House breaking is not a pleasant chore, but it is not nearly as difficult as it sounds. And once done, it is done for life. The dog rarely forgets this lesson. He is by nature a very clean animal, but he cannot stay clean without our help. In taking him into the home we make him live our kind of life. He must depend on us to take him out at the right time.
Housebreaking is not teaching the dog to be clean; it is, instead, giving him a chance to stay clean.
The age at which housebreaking can be started varies among sizes and kinds of dogs. Intelligence has a bearing also, although not as much as people think. The problem is this: the earlier you try housebreaking, the more careful and alert you must be. In other words, the younger pupil cannot hold bladder and bowel movements for long periods. He needs relief more often, so the teacher must always be ready to take him out.
If the housebreaking is started too early, progress will be so slow that you may think the pupil is stubborn or stupid. But when the teacher gives enough time to the lessons, when he allows for the pupil’s age and needs, progress may be surprisingly swift and sure.