February 24, 2014 Leave a comment
The door to the outside is on the lower level of my house, so training my dogs to communicate their needs for the outdoors was a must!
For Shadow the method I picked and use was easy to train her for. Geordi, not so much. We had to purchase a baby gate to get it through his thick head. I trained them both to ring a bell to communicate the need for access to the outdoors. They have turned it into a communicate the need for attention device (Shadow rings it when dinner is late and goes and sits by her bowl).
Supplies that I used:
A parrot ball (cost of $6)
Ribbon to hang it with (length uses cost of maybe $1)
An easy location (hallway closet door)
Supplies you could use:
Potty Training Bell (cost of $22)
For Shadow this was easy, and any ball loving dog this should be easy, anytime they touch it and it makes an audible jingle take them outside. Every Single Time. If you have to take them out Ring The Bell and say whatever phrase you want to use (ours is Outside but you could use Potty) Every Single Time until they get it. If they stand by the door and haven’t wrung the bell, take them back to the bell and have them ring it. Shadow caught on easy because thought it was a toy and it only took a couple weeks for her to start using it for the way it was meant and the way she wanted to get guaranteed attention. So why did Geordi take to long and a baby gate?
Because he’s stubborn. He picked up quickly as puppy where the door was and watched Shadow do her bell thing. So why did he we have to get a baby gate? It was the only way to MAKE him ring the bell every time. Sure, on a hit and miss basis if we were sitting in the living room or kitchen he would do it, but not 100% of the time. After a baby gate confining him away from the downstairs and the door did he finally start getting it and ringing it every single time. Now, he uses it just like Shadow does (if Shadow has stolen his toy or bone he rings it and goes and sits by her).
Yes, it takes time but so does potty training as a whole and this doesn’t require them to bark so it’s a good apartment, condo, or shared house method. It might also save your wall if they are trying to scratch it to get out.