"'Help! My dog is tearing-up my house and I'm ready to kill her!'
This is one of the most common complaints driving people to call a dog trainer. And the cause is almost always the same simple thing: people give their puppies and young dogs too much freedom much too soon.
There's no one best way to train the average dog (contrary to what many author-trainers may tell you in their books). But almost all trainers agree on this: puppies should not have free run of your home until they're at least two years old. The only sure-fire way to keep them from going to town on your couch cushions is to limit their access. How?
By using a crate to confine a younger puppy (especially one that isn't housebroken). And once a puppy has been reliably potty-trained to go outdoors only, then you can experiment with limited freedom by using baby gates to confine your teen-age puppy to a single small room -- say, your kitchen."
Puppy Kisses are Good for the Soul, by Howard Weinstein & Mail Order Annie (the Corgi)
Note: we used baby gates for Lulu, and they worked like a charm. (We actually used 2-3, leaving them open at certain times and closed at others, in order to limit her freedom around the house until we were sure she was potty trained.) Even after she was housebroken, we found the gates to be useful when we needed to leave and wanted her to be kept in certain parts of the house.
Christina & Lu