Personally, I feel the most successful housetraining occurs when the owner becomes completely tuned in to their dog, then there is really no need for bells or other gadgets. A person may find it "easier" if their dog will simply tell them when it has to go but what if the dog has to go and you are preoccupied or in the shower? In young puppies, under the age of 16 weeks, the urge to potty happens instantly, there is no time to ring a bell or fetch the person in charge, and that's when what we humans call "accidents" occur.

Now, if the person has kept up with a good housetraining schedule, by six months of age, the dog should pretty well understand where he is allowed to eliminate. However, imagine how convenient it is to the dog to find an out-of-the-way room in which to eliminate. This often occurs because the dog has quickly discovered that he gets scolded if he pees or poops in plain view. Not only that, it is completely natural for dogs to do their business away from the areas where it eats and sleeps. Our domains are huge compared to the sized dog, which is why toy breeds and some smaller breeds are much harder to housebreak than large and giant breeds; the size of the home in proportion to the dog. If your dog is left loose in the house during your absence, and not crated or confined to a smaller area, then close off doors to rooms or use baby gates across doorways to areas of the house you wish to keep dog free.

With my first dog, I nearly drove myself crazy trying to learn her routine, then when I got my second dog the next year, I realized hat they were going to have to be on my schedule, not me on theirs, otherwise as the dog family grew, I'd be letting dogs in and out all hours of the day and night. I began to take them out at regular intervals, every 20-30 minutes for young puppies when they weren't in their puppy pen, and every two hours for my pups six months and older, adults hold it for much longer, up to four or five hours. As my canine family grew, I simply added that dog to the schedule whether it was a relatively young dog or a middle-ager like one of my other dogs.

When I am home, my five dogs hang with me, if one wanders off I either call it back or get up and look to see where it is going, sometimes the dog is just going to get a toy, if I see the dog go into the kitchen then I know it might need to go out, otherwise my dogs all go out as a group. The dogs know I am in charge of the potty breaks but if one really has to go it will come and get me rather than just sneak off and go somewhere in the house. My first Dog would come and literally growl at me when she had to poop. It is impossible to ignore a dog who comes right to you and tells you it needs to go out.

Basically the rule in my house is, no one under 12 months is trusted to is or her own devices ever, and if something happens it is totally my fault not the dog's, after all, the dog only knows how to be a dog, he has to learn how to adapt in our human environment called a home. From 12 months to 24 months the dog has to earn my trust, meaning I gradually allow certain privileges their age and maturity can handle.

A supervised dog can't get into trouble and he has a wonderful opportunity to teach the people how to read his body language. Circling, sniffing, running back and forth, those are all cues the dog needs to go out, if the dog does this then disappears, expect to find a mess to clean up, and don't scold, otherwise the dog will just be more determined to go off next time.