We were real consistant with the training, but I'm a stay-at-home-basset-mommy.
As a puppy, we'd take her out early in the a.m.for a pee. Back in the house and we'd feed her and back outside for her poopy. We always kept her on leash for this because back then we didn't have a fenced in yard and would say the same thing. In our family we say "go make". You can say the dog's name and say "go potty" if you want.
I'd watch her like a hawk early on and would give TONS of praise and a treat if she went to the back door and stood there whining or barking to go out(she rarely barks tho). I always kept her in my sight early on.
If she went to the door and acted like she wanted to go out (sniffing for a spot and so on), I'd say, "Ruby, do you need to make?" She'd wag and do a little bark or whine.
I'd hook her up (leash) and out we'd go for her to sniff and pee and so on.
As a puppy, she'd go a lot. After a while, she'd just come to us to let us know she needed to make.
When we did crate training we were consistant about letting her out for pee's and so on more than once a day. But if both of you work, I can see how that would be a problem to maintain.
Even now at 7 yrs of age, we know when she needs to go out. We're still on a strict schedule too which helps all of us.
Still do the morning thing but we feed her B4 she goes out and only once. Back to bed for her and when I get ready to go run errands or whatever around 10 a.m., I take her out B4 I leave.
I'm typically not gone more than a couple of hours at a time but even on weekends when we're going and doing and so on, we're always home after about 5 hrs to take her out.
We've always been strict with her with her outside habits and other things too. She doesn't steal food off coffee tables, doesn't eat things she'd not supposed to have. You can just tell her NO! and she'll immediately stop.
But we don't have human children and Ruby's our child. Maybe it's easier that way to train. All I know is that everyone who meets her is amazed at how well she is with people and things. Plus they're amazed at how cute and pretty and soft she is.
Don't I sound like a proud mommy?