Bell training…what type of bell works best?
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  • Hi Everyone!
    We've had our little Mabel in her forever home for almost three weeks now and potty-training is going fairly well. We have two other dogs (a senior and a teenager) so she frequently just "goes with the flow" of when they want to go out. The only time Mabel lets us know on her own is when she's in her crate…so then she whines when she needs to get out and do her business. When she is uncrated and the other dogs don't ask to go out Mabel goes potty in the house. She's not catching on with how to ask on her own.
    Since we brought her home we've had a service bell by the door and every time before we put her outside we've helped her ring the bell with her paw. (It's a hand bell like you'd see at a service counter.) I've seen the "jingle bell" type that people hang on the doorknobs or near the door...but I liked the idea of the service bell more.
    She is just not catching on the the bell idea. She has never rung it on her own. I would have thought that in three weeks she would have caught on at least a little bit...but she shows absolutely no interest in the bell whatsoever.
    Do you think I need to try the jingle bells? Or do you think she may eventually catch on to the service bell and I just need to give her more time?
    I know she's smart because she's already learned "sit" and "lay down" commands with hand signals. Our teenage dog still can't even catch on to "sit".
    Anyway, sorry this is so long, but I'm just looking for suggestions or recommendations...and maybe someone else who has had success with a service bell as opposed to the jingle bells.
    Your thoughts and advice are appreciated!

    Have a Basenjiful day!!!:)

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  • While I have never used bells …. I would say that you need to has her associate ringing the bell with going out... and that would be go back to potty training 101... she needs to be taken out in the middle or end of play, when waking up, after eating, and all the times inbetween. Take her to the door where the bell is and ring it for her... or put her paw on it to ring it... then take her outside... when she goes praise and treat her...

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  • I would use clicker training to shape ringing the bell. THEN (once you have the behavior) I'd link it to going out. But I've never done this because i'm sure somebody in my house would be ringing that bell every 5-10 minutes or whenever a rabbit walked by which would be more frequent. (I almost trip over bunnies going to my car.) Except when it's really yucky and cold outside when they would still try to convince me they don't need to go out until spring.

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  • Thanks for the input Tanza…I see you reply to a lot of questions in the forum and like that you are so willing to offer advice to whoever needs it. :)

    We help her ring the bell every time before she goes outside and give her a treat when she comes back in (but only if she's gone potty while she was out). We let her out in the morning, after naps, after food, and before bed. I just want her to know to ask on her own to go out if she has to. I think she may be relying on the other dogs to tell us when they need to go out (then we put them all out together…even if only one of them has asked to go). And/or she is relying on our own judgement of when to let her out. I'm just not sure how to go about getting her to let us know when we may not be paying as much attention to her actions sometimes.
    Thanks again!;)

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  • @agilebasenji:

    …..i'm sure somebody in my house would be ringing that bell every 5-10 minutes or whenever a rabbit walked by which would be more frequent. (I almost trip over bunnies going to my car.) Except when it's really yucky and cold outside when they would still try to convince me they don't need to go out until spring.

    Ha Ha!!! That is hilarious!

    I was thinking of clicker training. I might give it a try.

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  • How old is she? You may be expecting too much from her at too young of an age. My newest girls did not really get the clue about going out (and we have a doggy door) until C-Me (the Try-ing) was close to 13 to 14 wks and Franie, about 15 wks. And I say that because what I base it on is the first time that I see them make the connection between using the doggy door to go out and going potty. Prior to that (and even for a long time after) I would take them out or be out myself and call them so that they would use the doggy door and then tell them to potty…..

    While C-Me became pretty dependable at about 16wks... Franie on the other hand not till she was close to 5 or 6 months old that I considered her 95% house trained...

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  • The type of bell we used for Shaye was the copper bell type that fisherman use on the line when they have lots of lines in the water - it's about an inch and a half square, and we hung it from a length of ribbon to get the right height. She learned this very quickly and was about 13 weeks when we came up with the idea. BUT, on saying that, if yours is anything like mine, they learn real quickly that ringing the bell gets them out, and they ring it whether or not they want to go potty. The bell was up in our house for about a month - then we got real sick of hearing it every half hour or so because we knew Shaye just wanted out to play.

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  • I used chimes when training the last litter. But they also weren't 100% trained until about 5-6 months. Due to the weather here, they didn't start going outside until March and then I potty trained them outside first and then started ringing the chimes. Johnny got it within two tries and Frankie not much after that. I found it depends on how high the bell is also. I put a string on mine so that I can raise it as they grow.

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  • tanza: "How old is she?"
    she's almost 3 months.
    Maybe I am just being impatient, but I thought she'd at least sniff the bell…or, if anything, try to eat the bell. lol

    I will keep trying. Maybe I will get some chimes or a hanging bell. I'll keep you guys posted on the progress.

    Thanks for all the input!!

    :)

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