We were lucky in that Louis caught on very quickly. In fact i think it only took 3-5 messes (mostly pee). We also got onto a strict schedule early. He learned our schedule was the one to use. As fas as the mess goes, you have to catch them at it for the best effect. I used a stern voice and never hit (i hate that). I put him close to it and said no a few times and took him outside. Then made sure this was not play time and made sure he went potty. When we got in we made sure to ignore him... this was the hardest part for me(i'm a soft/easy daddy, lol). He hated the ignore part and it seemed to work. He would finally come up to us head low with tiny boxer wiggles. Then he would give light kisses to make up. So over all i think it worked.