House Training: Ring My Bell!
Here are the instructions for teaching your dog to ring a bell to indicate it needs out. You will need:
Hang the jingle bell or by the door at the dogs head level. Kneel or stand about one foot from the door and have your container of food within reach. Hold onto your dog's collar or leash. Put some the cream cheese onto your finger, let the dog smell it, and then smear it onto the bell. Release your hold on the dog and encourage it to approach the door. When your dog licks the bell, click. It is already getting the positive reinforcement off the bell. Repeat until your dog shows confidence. This means it would go up to the bell even if you just point at it.
Take the bell down until the next training session. It is important each time you repeat this exercise you bring the dog back to standing a foot from the bell and you are holding it back.
Put the bell back up. See if your dog remembers by pointing (you are kneeling one foot away) to the bell. If your dog doesn't ring the bell, go back to step 1. If your dog goes up and licks the bell, click and give a treat out of your pocket. Do at least 20 repetitions or until your dog shows confidence. If you have been kneeling, now try the exercise with you standing.
Stand two feet from the bell while you point at it. Unless you have real long arms your hand will be a little farther from the bell. When the dog rings it, click and give a treat out of your pocket. Do at least 20 repetitions or until your dog shows confidence.Take the bell down until your next training session.
Repeat step 3 except while the dog is going up to the bell, give the dog a command to "ring it." Make sure to use a neutral voice so you do not distract your dog. Do at least 20 repetitions or until your dog shows confidence. Take the bell down until your next training session.
Stand three feet from the door and repeat the exercise just as you did in step 4. Now when your dog rings the bell give your click and open the door tossing the treat outside. Do at least 20 repetitions or until your dog shows confidence. At this point you can leave the bell up all the time. Be prepare to click, and toss the treat outside should your dog ring it on its own.
You can now use the exercise as part of the housetraining. When you would normally take you dog out just do the exercise first. You will continue with your training exercise expanding what your dog can do.
Every day or two when you doing the exercise move a little farther away from the door. Also start giving the treat farther away from the door. This will require you to go out with the dog. Ideally you are working the treat giving over to the dogs potty area.
The next step makes it so the dog only gets the treat after it eliminates outside. The dog rings the bell you go out to the potty area with the dog, it eliminates you click and treat. When you have twomonths of no accidents, you can consider your dog housetrained and stop going out with it. The dog will ring the bell; you open the door and let the dog out.
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