potty training using a bell - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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potty training using a bell

Hello! Has anyone trained their dog to ring a bell to go out? I have a new 8 month old pup (not a GSD), and am interested in trying this. How is it done?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 04:07 AM
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There are plenty of videos on YouTube instructing on the process but it essentially breaks down to

Teaching your dog the touch command prior is very helpful.

Have the dog touch the bell to create a ring, reward it immediately with a treat/praise. Continue to do this until the dog has mastered the touch command.

Hang/place the bell near the exit to the desired potty area and have the dog sit and ring the bell in order to have them go out. It's incredibly important to do this very frequently throughout the day, so that you're not creating situations where the dog is two seconds away from urinating and isn't interested in being trained.

Create situations where the dog needs to ring the bell to go out. Such as, ringing the bell so that they can get out and eat, be petted by you, play with other animals etc. It's paramount the during the initial stages, every ring leads to them being let out.

Eventually the dog will link the bell to getting to go out. If you're using the bell to let them out to potty, I would recommend that you don't let the frequency of letting them out fade. The only thing I'd add is that you letting them out has to be as immediate as possible. What I've seen as erroneous in some of the dog training videos is that they reward the dogs after they come back from pottying, when they should be rewarding them immediately after the bell ring. Otherwise, you could be potentially reinforcing the wrong behavior. Such as coming near you after pottying etc rather than the targeted behavior.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 08:21 AM
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Hello! Has anyone trained their dog to ring a bell to go out? I have a new 8 month old pup (not a GSD), and am interested in trying this. How is it done?
Oddly I did not train Joey to use the bells and neither did his owner. When he needs to go he either comes up to you and if you ask if he needs to go he will do a full body shake, if he doesn't do the shake, he doesn't have to go. But if you are not awake etc, he will go stand by the door and shove his nose into the bells which were placed and left there for the purpose of knowing when the door was opened haha but he used them to let us know instead.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 10:45 AM
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I taught my youngest golden how to use the bell. When he was by the door I would take his paw and touch the bells, praise and reward. He got it fairly quickly. I left them up(they are still up) and Apollo used them on his own. They are generally now used in case of emergency--ie I gotta go now and you aren't noticing.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 08:44 PM
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I just took my dog to the chimes, and hit them with his nose. He got the idea very quickly. Now, he rings to go out but also if he's bored, so we are working on that. I would rather have a false run outside than an accident in the house.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 08:51 PM
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Hello! Has anyone trained their dog to ring a bell to go out? I have a new 8 month old pup (not a GSD), and am interested in trying this. How is it done?
I've never really understood why? Maybe I'm just a control freak, but isn't more convenient to have them go when you tell them to? After the work of potty training them, teaching them to go out when and where you want them to and you have a dog that can hold it for hours with no problem at 8mos, wouldn't you rather decide "I want you finished by 8" rather then "Let me know, even if its 10" If mine starts ringing a bell at midnight, I don't generally wake up happy.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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I've never really understood why? Maybe I'm just a control freak, but isn't more convenient to have them go when you tell them to? After the work of potty training them, teaching them to go out when and where you want them to and you have a dog that can hold it for hours with no problem at 8mos, wouldn't you rather decide "I want you finished by 8" rather then "Let me know, even if its 10" If mine starts ringing a bell at midnight, I don't generally wake up happy.
Hmmmm...I never thought of it that way!
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 09:33 PM
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I've never really understood why? Maybe I'm just a control freak, but isn't more convenient to have them go when you tell them to? After the work of potty training them, teaching them to go out when and where you want them to and you have a dog that can hold it for hours with no problem at 8mos, wouldn't you rather decide "I want you finished by 8" rather then "Let me know, even if its 10" If mine starts ringing a bell at midnight, I don't generally wake up happy.
Mine aren't near a bell at midnight,
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 09:56 PM
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potty training using a bell

We first taught Cassidy to ring bells on the doorknob when she needed to go outside. She was an adult and completely housebroken by then. The problem was that if she had to go she would wait politely at the door until someone noticed her there.

If i was at work and Tom was working in his home office, or if i was in the kitchen making dinner and he was in the office playing computer games, or we were both in the living room watching TV, we couldn't see that door and had no way of knowing how long she'd been waiting. Sometimes we'd realize she wasn't in the room with us and go looking for her and there she'd be. She wouldn't bark or scratch at the door, she'd just sit and wait.

If we took too long she'd finally come sit right in front of the TV, lol. HELLO, I've been waiting! I'm good about letting the dogs out, but Tom tends to be pretty oblivious, especially if he's focused on something else *cough* one track mind *cough*.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 10:41 PM
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Tom tends to be pretty oblivious, especially if he's focused on something else *cough* one track mind *cough*.
Maybe its a guy thing? Maybe I'm just clinging to my right to obliviscuity? Obliviousness? Or maybe the Raider game's on. I don't know. Go when I tell you, and we'll get along better. Lol.
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