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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Constant bell ringing

Loki has done very well with house breaking and knows to ring the bell to tell us he needs to go. Problem is he also rings the bell when he is bored and just wants to go outside. Of course, he still has the cone and can't have chew toys or treats until Wednesday when we go back to the oral surgeon. If the bell ringing continues, does anyone have any suggestions for distinguishing needing to go and being bored. I don't want to not take him out because he might need to go.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 04:24 PM
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When Nino began signalling his need to go out, we took him out every time no matter what, even if he had just been out 5 minutes prior. We still do, though he doesn't ask to go out just to play much anymore (though he has his days...)

To not let him out would frustrate him and erase the progress he had made, so instead, we let him out for a few minutes no matter what, but he got a high value treat only when he pottied. That has helped phase the constant scratching out a bit, but we do still give a small treat and some pats when he potties just to reinforce the behavior (he has gone about 3 months sans accident, but we will probably wait until he's a year old to really phase rewards out of pottying).
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 04:32 PM
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Hi Barbara, I'll be curious to hear a remedy. A friend of mine asked me to keep her Havanese for about 10 days (because I have one), and gave me her dog's "bell" to hang on the door. That dog rang the bell anytime he wanted just to wander outside including 4 AM. Of course one doesn't dare ignore it. I swore that the next time I trained Hav, it would not include a bell. My new pup, has been under "timing" training. Maybe you need to figure out what his "real" schedule is, and try and make him go out when you think its time, and ditch the bell altogether. I've discovered that when Tux wakes up, he's ready to go, otherwise he is good for about 2-3 hours (5 months of age now). Nighttime he sleeps 9 hours no need to pee. So every two hours I ask him if he wants to go potty outside. He drops to the floor, which means "yes". Now he comes to me and sits and stares and waits for the question. We seldom have accidents, and its ALWAYS when I forget to "time it". Good luck, Nancy
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 04:43 PM
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KarMar has it right. If you are using bells, you HAVE to let them out EVERY SINGLE TIME they ask. For a while, they will drive you crazy, and ask much more often than they really need to go, but eventually the novelty will wear off when they realize there's not much reward for just asking to go out when they don't need to potty.

It's the one disadvantage of the system. (Besides the fact that the bells don't ALWAYS translate to a new location, like a vacation house or a hotel room) But the advantage of having a dog who can consistently ASK to go out is big enough that most people are willing to live though the annoying phase.

I didn't use bells with my older two. Kodi found them aversive, and wouldn't touch them. He eventually learned, all on his own, to ask with a very distinctive, single bark. Pixel was SO good about using her litter box from the very beginning that there was no real need to establish an "out" signal. She still doesn't have one. She just goes out when the other ones do, or uses the litter box on her own.

I'm considering putting the bells back up for Panda. After her UTI's she decided that the litter boxes were responsible for her discomfort, and she won't use them to pee on, although she will poop there if she needs to. So we've had to just make sure we took her out often enough that she didn't have accidents. She is starting to signal she needs to go out, but but running frantically back and forth by the door, which I can't see if I'm not with her. I think she may take to using the bells as a way to let us know when she needs to go out. BUT, she also LOVES to be outside playing, so I foresee a LOT of door opening needs if I go that route.


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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 05:28 PM
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Yes, you have to take them outside each and every time the bells are rung, as Karen and KarMar state. Tucker was trained to use the bells originally and it worked wonderfully for the first 5 years I had them up. He did want to go out a lot at first, but in time that was greatly reduced to just when he needed to go. In the house I moved into 5 years ago I have a doggy door which he uses now, and I don't have the bells up. However, we did leave them up at my folks' house for when we visit there, and he still rings them there when he needs/wants out.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 05:47 PM
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Scout is a glass door tapper. He's out and in constantly...I think he likes seeing me jump up off the sofa to open the door. Sometimes I will open the door and he will just sit there. Other times he will go out. I go back to the sofa and hear a tap to come back in! My husband says we need to put in a doggie door. I think the bells would not be a good idea here! When he wants to go potty he does a very soft whimper.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 06:04 PM
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I use bells for Java. She rang them ALL THE TIME in the beginning. Now, I wait a second to see if she really needs to potty or if she's brushing them if she's bored. If she really needs to potty, she'll ring them again or just sit by the bells until I come to her. To long and she shakes the entire bell string. At night as soon as it gets dark, when she rang the bell I wold walk over to her indoor potty and tell her to potty there. Again, if she really needs to go, she will take the indoor potty option. Otherwise, she gives me a dirty look and goes and lays down again.

I think as they get older, they will use them less. At least, that's the way it's going here.


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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 07:25 PM
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I am fascinated by this thread because we don't yet know when Shama wants to go out. We just take her out frequently (every 2-3 hours except overnight when she's fine), and she always performs. DH is telling me that Shama does tell us when she wants to go out but that we don't always notice. For example, she'll get up from a lying down position, she'll sit at the lower level door, she'll start digging in her bed, she'll give us a look, or she'll whimper (that one has been mostly since she got spayed on Monday). I have a friend whose dog nudges her with her nose when she needs to go out. That would be nice . . .

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather Glen View Post
Scout is a glass door tapper. He's out and in constantly...I think he likes seeing me jump up off the sofa to open the door. Sometimes I will open the door and he will just sit there. Other times he will go out. I go back to the sofa and hear a tap to come back in! My husband says we need to put in a doggie door. I think the bells would not be a good idea here! When he wants to go potty he does a very soft whimper.
Pixel scratches at the door to come in... Or to get to the other side of any gate or door for that matter. Now that you mention it, I guess she HAS scratched at the door to go out a few times. But I think they all get let out often enough because of Panda that she rarely needs to ask.


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamaMama View Post
I am fascinated by this thread because we don't yet know when Shama wants to go out. We just take her out frequently (every 2-3 hours except overnight when she's fine), and she always performs. DH is telling me that Shama does tell us when she wants to go out but that we don't always notice. For example, she'll get up from a lying down position, she'll sit at the lower level door, she'll start digging in her bed, she'll give us a look, or she'll whimper (that one has been mostly since she got spayed on Monday). I have a friend whose dog nudges her with her nose when she needs to go out. That would be nice . . .
Kodi was just over 2 when he FINALLY started barking to go out. Until then, I wasn't sure which one of us was potty trained. . He didn't have accidents, but I also was careful to get him out when He needed to go.
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