No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
I've always had a verbal cue associated with the door opening - "outside". (I have an additional potty cue, for once we're out there.) So when I taught the bell, we'd walk up to the door, I'd ring the bell, and say "outside" as I opened the door, which helped associate the bells with going outside.
I first taught Cassidy, who was a couple years old at the time, because she would sit in front of the door and wait to be noticed. The door we use is from the house to the garage, and then there's a door in the garage into the dog run down the side of the house, which is the potty area. If we were in the living room watching TV we couldn't see the hall where the door was, and sometimes we'd notice she wasn't around and go looking for her, only to see her sitting at the end of the hall in front of the door. Who knows how long she had been patiently waiting, but she would not bark or whine or scratch at the door to alert us that she need to go out, so I got some bells to hang over the doorknob.
I ordered them online, they showed up on a Wednesday evening, and by Friday she was tentatively bumping them with her nose to go out. I made a big deal about it - "YES! Outside!", and I'd open the door for her. It didn't take long at all before I could just ask her "do you have to go outside?" and she'd run to the door and ring the bells.
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short