Breeders and individual owners often disagree: one tells you that he started house training his dog at three months, while another insists that six months is the earliest age at which to expect a dog to be house trained. Each can be right, each can be wrong. A great deal depends upon the teacher.
To housebreak a dog quickly, arrange to teach him full time. Housebreaking doesn’t take long; by conforming to a fixed daily schedule, a healthy dog can be trained within 7 to 14 days, depending on his age. But if you train your dog in the morning and not in the afternoon, or train him for a few days and then go off and leave him alone for a day, you will have a confused and very slow learner. Keep at it hour after hour, day after day, and your dog will soon become a model of cleanliness.
Be patient. The slightest sign of temper will cause fear and slow learning. No matter how exasperated you feel, don’t let it show. Be quiet, relaxed, gentle but firm, and above all, cheerful. Your manner is going to have a great deal to do with the way your puppy acts. He has much to learn. It is harder for him than it is for you, since he has to understand your language. You are not half as good at understanding his!
With these things in mind you decide at what age you are going to start the housebreakingat three, four, five, or six months. But make it easy for yourself as well as for the dog. Don’t begin housebreaking until you can see it through.