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How do you go about teaching your pup to somehow let you know they need to go out? I mean, something like barking at the door, whining, or I even saw someone here say their dog rings a bell to go out. I would really love it if I could teach my pup to let me know she needs to pee. I am taking her out often, like every hour, but would rather get her to tell me when.

(She sniffs the floor a LOT, wandering around in circles sniffing just for the sake of sniffing so I can't rely on seeing that behavior as a signal).
 

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I use a bell. I started it with Cassidy who was oh, about 2 years old at the time. She would sit at the door and wait to be noticed. Except of course if we were in the office, or in the living room watching TV, or if I was in the kitchen, or we were eating dinner......we couldn't see her and had no idea she was sitting there patiently waiting! She was fully housebroken so that wasn't an issue, we just felt bad that sometimes we'd look around and wonder where she was, so we'd go looking for her. Lo and behold, there she sat, and who knows how long she'd been pinching her knees together, poor girl. A few times she must have been waiting awhile because she'd come into the living room, stand in front of the TV and stare at us - "HELLO!!!"

She picked up the bell thing in two days, but it's taken longer with puppies because we're doing housebreaking at the same time - she already had the concept of doing her business outside, she just needed a way to communicate to us that she wanted to go out. Teaching Saber a signal won't necessarily expedite housebreaking because you still need to train her that the only appropriate place to do her business is outdoors. If she doesn't understand that yet she won't know that she needs to tell you to let her out. Does that make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Teaching Saber a signal won't necessarily expedite housebreaking because you still need to train her that the only appropriate place to do her business is outdoors. If she doesn't understand that yet she won't know that she needs to tell you to let her out. Does that make sense?
Yes, thank you. She is doing pretty well, never had a poop accident in the house and never has peed in her crate. I think she is getting the big idea, because the first 2 pee accidents were off in the corner... then we had no accidents for a week (because I started taking her out way more often) and now, I missed twice in 2 days but she did pee right at the top of the stairs by the baby gate, which is the way to go outside. So she at least went to the right area but I missed it, literally by seconds, as I was going to do something right before taking her out.

I so appreciate your advice and any further insight.
 

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I've tried the bell thing. Only problem with that is they learn to manipulate the system (these dogs are pretty smart).

They learn that ringing the bell gets them outside to go to pee which is what you're trying to do, but sometimes they also figure it out that ringing the bell gets them outside for fun too. That sometimes means ringing the bell every 5 minutes just to get outside and have fun. Just my personal experience with the bell.

When you first bring a puppy home, I think pretty much everything is a signal to go outside. Wandering around, sniffing too much, looking at the door, anything. I pretty much take everything as a signal for those first couple months until you actually pick up on those signals and a routine is learned.
 

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When Sam was a puppy we trained him to ring bells to go out too. We hung the bells on the doorknob and at first every time we took him out WE rang the bells and told him "ring the bell to go potty". In no time at all he was ringing the bell on his own. But like Lucy Dog said he will also ring the bell any time he wants to go outside. As a result when Sophie came along she didn't catch on to ringing the bell that well because sometimes Sam would ring them and be told "not now, you were just outside". Sophie rings them occasionally though so maybe eventually that will be her signal. Most of the time she just runs from one of us to the door and back to us.
 

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We tried the bell too. We got a little desktop bell, (like you would ring for service), and rang it every time we went out for potty. It was a pain, especially when you know your dog is about to unload and you are in a hurry! We gave up on it after about three weeks. Maybe if we had persevered...

And now my dogs don't have a real potty signal at all. We just keep track of the time and how much they have eaten and drank and guess when they need to go out. This works for us as long as no one is having the runs, and then they will usually pace the house and not be able to settle down. That's when we know they must need to potty.
 

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Sounds like a common theme...........lol.
We worked Gunnar into the bell signal for potty, but it didn't take him long to figure out to ring the bell to go outside and play.
We gave up on the bell and now both dogs will come and find us when they have to go out. They do the same thing, run from us to the door and back.
 

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Stosh would go to the door and jump up to hit the doorknob to try and make it turn so he could go out. Now he's so tall he just hits it with his nose when he has to go. I would never have thought to teach him how to do that but it works for both of us
 

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Allie stands on her hind feet, puts her huge paws on my shoulder and huffs in my face. It's really hard to ignore.

Jelpy and the mesquite mafia
 

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Allie stands on her hind feet, puts her huge paws on my shoulder and huffs in my face. It's really hard to ignore.

Jelpy and the mesquite mafia
Wolfie does this too among other things.
 

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The bell turned into a real pain with one of my dogs also. My 2 inside dogs are on a regular potty break schedule. The 5 y.o. mixed breed goes out at breakfast, lunch, dinner and sleep time around 10:30. When Wolf was younger, I pretty much took him out every time I even thought he looked suspicious and then some. Now he still goes out a couple of times more than our older dog, but not nearly as often as when he was a puppy.
 

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Dante starts pacing. A lot. When I ask him if he has to go potty, he runs to the back door to be let out.

The others ask in their own ways, but being the youngest that is fully housetrained in our house I figured I'd use him as the example.

With 5 dogs, 4 of which LOVE the great outdoors, a bell would drive me NUTS so I never even considered this method in our house. They would be ringing it constantly.
 

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I was going to teach the bell, I still may. After Remy figured out that going in the house was not acceptable, he would just sit at the door and wait....and wait...and wait until someone noticed him (which didn't take long, an out of sight puppy is a scary thought).

He did that for a month or two and now, when he needs to pee, he scratches the refrigerator (next to the door). When he has to poop, well....he just starts flailing around the house like a maniac.

Knowing Remy, he would pull that bell off in a second....either that or the cat would keep us up all night playing with it.
 

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Ze'eva ended up teaching me her own potty signal... She sits next to me and gives a quiet alert type bark. Much quieter and softer than her SAR alert bark so its noticeably different. If I ignore her she will paw at a door and then bark some more to tell me to pay the F attention lol.
 

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Gracie does the bell thing, it was completely by accident though. I hung bells on our doors for Christmas time, i am guessing she realized that every time the door opened the bell jingled. One day she just started hitting the bell with her nose and we let her out to go potty. Needless to say the bells have stayed on the doors. She did try to abuse the bell ringing, but quickly cured her of that
 

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does anyone have any pictures of their bell and where its at or like a video of them doing it so i can get the concept? thanks
 

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Just hang a little bell on a string from the doorknob--naturally it needs to be low enough for them to reach
 

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I never taught Molly a signal but the little fart will aim one scratch at the screen door (It's now ripped) and if I miss that she lets rip with a weird bark.
 

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It only took a week for Chance to let us know when he truly has to go out.
By my saying in an excited voice "Wanna go outside?!" He now will act very excited when he needs to go out.
When he first got here it drove me nuts because he would stand by the back door and I assumed he needed to go. No, there are times he just likes looking outside.
Now he will come up to me in a very excited way and if I am sleeping he even shoves his nose in me to wake me up. Smart dog.
 
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