Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We adopted a Retriever/Border Collie mix a few weeks ago. He's about 3 1/2 months old. He's VERY smart, and may be a little too smart for his own good (or ours!) We have been pretty successful with crate training and house training, at least until a few days ago. We followed the usual advice for potty training - took him out every couple of hours and praised him highly when he went, kept him in the same room with us to prevent accidents, didn't punish him when they did occur. All worked pretty well, so we then tied a string of jingle bells to the doorknob and trained him to ring them when he needed to go out. He picked up on that within a few days, and it all seemed great. But now he has figured out that we will let him outside whenever he rings the bells! So he'll ring them and then go outside and just sit down on the grass to watch the world go by, or bark "hello" to the kids across the street when he sees them. Yesterday he "asked" to go out three times, only one of which was productive. The other two times were to hang out. So I thought I would ignore it if I knew he had peed and pooped a short time before. And you might see this coming...I ignored it when he rang the bell once yesterday, then came into the living room and found he had peed on the carpet. I'm almost convinced that he thought, "OK, if you won't let me out, I'll pee inside until you do!" Any suggestions on how we can determine when the bell-ringing is sincere, and when he's crying wolf?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
I know a lot of people have this issue when using the bell idea. Personally I would lose the bells and just take him out on a set schedule.

If you want to keep them, I would take him out on leash for an allotted amount of time, then bring him back in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
This is exactly why I don't recommend training with bells on the door. The people I know who have tried it ended up with dogs like yours who just ring the bell constantly to go hang out outside.

Personally, I just take my dog out on a schedule, I don't wait for him to ask me. He knows when his usual potty times are (when we get up, before bed, and when we get home from work at lunch and at the end of the day) and it's easier for both of us.

