can wait for awhile, since not waiting, means having to sleep
with his mess.
This is why being in a cage accelerates the housebreaking process.
When using an enclosure for training, there are a few things to avoid, as they will sabotage your housebreaking efforts.
Do not feed or water your puppy while he is in the crate. I can not believe the people that advise doing this. It totally flies in the face of logic!
Putting water inside, for him to drink, is the same as begging him to then pee in his cage!
A crate is not designed to be the puppy's living quarters, it is only for training purposes, when you do not have time to watch him properly.
There is absolutely no reason for putting food or water inside of the cage, as your dog should not be spending all of his time in it.
Do not use blankets or towels in the pen, while he is still in the housebreaking process.
The thickness of these, allow for too much absorption, and many puppies have no problem peeing on the blanket.
I use a thin layer of newspaper instead.
The paper stops any puddles of pee, when there is an accident, but still leaves the enclosure wet enough, that the puppy does not like it.
Sometimes your puppy may have a bit of fun shredding up the newspaper, but he will not do this forever, I promise!
After he is completely housebroken, then you can add blankets inside of the cage, if you desire.