Teaching puppies to ring a bell to tell you they need to go outsideI
use a "sleigh bell" type bell that I purchased at a craft
store. It's about 1 1/2" in diameter. I attached it to a length
of cord and hung it from the doorknob of the door we use most often
to go out to potty at about the pup's nose height. Each time we went
to the door, I would jingle the bell and say "outside, go potty",
then open the door. After about a week of that then I waited a moment
after we got
The big "leap" came when I'd taken my eyes off them and they went to the door and rang the bell without me. I quickly went and opened the door.
Now some people questioned whether bell ringing and getting me to "jump" would become a fun dog game. I found that in time I didn't respond to "fake" rings so they didn't play that game much. As they got older there were times when one would ring but I was busy. If he really needed to go, he would keep ringing until I came. Otherwise he'd go do something else for a bit.
There are also some commercially available "door bells"
that the dog hits with a paw to make it chime. These might be more suited
to use on the outside of the door for when the dog wants back in. I
tend to favor staying by the door during potty training to let them
back in as soon as they are finished. It short-circuits some of the
other behaviors that are likely to develop (jumping on the door, barking,
scratching). If the pup tried any of these undesirable behaviors, I
Hint - think "often" - as in, take your puppy outside often. It helps if you can have a schedule and adhere to it pretty closely every day (puppy bladders don't understand weekends!) Try something like this for your puppy:
6:00am remove puppy from bedroom crate, carry outside for potty, Lots of praise.
Return inside, feed breakfast, puppy gets to play (supervised) in kitchen (baby gates keep him there) until 6:30, then potty break for 5 minutes (again, lots of praise) and returned to crate.
8:00a.m remove puppy from crate, carry outside for potty, Lots of praise. Return inside, puppy gets to play (supervised) in kitchen (baby gates keep him there) until 10:30am, then potty break for 5 minutes (again, lots of praise) and put in family room crate until the afternoon.
12:30pm remove puppy from crate, carry outside for potty, Lots of praise. Return inside, feed lunch, puppy gets to play in kitchen (baby gates keep him there) until 1:30pm, then potty break for 5 minutes (again, lots of praise) and a short play time in yard, with potty praise of course! Play time continues in the family room or yard - lots of rowdy play, with a potty break after 20 minutes (PRAISE!!!!!!) and then more play and potty and praise again.
Then back to the crate around 4:30pm for naptime.
5:30pm remove puppy from crate, carry outside for potty, Lots of praise. Return inside, puppy gets to hang out in the kitchen while dinner is prepared. 6:30pm puppy gets dinner, then carry outside for potty, Lots of praise. Return to kitchen for hanging out (supervised) while dishes get done etc., then more play time! After 20 minutes of playing take puppy outside for potty (and praise!) Then, puppy gets evening play time - outside if possible so that IF he goes potty praise can be spontaneously given. If he starts to go potty and it is not in his spot, you say, "No!" then quickly pick him up (do not wait for him to finish) and take him to his spot and say, "Now Go Potty!" after he does, give him lots and lots of praise.
Puppy gets to spend most of the evening "loose" yet supervised
- trips outside are frequent!
11:30pm - final trip outside, then puppy is put in crate (in our bedroom)
and collapses into
Use TONS of praise (imagine seeing yourself in your pjs jumping up
and down and clapping at
One thing that supposedly helps is to always use the same door, and
always take him to the
My husband's favorite saying about housebreaking a puppy is "Eternal
vigilance is the key"
The only downside to this method that by the time the pup is grown,
he'll probably still be
From: "Heidi Holmetoft Hansen" <heidi@m...>
Well, her behavior, unwanted as it maybe, IS reinforced. :)
There are several ways to do this (I am currently going through the same with a 4 months old pup, though I haven't been getting up, my boyfriend got into a bad habit of asking him to "please shut the F up". Again...attention!) and it is slowly getting better.
What I do is NOT give him any attention when he howls. I just lay there all-quiet with my eyes closed, pretending to still be sound at sleep.
Then I wait until he is quiet for a few seconds, which eventually
he has to be to take in air for the next wolfy howl. Then I click him
and toss him a treat (yes, I have a small bag of dried
I make sure to not talk to him in or pet him at all at this time in
the morning. When I do finally get up, I make sure to say properly good
morning, by calling him to talking and petting, me handing him treats.
Then we go into the yard, sniff around, maybe pee a little, then he
At the moment, we've come to a point where he doesn't even care to get up and howl at 5 am EVERY morning. Now he actually sleeps till 7:30 am. So I have set my alarm to go off around 7:15. This way I can get wake up in time to give him the "Time to get up" signal right before he starts to stir himself.
Hope this helps a bit.
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