Also keep in mind that a 3.5 month old puppy really doesn't have much bladder control yet. Whether you want to stick with the bells or not, he's young enough that he should be taken out on a schedule instead of you waiting for him to tell you he has to go, because he often won't be able to tell you in time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
BC x GR? Going to be a gorgeous dog, but already a smart one, lol! I agree with the above. He's too young to control his bladder, but old enough to know that ringing bells means "outside fun time!" If you want to keep trying with the bells, you should put him on a leash, go outside, wait a few minutes, no playing!, and then go right back in. Potty time is potty time, take him out to play on your own and unconnected to his ringing bells.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I took the bells off! It seemed like such a good idea at the time. Also, he's so smart, and already has such a strong personality, that it's easy to forget he's only 3 1/2 months old! Thanks for the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
BC x GR? Going to be a gorgeous dog, but already a smart one, lol! I agree with the above. He's too young to control his bladder, but old enough to know that ringing bells means "outside fun time!" If you want to keep trying with the bells, you should put him on a leash, go outside, wait a few minutes, no playing!, and then go right back in. Potty time is potty time, take him out to play on your own and unconnected to his ringing bells.
Yes, totally agree. For the bells to work he does need to be taken out every time, because if you start guessing when he really means it or not, he's going to end up having accidents and being confused about what the point of the bells is. Take him out, no interaction or play unless he potties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
Personally I fail to see how bells are any different than your dog asking to go out any other way? I hear a lot of people say not to use bells for this reason but it's not any different than a dog who scratches at the door/barks/whines or otherwise.
I do have somewhat of a schedule when I know my dog usually needs out but I WANT him to tell me when he does. He signal is to make eye contact with me and then run to the back door. He paces and keeps doing this until I let him out. I like this. Does he sometimes ask to go out when he doesn't need the bathroom? Sure. But for the most part I know when he actually needs to go vs. just wanting to hang out or chase birds or whatever. I also don't see anything bad about him going out for fresh air whenever. I usually let him go out whenever he wants. Unless I know he just wants to bark at squirrels or something obnoxious like that.
My advice is that you should continue to use the bells if you want to. For now, let him out whenever he rings them. If you have a yard where he can roam safely, and he's behaving, I don't see any harm. As he gets older, he will be able to hold himself better and you will know when he actually needs to go vs. just being annoying and you can choose to ignore the latter if you want.
Just my two cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,008 Posts
Personally I fail to see how bells are any different than your dog asking to go out any other way? I hear a lot of people say not to use bells for this reason but it's not any different than a dog who scratches at the door/barks/whines or otherwise.
I do have somewhat of a schedule when I know my dog usually needs out but I WANT him to tell me when he does. He signal is to make eye contact with me and then run to the back door. He paces and keeps doing this until I let him out. I like this. Does he sometimes ask to go out when he doesn't need the bathroom? Sure. But for the most part I know when he actually needs to go vs. just wanting to hang out or chase birds or whatever. I also don't see anything bad about him going out for fresh air whenever. I usually let him go out whenever he wants. Unless I know he just wants to bark at squirrels or something obnoxious like that.
My advice is that you should continue to use the bells if you want to. For now, let him out whenever he rings them. If you have a yard where he can roam safely, and he's behaving, I don't see any harm. As he gets older, he will be able to hold himself better and you will know when he actually needs to go vs. just being annoying and you can choose to ignore the latter if you want.
Just my two cents.
Pretty much this. I don't use bells because I have a cat and I know she would find it hilarious to play with them non-stop. I don't want to be jumping up in the middle of the night to find the cat taunting me :) . However Lad only took a day to figure out if he went to the door I would let him out, he was house broken that fast. He figured out shortly after that he could go to the door and I would let him out and he didn't necessarily have to potty, he could just ramble the yard. Bells or no bells, dogs figure it out. He stands by the door, I let him out. It isn't always an issue because it has been storming a lot and he doesn't want to be out in the rain (luckily) but if the weather even seems sort of decent he wants to play outside. I don't mind if I have time but I have things to do during the day other than spend half of it outside with him. Luckily he has a good recall. If he didn't come when I called him (sometimes he dawdles but he does always come) I would take him on leash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
I have a 7.5 month old BC mix and do not use bells. About 2 months ago she started finally letting us know when she had to go out (we had a lot of UTI issues prior to that). She barks and jumps in your face urgently when she has to go like HAZ TO GOOO NOOOOWWWW MOMMMMMM! Well in the last couple weeks since the weather has been nicer, that whole I have to go potty NOW thing has evolved into her sitting at the door barking because she wants to go outside, not necessarily because she has to go potty. So, I agree with those that have said use the leash. For a smart dog, just taking away the bells won't necessarily fix your problem. They will just find another way to tell you they want out. Since your pup is so young, stick to a schedule and if you think he's faking you out, take him out on a leash, give him a chance to do his business then bring him back in. I also wait for Skye to stop barking and lie down quietly before I will let her out if I think she's faking. But she's older so she can hold it a little longer if she's not faking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,165 Posts
We use a bell... and as you've likely discovered it's both the best and the worst thing we've ever taught her! Ha! I really like the bell and it's super convenient when I'm in another room and/or not really paying much attention to her. And yes, she was starting to abuse it a little because she just loves being outside. So what we do is this... I do treat training. I know it doesn't work for everyone but that's what works for us. When she rings the bell and goes outside to potty, she gets a treat when she comes back in. When she rings the bell to go outside but DOESN'T go potty, she gets no treat when she comes back in. The thing is we still let her out / take her out every time she rings the bell because I want to reinforce with her what that means, but she has caught on to the fact that she only gets treats when she actually uses the bathroom. It has cut down on the abuse A LOT. Not to say she still doesn't ring the bell just to go hang out still sometimes, but I'm fine with that. I'm glad she lets me know that she wants to go out. But she definitely understands that no potty = no treat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,400 Posts
A 3 -4 mos puppy gets distracted when he goes outside... He may not be trying to just go and play, he may need to go potty, but when he gets outside, he starts sniffing and forgets to potty. If this might be the case, then you might try putting him on leash to go out, and just stand in one place until he goes, or until you are ready to take him back in... A pup will frequently pee within 30 seconds of going outside .... however, he may forget to poop until he has smelled everything in the yard :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
This is exactly why I don't recommend training with bells on the door. The people I know who have tried it ended up with dogs like yours who just ring the bell constantly to go hang out outside.

Personally, I just take my dog out on a schedule, I don't wait for him to ask me. He knows when his usual potty times are (when we get up, before bed, and when we get home from work at lunch and at the end of the day) and it's easier for both of us.

Also keep in mind that a 3.5 month old puppy really doesn't have much bladder control yet. Whether you want to stick with the bells or not, he's young enough that he should be taken out on a schedule instead of you waiting for him to tell you he has to go, because he often won't be able to tell you in time.
If there is a set schedule for the time you take your dog out, do you also have a time when you give your dog food and water?? Or do you just let them have food/water whenever???
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,985 Posts
Five year old thread.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top