"It's impossible, I can't watch the dog all day long." "You can't watch a dog 100% of the time." "I don't have time to do this." Do you even know how many times that I've heard these phrases? Too many times; I'll tell ya that. All I have to say about this is; if you want your puppy to get a quick education, you have to be there. Bottom line, if you aren't there you cannot give feedback resulting in no educating. Whether it is good or bad feedback, if you are absent, so is the lesson.
Of course I realize that in real life there are times when you cannot keep your eyes on that new little bundle, that's what crates, exercise pens, playpens etc. are for. For those short times when you cannot keep your eye on your pooch, placing them in a safe contained area is a great idea. 1. It lessons the likelihood of an accident. 2. None of your "stuff" is going to be destroyed. And 3. Your puppy is safe and sound in their containment compartment. It is not mean, cruel or anything similar, it's smart.
I have had many calls in the past from owners who are at the end of their rope. Something has to change or the dog is going to have to go. I know a couple who had two leather couches eaten before I got the call. Another new owner had the legs of their antique dining room table chewed up. And many who seem to have an un-house trainable dog. The solution is such a simple one; and once many of these owners were enlightened their lives went back to normal. Well as normal as it can be with a new puppy.
Dogs do not have to destroy your home or belongings and teaching them to use the outdoors to relieve themselves is pretty easy. But you have to supervise them 100% of the time when they are out and about. You just have to. And if you find that you cannot, sliding here and there then there are going to be accidents, there just are. The strict surveillance requirements of a puppy are high, but in the long run they pay off in bucket loads. Perhaps even bucket loads of money, the money that you did not have to spend to replace all your great stuff.
Containment areas are extremely useful training aids. Never over use them, or use them as a form of punishment. A crate or ex-pen should be a happy, safe den like place where your dog is happy to go for a quick nap. Puppies are a lot of work; often leaving you feeling overwhelmed. Placing your pup in their den area is great while you sit and have a cup of tea. It can be good for everyone involved. And you'll be re-energized for all that supervising you'll be doing once they come out.