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Discussion Starter #1
so we've been trying to teach fred to use the poochie bells to let us know she has to go out, instead of just squatting on my floor. We've had it up since she was 12 weeks and she's now 6 months. What we've been doing is saying "outside ring the bell" when we take her out and we'll ring the bell and go out. She'll ring the bell, but only if we ask her to otherwise she'll just go whereever. She hasn't had an accident in about 2 weeks but i'm very strict with the housebreaking now she's had accidents again. She really has no signs (circling, wniffing, whining, etc.) or just not any I can tell.

is she just not going to pick up on the bells or is there still a chance?

also how long does it take for them to be reliable? I heard they take awhile but she's 6 months and doesn't seem to grasp it. Am I doing something wrong? We highly praise her for going potty outside and ignore her for going inside and clean it with OUT (which is walmart's version of nature's miracle). She's never had a poop accident inside ever and even pee accidents she's only had 10 or less since we've had her and we also moved houses too so i'm wondering if that messed her up? All in all she does good but i'm on her tail 24/7 because i'm worried if I slack off she'll have an accident.
 

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We've trained Virga to ring bells when she's got to go out. She doesn't have any indicators that she's about to pee either. We'd still have to make her go out every hour or so but we'd go to the back door and call her and then say "outside" and ring the bell. And then after a while we'd make her do it. We'd say "outside" and the minute she rang the bell we'd make a big ol' fuss over her and let her out. And when she went pee outside she'd get a treat. It took a while and she still has accidents if we don't hear the bells. But she'll ring the bells to be let out. We've come to distinguish the difference between her playing with the bells and actually needing to go out. The trick is just to be more stubborn than she is! She'll figure it out eventually.
 

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is she just not going to pick up on the bells or is there still a chance?

The think is she can but you need to change up the training a bit. Dog veiw the world differently than humans when it comes to learn, Humans try to see how what they learned apply to different situation where as dogs tend to disected to learn apply to a very strick and narrow set of circumstanses.

What the dog has learned by you method that inorder to go out to potty humans ask for the bells to be rung. then she get to go out. She has not learned to ring the bell on her own ie independently. So that is the first thing. Do not ask for her to ring the bells One can wait at the door and see if she will do it on her own., Perhaps if you are patient enough, In not you can lure her to do it by putting something link canned spray cheese or peanut butter on them when she ring the bell give her a reward for doing so ie piece of meat, hot dog cheese etc. Repete approximately 0 time in short seccesion training intervals you need to get her to ring the bells on her own first off.. When doing a training session try and remove the lure ie food on the bells after 3 attempt and see if she will ring them on her own, be pateint and give her time. So first oft we want her to ring the bell to get a treat. over time with training this 4-5 time a day is short training burst she should start ringing them on occasion on her own besure to rewarded her when she does, better yet use a jack pot ie multible treats give on at a time when she does. Once she is ring the bell on her own you can add the second part now she goes out side then gets the treat. So the bell ring becomes associated with going outside as well. Again you need to practice this repeatedly in short burst 4-5 times a day and any time she rings them on her own,


To summarize the propble you are have is the dog has not learned to ring the bell independant of your command to do so. You do not want to be training a cue to ring the bells like you have, You want to teach her when she rings the bell a good thing happen, For now that will be a treat later on you can change that to going outside but you need to build up a reinforment histor for ringing the bells without being cued to do so. Make sense.

This can also be a big transition phase problem in housetraining If you alway direct the dog outside when you think it is time for her to go she never learns to do this independantly, she becomes dependant on you to tell her when to go. To transision when you think it is near her potty time do not take her to the door or in any way cue her to go outside just walk her like a hawk IF she start to go in an inappropriate spot then interupt her with a loud noise , No, what ever works then take her her out. If you allway make it to easy for her she will never learn, at some point you have to give her the oppurtunity to fail but you want to be right there when it happens. not so much to correct her but to create a learning experience,
 

