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Old 06-16-2012, 08:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bell Potty Training

Has anyone used bells to potty train their puppy? Any tips or advice you can give?
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here you go:

How to Train Your Puppy to Ring a Bell to Potty | Karen Pryor Clickertraining
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think a few members on SM have used the bell method, although I'm not sure if any of them are still active members.

The bell method seems to either work really well, or totally backfire. And, by backfire, I mean, the dog learns to ring the bells ANYTIME they want to go outside whether they need to potty or not! I know for a fact one of my dogs would ring the bells all day long if I taught her that method...she is a devil! I have heard more people say that the dog "abuses" the bells more than I've heard people say the bells have been a wonderful training tool. So, it's something to consider for sure.

I trained both of my dogs to go outside and I always go with them every time (the oldest is 5). My oldest, London, will stand by the back door and do a single faint bark when she has to go. Preston is very easy going and doesn't care when he goes potty, he will just go out anytime so I never have to worry about him. When I was potty training them, everytime we went out, I would say "Let's go potty". Then we'd go out (on a leash), and I'd repeat "Go potty" over and over until they went and then as they pottied, I'd also say it. Now, I can say, "Do you need to go potty?" or "Let's go potty" and they will go to the door to go outside.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks!
I found somethings earlier about "abuse of the bell" - lol. My friend's dog is grown (she adopted her through a couple's divorse) but was bell trained when she was little so I thought I'd like to try it. Thanks for the information!
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Obi is a successful bell-ringer! And I love it :-). I have two sets of bells by the two doors we exit from to go potty. When he rings the bell, I take him outside in the backyard with a lead and say "go potty." What specific questions do you have regarding it? I'll be glad to help, but it would be nice to know what questions you have . It takes a LOT of consistent training but it's been great in our communication.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoaloha View Post
Obi is a successful bell-ringer! And I love it :-). I have two sets of bells by the two doors we exit from to go potty. When he rings the bell, I take him outside in the backyard with a lead and say "go potty." What specific questions do you have regarding it? I'll be glad to help, but it would be nice to know what questions you have . It takes a LOT of consistent training but it's been great in our communication.
Did you start the bells immediately with potty training or did you wait until he was potty trained to begin with the bells? I will be getting my puppy soon and I wanted to get a feel for how I wanted to begin potty training. I didn't know if I should g ahead and incorporate the bells and ring them everytime we go out for potty or wait until she's potty trained before I start using them. How did you begin?
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Gus and Grace are both bell trained! I love it too! .... My sister's dog is bell trained but she is a bell abuser. In my experience - bell abusers are ones who need to get out more or are bored (her dog rings it out of boredom).

I started the day I got my pups.... It was easy and they picked up on it pretty quick.

I hung the bells up next to the door (not on it) and showed them to the pup. Let them sniff them. Usually they were scared of them at first.

Then I'd ring the bells and we'd go outside saying, "Ring your bell for potty!". Then we'd go out and I'd do our potty cues, etc.

Every time I took them out for potty I'd ring the bell, said the words. Every time.

After a few days I'd occasionally take their paw, ring the bell with them, give lots of praise and happily run outside with them for potty. All other times I still rang the bell and said the words...

Very quickly they figured out how to ring the bells. Mine never hit it with their noses... always their paw. So I made sure it was low enough. But some do it with their noses.

Grace is 6 months old and has been fully bell trained for 2 months now. Gus was fully bell trained by 4 months, as well.

Gus will ring his bell and if no one hears it (in another room) he will go find someone, then run back to the door and give the bell a good whack (really - it is hilarious) as if to say, "I am ringing my bell! PUT ME OUT!"....

I love it, and wouldn't do it any other way. Even if you already started training, you can introduce it... most dogs pick up on it very quickly.

Hope you find something that works for you.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am currently training Giovanni to ring the bells hanging from my back door. I formerly had Bichons that also rang the bell. So far, Gio has not caught on to the connection with potty, but I do encourage him to ring the bell before I will open the door!
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethie View Post
Did you start the bells immediately with potty training or did you wait until he was potty trained to begin with the bells? I will be getting my puppy soon and I wanted to get a feel for how I wanted to begin potty training. I didn't know if I should g ahead and incorporate the bells and ring them everytime we go out for potty or wait until she's potty trained before I start using them. How did you begin?
Well, Obi was 9 months when he came to us and he was already pee pad trained. Now, he goes outside only (my husband opposes the idea of urine and stool being inside the house!). I think it's never too early to introduce the training as Toi (Grace's mom) mentioned. Obi was scared of the bell at first. I tried the desk bell initially but he didn't like to touch it with his paw. So, I made my own DIY set of "poochie bells" and trained Obi to touch it with his nose. I'd say "ring the bell" before we'd go outside. Then, we'd go outside with him on his lead and I'd say "go potty.". You want to be very consistent that ringing the bell means Potty time and NOT outside fun time. If he doesn't pee, then no treat. I used a treat for outside potty and phased it out. Eventually, they make the association that bell ring means outside for potty and will do it on their own.
Obi now grabs the ribbon/bell and shakes it around to make it ring louder if we don't hear the first time! LOL :-)

It is much easier when another dog in the home is also a bell ringer as I think the pups learn from each other

But, it can be done! I trained my other puppy in the past to bark at the back door to go out. Any type of signal is good in my book. Just stay very consistent

I've seen dogs who are trained to pee and poo in the TOILET!! Of course these are larger dogs, but I think it's awesome and environmentally sound :-P

Last edited by hoaloha; 06-17-2012 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grace'sMom View Post
Gus and Grace are both bell trained! I love it too! .... My sister's dog is bell trained but she is a bell abuser. In my experience - bell abusers are ones who need to get out more or are bored (her dog rings it out of boredom).

I started the day I got my pups.... It was easy and they picked up on it pretty quick.

I hung the bells up next to the door (not on it) and showed them to the pup. Let them sniff them. Usually they were scared of them at first.

Then I'd ring the bells and we'd go outside saying, "Ring your bell for potty!". Then we'd go out and I'd do our potty cues, etc.

Every time I took them out for potty I'd ring the bell, said the words. Every time.

After a few days I'd occasionally take their paw, ring the bell with them, give lots of praise and happily run outside with them for potty. All other times I still rang the bell and said the words...

Very quickly they figured out how to ring the bells. Mine never hit it with their noses... always their paw. So I made sure it was low enough. But some do it with their noses.

Grace is 6 months old and has been fully bell trained for 2 months now. Gus was fully bell trained by 4 months, as well.

Gus will ring his bell and if no one hears it (in another room) he will go find someone, then run back to the door and give the bell a good whack (really - it is hilarious) as if to say, "I am ringing my bell! PUT ME OUT!"....

I love it, and wouldn't do it any other way. Even if you already started training, you can introduce it... most dogs pick up on it very quickly.

Hope you find something that works for you.

This is exactly what I was hoping to do. From day 1. I just wanted to make sure I was going the right direction and not introducing too many new things at once as potty training will be a fulltime job. I was thinking it would make sense to ring the bell on the way out with her potty phrase, but I am still so new at all this, I want to be sure! I am so new to this puppy thing! LOL Thanks so much!
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