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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a recent posting I talked about putting a bell by the front door so Bodie could ring it when he wants to go outside. I thought I'd give everyone an update on the progress.

I put the bell maybe 18-24 above the ground next to our front door. We did our training when he didn't have to go potty so we could repeat the process. With his lead on and our clicker and a treat in hand I would point to the bell and tell him to get it. Within a couple minutes he was able to put 2 and 2 together and ring the bell. As soon as he rang it I clicked, gave him a treat and we went outside. We would repeat this process maybe 10 times. After about two days of training he would jump up and ring the bell on his own when we were about to go outside. Of course I clicked and rewarded him.

In the evening we give Bodie about an hour or two (depending on his behavior) of family time where he has free run of the house. We put the clicker and a treat on the coffee table so as soon as he rang the bell we could reward him and take him outside immediately. And low and behold he rang the bell on his own. As soon as I took him outside he got busy. We were very pleased to see the progress considering we just started the bell training a few days ago. Obviously we have a long ways to go to ensure he consistently does it. But so far the indications are this is going to work great.
 

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Congratulations Bodie! Bells make it so much easier. Marley trained to the bell at the door just as quickly and it was consistent in a very short period of time. The cats watched every lesson and now they ring the bells too. One problem though, the two cats aren't allowed out. We do a lot of running if the bells ring and we're not in the room.
 

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Awesome! Great job training your Beag. When we got Belle 8 years ago, my mom used a brass bell to train her teacup poodle. It didn't work, so we took it and Belle picked up 'the bell' in just a few days. We got Tinker a year later and he learned in one day what the bell meant, but to this day he refuses to use it. He will prance about in circles around you and then head for the door when he wants out. If he hears Belle ring the bell, he jumps up from where he is snoozing or whatnot and runs outside with her. It's VERY nice to have that bell because when we are not on the main floor of the house, we can still hear it ring and run downstairs to let her out. Funny thing is we can guage how bad she needs to go potty. When she has the liquid runs and can't hold it any longer, she abuses the you know what out of that bell in order to make us run faster to let her out!
 

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We tried the bell with Booger. He learned to use it pretty fast too. But he would ring it just to go outside... every 10 minutes. We had to give the bell up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ya I was wondering if that would happen. So far he's got busy every time he goes out. If he does abuse the bell I guess we'll have to try and modify the training/reward.
 

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Belle also uses the bell to let us know when she wants to go outside and hang out or chase birds/sqirrels or sunbathe. It was pretty simple training her. When we first got her, we would take her out after waking up, before bed, after her dinner, and anytime after playing or other excitement. Those are natural times for any human or animal to go. We would let her out after knocking the bell with our foot, and then lead her out, say go potty as she went potty, then race back inside for a treat and lots of positive praise. It only took a week...for her to figure out that she could ring the bell, go outside and squat and pretent to pee, then run back inside for a treat. Oh yeah she played us like saps! At first I thought she might have had some bladder infection or something so one time I followed her out and pretended to not pay attention but watched with my peripheral vision and sure enough, she was faking! She would squat for a few seconds then run for the door for a treat! Little shyster! So now we give treats randomly, or only after potty. We don't reward for just going outside to fart around in the backyard or whatnot, as they would ring it, go outside for five minutes then want back in for a treat. Half hour later, ring ring ring... and same thing. So only reward for potty (real potty, not fake potty!). The bell works. We even take it when we travel, so we don't have to worry about any accidents at the hotel or when visiting family, they will hear the bell (and are suitably impressed!) and let them out in their backyard to go potty (soothing any fears about our dogs having accidents in their house..). It's awesome!
 

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Congratulations!
Charlie rings them too many times though. He just want to go out to play and bark along with our neighbor dogs. It is hard to tell if he really wants to do his business or not.
 

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I am loving this thread. Charlie the lab just sits patiently by the door until someone realize's he's there, but that's labs for you. I am definately going to do the bell thing when we bring our Beagle home. What sort of bell did you use? A regular bell that you attached to something that can screw into the wall?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We're using a small purple Sacramento Kings cowbell. I just screwed in a long hook next to the door, put the bell on it and with pliers closed the hook. Make sure you hit a stud as it will get a lot of use.
 

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I have one of those Hotel bells. Round wooden base about three inches wide with a gold push button bell. I was thinking of using that. It does have a hole in the back so you can mount it to the wall, but I was thinking of placing it on the floor and the dog can put his paw on it. That way, I can move it when we're out, and take it to our in-laws when we go visit. Anyone else have other ideas for bells? I would want to use a Yankees bell but my husband would fight me to use a RedSox one, so sports bells are out of the question!
 
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