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Hang in there! Someone told me when I was struggling housetraining Princess Buttercup that any basset hound that figures it out before 6 months was a genius!! Not sure if it's true but it made me feel better! We thought we had a genius but at 3 or 4 months she got a UTI & we were back to square one. Bell training did the trick & now its hilarious! There's a direct correlation to how bad she has to go & how loud/ vigorous she rings the bell! Soft singular ding by bumping snout gently at bell= "I couldn't help but notice it's sunny outside, if anyone is headed out, I'll come with." Loud multiple dings followed my swatting bell with my paw & swinging it at the wall= "Hey humans!!! I GOTTA GO! NOW!!!"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This can also be a big transition phase problem in housetraining If you alway direct the dog outside when you think it is time for her to go she never learns to do this independantly, she becomes dependant on you to tell her when to go. To transision when you think it is near her potty time do not take her to the door or in any way cue her to go outside just walk her like a hawk IF she start to go in an inappropriate spot then interupt her with a loud noise , No, what ever works then take her her out. If you allway make it to easy for her she will never learn, at some point you have to give her the oppurtunity to fail but you want to be right there when it happens. not so much to correct her but to create a learning experience,
thank you for the suggestions we will definetely start on those. Our problem with your method is we can not interrupt her enough to stop pottying inside. If she starts to pee we could say no, shake a can of pennies or blow an air horn off in her face she'll continue to go. This is the method we started with and had major accidents, and even now if she starts having an accident nothing will startle her enough to discontinue. Our trainer said we have to prevent accidents so she learns outside is the ONLY place to go.

I'll give this method a try again.
 

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she starts having an accident nothing will startle her enough to discontinue. Our trainer said we have to prevent accidents so she learns outside is the ONLY place to go.
Yes it is critical to prevent accident. The act of defication and urination is self rewarding so iwhen they have an accident in the house it is somewhat self rewarding more so if you are not trying to create another experience.

Sounds like she is not noise sensitive which in general is a good thing. Keep in mind not every technique is gooing to have the desired effect in all dogs Some other things that can be effect in stopping it mid flow Is taking space away from the dog moving in right on top of the removing personal space or Using a leash or training tab move the dog briskliy from the spot no quarantee but some other technique to consider.

That said at some point when the dog is not having accidents because you have become profienent at managing the dog does not mean the is housetrained. For the dog to be housetrained it need to be able to take resposiblity for letting you know it need to go and being able to hold it. For a dog that has a 24/7 always home guardian this can one of the thougher thinks. That is where crate training help in teach the dog it can hold it. Second is how to let you know it need to go and third it is the dogs resposibility to let you know.

Oten where housetraining breaks down is when the owners assume the dog is housetrained because of the lack of accident but in reality the lack of accident is because of a superiour management when managment lessen the accidents start . To prevent this from happen you need to teach the dogs these things in a progressive and though out manner and give the dog the chance to take added responsibility gradually.
 

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I have read all this with intrest, we have considered using the bell but haven't heard much as to how it works. My basset is not bad, our problem pottier is the Chihuahua. She is a ninja pooper and she refuses to go out if it's cold or wet.
 

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Our basset took to it pretty quickly, although I do remember her early on peeing inside and sprinting over to ring the ball, then wagging her tail like she was a good girl!! Arggh! That's backwards!! We ring the bell then we go outside silly! We just would push her nose into the bell & take her right outside & one day with a little peanut butter on it, she rang it herself & from then on out by herself! She now sometimes loses bell privileges however when she rings it over & over because she wants to go sunbathing! But early on it was fantastic! You can travel with it & hang it wherever when on vacation so she know that's where you go outside. Good luck taming the ninja!
 

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using the bell but haven't heard much as to how it works. My basset is not bad, our problem pottier is the Chihuahua. She is a ninja pooper and she refuses to go out if it's cold or wet.
bells won't help. the purpose of the bells is to teach the dog a cue it can use to get you to recognise it need to go out. What often happen during the transition between managing the dog and having the dog take responsibility it must come up with a reliable signal. Not an Easy task As we often ignore the dogs behavior as an attention seeking behavior rather than a cue it need to go. Theach a cue eliminates this problem.

As far as not wanting to go out when its raining or wet is not a unique problem. I think however at least part of it is a learned behavior as well. It is far to common for onwers to send the dog out in the rain and reward them in side unlike when it is nice out they go out with the dog. It teaches the dog two things Being out in the rain sucks. And you get your reward faster if you go out in the rain and come back in without really doing anything. Becare that when house training that your behavior does not change based on the weather as well.
 

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The Chihuahua is a rescue, so heaven knows what we are trying to unlearn poor thing. Our saving grace is her puppy who is now 2 and asks to go out really reliably. Often the other dogs go out with him just because and go while they are out there. He's probably mostly responsible for training the basset LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #11
well here is what we started doing with Fred. If we get up to go to the door, obviously she follows because she has to have her nose in everyone's business! So we'll suit up (shoes, jacket, poop bag) and just stand there, and at this point she is rarin to come out and play with us in the snow but we wait. She will within a minute or so ring her bell and we immediately praise and treat and clip her leash and head out.

so far does this sound like an ok thing? It's a little different approach.

