German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all!

We are trying to help Adalwolf figure out that when he rings the bell on the door, he can go out! He so far understands that when he rings the bell, he gets a treat!.... and then he is forced to go outside and stand there until we let him back in!

He picked up the ring-treat relationship very quickly. And, within that first 24 hour period, he went out using the bell system, and I thought, Yippee! We're done! lol.

The next day, however, he decided he'd train us that when he rings the bell, he gets a treat, and the 'going out' part could probably be cut out from the whole thing altogether!

Generally whenever we walk by the door now he likes to ring the bell! We get all excited, give him a treat and take him out. And there he stands, looking at us quizzically like, "Seriously, this part of the routine is kinda not needed. I'm fine with just receiving the treat and staying inside where it is not rainy and cold." Heehee.

I've found myself zipping by the door everytime we pass it to go upstairs, so he is too distracted to ring the bell when we are just going by it. But, I know that is not a good training method! And seriously, running as fast as possible up the stairs, often with a bunch of stuff in my hands, several times throughout the day isn't the best idea! Especially as Adalwolf follows me and I'd probably fall or drop everything on top of him if I got off balance.

Sooo, basically, to cut to the chase, we give him a treat when he rings the bell and again when he gets outside. I'm afraid that we may have confused him. The real problem here is that I don't know the best way to do this, and so right now, until I figure it out, I am trying to just keep the good conditioning parts going, such as treating with the bell, and treating when he goes out, until we find out a better approach.

So, we just go out a LOT, which is kinda fun anyway, so it doesn't bother me too much, unless it turns out that I am confusing the heck out of him.

If anyone has helpful suggestions on what we are doing wrong, please let me know. I don't want to make the poor little guy confused about going outside!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
5,627 Posts
You are rewarding the wrong behavior. He rings the bell, goes outside, pottys THEN gets a treat. I would only give a "good" for ringing the bell to let him know that was the right thing to do but IMO it doesn't deserve a treat.

You don't have to run past the bells, just don't treat him anymore. Instead, when he rings the bell open the door and let him out... if he doesn't go out, no big deal but no treat. It won't be long until he realizes that the bells opens the door instead of produce a treat.

I would only give him a treat after he pottys outside since that is really the behavior you are trying to establish. Also, if you add a "good potty" while he is going and then treat him, you can teach him to go on command which is great for those cold rainy mornings!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,863 Posts
You are rewarding the wrong behavior. He rings the bell, goes outside, pottys THEN gets a treat. I would only give a "good" for ringing the bell to let him know that was the right thing to do but IMO it doesn't deserve a treat.
Yeppers, no treats for ringing the bell. Ringing the bell is the behavior, going outside is the reward.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,429 Posts
Yeppers, no treats for ringing the bell. Ringing the bell is the behavior, going outside is the reward.
That's how I teach it too. I do use a lot of treats in training, but not for something like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ah! That makes a bit more sense!

How did you get your dog to ring the bell in the first place though? Did you start with treats and then phase them out? I feel like without the treat, he would never give the bell the time of day.

And, geissap, Adalwolf is probably about 13 weeks. The only information I have on his age is when his foster mom took him to the vet on Aug 28th, and the vet said she thought he and his litter-mates were 7.5 weeks, so unless I have misapplied my limitied math skills, I believe he is about 13 weeks. I'm going to keep a close eye on his teeth though, because I've heard that you can judge age a bit by when they start to fall out, so I'll see if everything seems to match his estimated age. Its so hard not knowing exactly how old he is! Maybe I'll look up other ways to guess ages. Would his age make a difference in how I train him this particular behavior?

Thank you to all!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top