Ring a bell to go potty - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Ring a bell to go potty

My 4-month-old doesn't currently know a "touch" command. That said, what would be the best way to teach her to ring a bell when she goes to the door to be let out to potty. She's not completely housetrained yet but I have noticed that the majority of the accidents that she does have are at or very near one of the two doors that we go out to potty. I'm hoping I can get notification that she wants to go out rather than have her just go to the door and then not know what to do next now that she's a little older.

Thanks!

~Sandi
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 01:53 AM
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Show her the bell. Click & treat whenever she looks at it. Then after a few times, click and treat for her touching it. Soon she will touch it, ringing it for a treat. Then, every time you take her out, have her ring the bell first and make a big deal, "Yes! Good girl, now we can go outside!" She will get the picture

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 02:33 AM
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We taught mine to ring the string of bells that hang from the door its about 4 bells a few inches apart that hang from the door handle to a few inces about the floor. Each time we would bring them to the door and say poddy time and gently take the string of bells while saying poddy time and touched the dogs noses/muzzle. For a while we would move the bells to the dogs muzzle. After about a week or so we started taking the dog and moving the dog so that their muzzles touched the string wo us touching the string. Then once we did a few days/weeks of moving the dog to touch the bells we would first say poddy time and wait to see if they would touch bells on their own. It usually takes a few weeks but both my dogs touch the bells and so do both my parents dogs.

During the training we never opened the door unless the bells touched the dogs muzzle either us moving the bells onto the dog, moving the dog to push the bells or the dog touching the bells by itself. Obviously we praised each time and even more so when the dogs did it on their own.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 02:45 AM
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My friend teaches all of her Shepherds as pups to use the "bell" at the door to go potty and it has always worked. We got lucky and our boy was potty trained because he was 7 when we got him. However, the people who had him from puppy-hood kept him in an apartment in a kennel for at least 12 hours at a time and only walked him once or twice a day for a few seconds. When we got him they said, "he can hold it for up to 16 hours a day and if you tell him to poop or pee he will do it immediately." Nice huh? Oh and they didnt trust him to be out of his kennel but for a few moments.... they had no idea what a wonderful boy he is, they never gave him a chance... seven years! Sorry, maybe I need a therapist!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 06:07 AM
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We were able to teach Kiayah(3 and 1/2 months) to ring the bell in a few days of just ringing it every time we took her out on her training schedule. We hung the bell right next to the handle of the door. We did give her a piece of kibble the first day or so whenever we rag the bell and if she did it on her own we immediately rewarded and took her out, even if it was like 5 minutes since the last time out. We did not reward her after the trip out unless she did go.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 06:32 AM
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So I did this with one dog and lived to regret it. I felt like we were his doormen. How do you avoid that. He had a ball getting everyone to let him out and in and out and in and out and in..............

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 11:06 AM
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i want to teach my puppy how to do this, i think it is such a good tool for any doggy parent
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
So I did this with one dog and lived to regret it. I felt like we were his doormen. How do you avoid that. He had a ball getting everyone to let him out and in and out and in and out and in..............
My dogs go out to a boring dog run so there's really nothing fun for them to do out there. They will sometimes ask to go out if they see something interested out front like a dog walking by, or a squirrel running around in the backyard - so they can BARK at it, lol!

Once a dog is housebroken and consistently asking to go out I feel fine about ignoring them if I know they don't really need to, I acknowledge that I heard, but tell them "no, you just went out, you don't need to go out again". If they're really insistent I go out with them and watch. If they charge down to the end of the run I know they just want to bark at squirrels, and I bring them right back in again. It's not hard to figure out when someone needs to potty and when they are into mischief.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 06:33 PM
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All my shepherds ring the bell to go out. Roo more than the others. I need to train my pom to ring it too but I need a longer piece of leather to hang another bell on. I just touch them "touch" then when I'd take them out, I'd touch the bell to their nose, say "touch" then it changed to "outside". Even my newest rescue learned just after a week or two but only because he watched the other dogs do it.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 06:40 PM
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I started to teach Jake but quickly saw that he was playing me by ringing the bell to go outside.........when I KNEW he didn't have to potty. LOL. No bells here.

Renee'

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