With mine, if I recall right, he pretty much told us by about 3-4 mos. He's not a barker, so he'd just go stand at the door, or whimper some to go out. I pretty much just took him out regularly, so didn't really watch for clues before that age, I guess.
I'd suggest watching his actions; he may not bark to let you know; maybe he'll show you in other ways?
I agree...Start with getting a solid action, like sitting or standing at the door. Dont expect your dog to bark until much later. Allie is 14 months and is starting to adjust the rules herself to going outside. My rule was sitting at the door and waiting. Now if we are in the bedroom, she will jump on the bed and immediately jump off and go back to the door, this tells me she needs to go out without me actually seeing her at the door...
Bailey doesn't bark either to go outside, but sits at the door. Even now when we haven't had any accidents in the house for 3+ weeks, I keep a close watch on her & take her out regularly; it's the easiest way to read their signs they give when it's time.
be careful what you wish for! especially if going outside = funtime!
just get in the habit of letting him out at regular intervals, [like soon after eating, before bedtime, first thing in the AM, etc. you will soon have a routine that you can both count on...as they get older, they tend to fall into whatever routine is available to them.
I found that each dog will communicate in his/her own way when they need to go out. Judy barks - Mitzi goes to the hall tree and nose points to my coat, turn around to see if I'm watching - Duke just gives me "the stare". Recently Duke followed Mitzi's method and nose-pointed to my coat on the hall tree.
You should try teaching him to alert you with bells. If you hang them near the door and make his paw/nose jingle them each time you go out, he should eventually catch on and ring the bells to alert you that he needs to potty. It works great for us and I'm pretty sure that others on the forum use the bells as well.
Our 4 mo doesnt bark to go out either. If its morning and he's in his crate, he will whine (whimper, cry - whatever you want to call it). If its during th day and he's out of his crate, theres not much telling at this point. If Im sitting in the same room with him, he'll come over and put his head on the couch and sit. If Im in the kitchen, he'll walk to the door he goes out from. Ive been associating going to the door and going out with "time to go out" and I keep using the "out" word, so im hoping he'll come up with his own signal eventually.
Yesterday was quite the day - I was out and the dog was outside with husband and kids. Well, I think they gave him a gallon of water (exageration, but it must have been alot) cause he was peeing all over the house - the poor thing. Wasnt his fault. I told them, he's a puppy, he has a tiny bladder!!