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Hi all. I have a year old red healer. I taught him to ring the bell/knock on the door to go out and potty when we first had him. Its has been working great since he goes by the door and rings or scratch if he wants to go potty. However lately, he knows that when he rings or scratch at the door, he will be let outside.

Now my frustration is this. He goes to the door, rings/scratch, we let him out and tell him to go potty. He comes back to the door and knocks at the door to be let in. He comes in and then 10 mins later, he wants to go out again. We let him out however we close the door, a min later he wants back in. I know he wants to play and so forth. He continue to do that!! So it gets old quick. We don't know if he has to go or just want to play!!

I was looking at patio dog door so he can go in and out however the dimension of our patio dog is not standard and ordering on for it is 600!! Too much to pay for that. Anyways, any suggestion. Sorry its hard to describe the behavior.

Thanks.
 

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My new pup is newly housebroken (hopefully!) and has just started going to the door and scratching to go potty. Today, she signaled to go out twice, but just laid down in the middle of the yard chewing on a stick. Subsequent trips outside will be on a leash and to the spot where she goes potty. If she doesn't go right away, or at least start sniffing around looking for a spot, we go right back in.

I think it did the trick. The last time she scratched she went right out and did what she was supposed to do. We'll see how it goes the next couple of days.

Az
 

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My new pup is newly housebroken (hopefully!) and has just started going to the door and scratching to go potty. Today, she signaled to go out twice, but just laid down in the middle of the yard chewing on a stick. Subsequent trips outside will be on a leash and to the spot where she goes potty. If she doesn't go right away, or at least start sniffing around looking for a spot, we go right back in.

I think it did the trick. The last time she scratched she went right out and did what she was supposed to do. We'll see how it goes the next couple of days.

Az
Watson had this problem for about a week. He would ring the bell to go outside to play, instead of to potty. So he would constaly ring it. So we just took him outside every time he rang the bell, and if he didn't pee within say 3 minutes or so, we'd go back inside.

Another thing you might think about it how you're interacting with him on potty trips. We try to make sure we only play with Watson after he's gone. No playing at all unless you pee. We wouldn't let him sniff around or wander. Just pee. Then after he peed, we'd play with him like crazy. That way he learned that the only way to get to play outside is if you pee first.
 

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If you've had your dog for a while and are starting to understand his body rythms, you could also start regulating when he goes out. With my old dog, we'd let him out the first couple of times he asked two times in a row (asking out, wanting back in, then asking out again within 5-10 minutes), but if he asked after that, we would either not let him out and distract him with a toy or play or let him out again but then leave him out for a good 15-30 minutes. Because he was somewhat velcro, staying outside away from us was a gentle form of dissuasion from asking to go out when he didn't need to pee.

We have only had our current dog for about a week, so we're still in the "letting him out any and every time he goes to the door" phase to reinforce that he needs to tell us when to pee. However, he's already starting to do the in-and-out-and-in-and-out routine, so we're just beginning to implement leaving him outside a little longer than he's like on his 3rd request to go out.

All of this is barring the fact that you have a fence or something to allow the dog to stay in the yard safely without being closely supervised.
 

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I think all bell-trained dogs go through this phase! With Sam, we were in an apartment so we had to take him out on a leash anyway. Our tricks for this phase were taking him to the most boring spot, standing still and not interacting with him for ~5 minutes or until he pottied, rewarding ONLY if he pottied, then right back upstairs. Basically, try to make potty trips as boring as possible unless he actually does his business.

Our other trick was, once he was old enough, to take down the bell for 15 - 30 minutes after he'd pottied. This physically stopped him from constantly ringing it, but also seemed to help him forget that it was there until he had to go again. It was hardly a 100% fix (once or twice we had an accident because we forgot to put the bell back, whoops! Bad owners.), but it cut down on the needless trips outside and he eventually grew out of the habit.
 

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I only used bells during puppyhood but once he matured I took the bells down and expected him to hold it 'indefinitely' until I let him out. In conjunction with taking down the bells, I also took him out to eliminate before he asked for it, but during a time when I knew he needed to go. So sort of phasing out of the 'I'll let you know when I need to go' stage set by him, and going into the 'This is when we walk and use the bathroom' stage set by me. I agree with other posters... You can just take them down at certain times of the day or completely (if he's housebroken).
 
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