I also agree though if they don't want to go out the bell is not going to do any good. The bell is suppose to be so they can let you know they have to go out (kinda like barking or pawing at the door). It may help with the times they are willing to go out and then you'll have to work on them for the times they don't want to go out. Good luck!
 

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Better and it could work Each dog is different but be aware that the standing by the door getting prepaired to go might become a cue. That is she will only ring the bell in those situations. It waits to be seen. That is the skill and obserservation part of training and understanding the principals so you can tweek the training based on how the dog is reacting. If in a couple weeks she only rings the bell in that situation then you are going to have to tweek the approach. Another problem with this technique is it offers realitively few opportunities to reward the dog making training that much longer. Setting up situation which do not involve the dog going to the bathroom but simply training the dog what ring the bell does with repeated in short burst training session multiple times a day backs more than a weeks worth of reward and training in a fewminutes that would take weeks with only waiting tiil the dog need to go. Again this does not mean what you are doing won't work but I thing in the long run it is less effcient and will thake longer in terms of number of days for the dog to catch on.

Also keep in mind when first training you are only trying to form the association dog ring bells dog goes outside, not necessarly to potty but for whatevder reason it desires once the behavior is strong then you can refine it by responding only when it is likely she need to go or not letttering back in till she goes etc. If you try and be to refined early you are going to have a hard time not cueing the behavior which you do not want to do.


To expand the context of ring the bells, if you have a dog that responds and wants to be with you when you go out you can try the follow. Exit the house via a door that does not have the bells. Move around to the door that does outside of the house make noise, ie talking so the dog recongnises you . When and if it rings the bell open the door reward and let the dog out. Another way to help generalize the behavior is to present many different context in which ring works and the dog will start to figure out it works in all contexts not just this specfic one. This is something that must be done in dog training all the time. If you teach the dog to sit in the kitchen that is wat it learns, If you start doing it onether rooms it learns to sit in the house. But unless you train outside most dogs do not understand they must sit outside as well. It is one of the ways dogs are different from humans they do not tend to generalize a behavior between different contexts. ie locations, time of day, who give a command etc.


for more on generalization and discrimination as it applies to dogs see

Generalization and Discrimination: Fraternal Twins

The Sit Test
The purpose of the "Sit Test" is to provide an objective assessment of performance-reliability for basic obedience commands. Why? So that instead of reprimanding the dog for "misbehaving," the trainer steps back and reflects on the real reasons for the dog's "disobedience," i.e., lack of proofing and reliability training prior to pattern training. Many trainers have an inflated view of their dog's reliability because during practice, performance reliability is assessed by subjective means. The trainer tends to remember the good and forget the bad. Moreover, following an objective assessment of reliability during obedience trials, failed exercises are frequently dismissed as bad luck.

...
Even minor changes in routine can produce dramatic decreases in reliability. For example, it is easy to demonstrate that an OTCh dog doesn't really know what "Sit" means. Dogs are extremely fine discriminators. If the dog has been taught to "Sit" for supper in the kitchen, or to heel-sit and front and finish in obedience class, that's precisely what the dog learns -- to sit in the kichen and in class. The same dog may occasionally not sit in the obedience ring, while playing in the park, or while greeting visitors at the front door. The dog must be trained in an infinite number of situations for it to generalise the "Sit" command to all instances. (This is in marked contrast to people, many of whom will generalise at the drop of a hat - sometimes from a single experience).

To illustrate, I devised a simple test a Sit Test -- nothing fancy, no bizarre or frightening distractions, just minor variations in what the dog expects. I chose "Sit" because it is the easiest command to teach a dog and probably the first command that many dogs learn. Also, using "Sit" enables Novice, Open, Utility and pet-trained dogs to compete in the same test.

Reliability of Behavior, Desensitization

Green Eggs & Ham and Dog Training?

Generalization - What is it and Why it MUST BE taken into account for Training Success
Our dogs’ ability to automatically apply knowledge to situations in general is far more limited than our own. They are contextual learners that rely on body language for most of their communication, and their command of the English language is very limited. We can see how the affects of ‘generalization’ apply in dog training by observing a very simple exercise. During obedience class we begin teaching our dog to Sit while standing directly in front of them; if we then pivot to our dogs left shoulder and say Sit again, our dogs may look at us totally confused or scoot back in front of us, then Sit. Why…because Sit has always meant Sit with my person directly in front of me. Now take your dog to a new location and ask him to Sit, once again you may get a look of total confusion or no look at all. Why…because your dog may be unable to recall what Sit means in this new place.
 
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