I was real lucky with Chelsea, I have a dog door, so the dogs have access to outside anytime. I picked her up in June she was 7 1/2 weeks old, at 10 wks old was the last time she pooed in the house and at 15 wks old was the last time she peed in the house. I remember with Stryker it took a little longer, he was afraid to go out the dog door and I got him in November so it was cold for a little guy to go out.
Lily was about 7 mos til no accidents. Now, she has more learning from our rescued pit who has no idea what it's all about.
When she has to go, she sits at the door and whines. Our back of the couch faces the door and if we don't get up right away, she comes over and boxes us on the head! She still doesn't get coming to me in other rooms and telling me she has to pee.
My other boy rescue, is absolutely perfectly trained since the first week I got him. He holds his pee forever and when he's gotta poop, he comes to you and talks. What an awesome boy he is. Now if the girls would only learn from him.
We are in the same boat as most of the other posters, Abbey was about 5-6 months till she was housebroken at home (which is different when not home).
We found there are three key pieces they need to learn
1. When we go outside it is to potty. We used treats to accomplish this. We started with praise, but it was cold out and she would just sit there looking at us like we were the meanest people in the world making her freeze. As soon as we started giving her treats it was like a day or two and she would go right away. We also used the word "potty" with it and were able to wean her off the treats to just being able to say potty and she would go. She actually weaned herself off, she would stop looking to me for a treat after she went and we just stopped giving them to her and the behavior stuck.
2. Holding it till you take them out. This is an age thing they can hold it longer the older they get.
3. Letting us know they have to go out. Which I think is the trickiest. We used bells, which work great in our house. We would ring them every time we would go out, then we started saying, "ring the bells" and would take her paw and make her ring them, then praise her and take her out. Then we would walk her to the door say "ring the bells" and she would ring them, we'd praise her and take her out. Finally she started ringing them on her own (key is take them out any time they ring them in the beginning, but only take them out to potty, if they don't go bring them back in so they don't think they can ring the bells for outside play time). She picked up the bells in about a week and the only accidents since there were pretty much just if we didn't hear the bells, or didn't wake up fast enough in the morning.
Now the only downside to the bells that we've found is when we take her somewhere else (which we do a lot) I don't think she knows how to let us know when she has to go out. We are working on this and she is getting much better. We just have to take her out frequently and watch her like a hawk. I'm also considering trying to see if we can get her to whine, but I really don't want her to bark to go out (we live in a townhome) so I've been hesitant since I don't know if I can teach her to distinguish between the two easily.
Good luck, it will happen and your floors will recover! You just might have to steamclean a few times first!
Another thing we did that I feel helped, was using a leash. I still on occasion use it. It isn't the same one we use for walks. It is one of the ones we got when we first got him. Every time he needed to pee, I would leash him and walk him around until he went pee and poo. Now he knows when I put that leash on, it is strictly business. Pee and poo only, no play. It's not too fun with it being cold and snowing, but it only takes him 5 minutes to do his business as opposed to 1/2 hour of him running around in the yard and then doing his business. When I have more time in the morning, he gets to run and have fun before he pees and poos.
Our little one would sit at the door, but would not make any noise. We had to teach her to bark. She didn't even know how! Poor thing. We found we had to get her excited first, as she needed to build up to get a bark out. We accomplished this by getting her excited with her kibble, and lock it in her crate. We told her to bark. When she finally barked, we opened the crate instantly. We had to do this several times and with treats, favorite toys, etc.
We then moved on to the door. She watched us toss treats, toys, pieces of kibble, out the door. We closed the door and told her to bark. As soon as she barked, we opened the door. It took awhile, and she had to be excited. Good luck!
Sounds like you completely understand that 12 weeks is still a baby. appicon Good for you!
Like our skin kids, each one is different. Our first two boxers Rocky and Rascal were each housebroken around 3 months old. Please keep in mind I was also raising 3 very active little boys, these dogs rarely had a moment to themselves, very little opportunity to have an accident at all. They were outside much more often than not and between my sons and all of the constantly visiting buddies, there were lots of opportunities for praising and making a huge deal out of them when they got it right. Generally by the time they were indoors, they were simply looking for a quiet place to nap and escape the craziness.
Now Indy has been raised with adults (poor guy, ) he was housebroken around 5-6 months, completely reliable around 8 months. I truly think this is much more realistic for most dogs.
Now if you wanted to talk skin kids, I would tell you it went something like 2 - 4 years. So, if we accept and understand that all children have different muscle control, attention span and awareness, I wonder why so often we have unrealistic expectation from our puppies.
Sounds like you're right on target, keep up the good work!
Mia had two accidents total. The first was the day I brought her home, she stopped in the middle of the living room, dropped the browns off, then proceeded to make her way over to the foot of the couch to pass out for 2hrs. The second time she pee'd at the back door (I was helping my wife with a paper and kept telling her to wait, which was my fault). She never messed in her crate from day one. We were extremely lucky with her, but made it a point to take her out every 2hrs on a leash. It also helped that we had a 12yr old Chihuahua that went to the door to go out (tought her so to speak). I think where alot of people mess up is not instilling that outside=potty first and foremost. (from day one). Walking out there with her on a leash and making sure she actually goes instead of just letting her go outside to do whatever (chase a ball). Give a puppy the choice of play vs. business, it's a easy choice for them.