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I'm back, with another Annie training question. When she was 4 months old, I tried to teach her to use potty bells with no success. Tried again at 6 months, no success. I pulled them out again today at 11 months, as I am tired of being barked at when she wants out.

I used "touch" (touch my hand with nose) behind the bells this time, rather than trying to get her to use her feet, and she got it in 2 repetitions. Yay!!! Clever puppy!

Not so yay. I just took the bells away after going out with her 6 times in a row. Bell rings. Human puts on leash really quickly and goes down the stairs. 30s out with command "go for pee!", 30s extra if actually does pee, then go back inside. Human goes away and does non-dog stuff. 2 min later, repeat this fun game.

OK - so she figured it out. Now how do I train her NOT to ring the bells unless she really needs out ? To Annie, outside (and preferably walk) is a reward that would rank higher than a bowl of human food. It's kinda like I hung a bell to indicate she wants my dinner, and then rewarded her for using it...
 

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For a while it will be really fun for her, and you have to be consistent in letting her out every time she rings. After a while it will be less exciting and the behavior will go to being only when she really does want to go out. This is why you have to keep taking her out every time she rings the bells--she will find it less rewarding to have to go out even when she really doesn't want to, but thought it would be fun to ring the bells and make you come running.

She just learned a new way to communicate with you and is proud and excited about it, so try to keep the attitude that you are proud of her rather than annoyed.
 

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Very good points, reraven!

I am not in the right mood for dog training tonight ("Stop barking!!! You are being so annoying tonight!!!" isn't exactly the right mood for dog training success) so I have taken them down. I'll put them back tomorrow and we can play the game again when I have more patience and joy.
 

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Very good points, reraven!

I am not in the right mood for dog training tonight ("Stop barking!!! You are being so annoying tonight!!!" isn't exactly the right mood for dog training success) so I have taken them down. I'll put them back tomorrow and we can play the game again when I have more patience and joy.
That is always a good decision in dog training! If you can't be patient and happy, stop and come back when you can.
 

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I trained Jessie to do the same, and it was only 2 days in a row that she went crazy with the bell. About 20 times as soon as she learned what it meant, then maybe 6 times the following day. Now she only rings when she really has to go. Hang in there!
 

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Yes they get a little power hungry. It is like wanting to do a magic trick a hundred times in a row. It goes away after the first few days. I taught Louie "we'll go later" and he understand that I heard his needs to go, but he has to wait a bit. I don't make him wait too long, but it helps in general with his commander in chief personality to make him wait a little bit.
 

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Yes I have had a similar issue! Misha hasn't needed a bell because he invented his own version in which he jumps up and paws the doorknob, which makes a loud clang. But he won't go outside if it's wet. So when it's rainy, he will ask to go out and then I open the door and he looks out and is like Nevermind! And then he does the same thing 15 minutes later...
 

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I started teaching the bells, when Buck was a puppy. At 6 months, I put them away because it was becoming a “Let’s play” rather than “Gotta go” demand. Now he shoulders the door or does a short bark. It does help when you have figured out the usual times.
 
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