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Old 02-25-2007, 07:03 PM
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Question Ringing those bells!

When we first got our Great Pyrenees puppy at 8 weeks, we hung some bells over the back door knob and rang them every time we took her out to potty. She quickly caught on because she is a doggy genius. However, she is now 14 weeks and she rings the bells whenever she wants attention. But we are reluctant to ignore her because she may actually have to potty. How can we teach her to ring the bells only when she needs to go outside?
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:21 PM
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Let her outside EVERY time she rings them. She'll get it very quickly.
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:41 PM
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Sammy tries that trick from time to time. If he's just recently been out and I know he's juts trying to get me to pay attention, I just tell him "nice try" and walk away.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:04 AM
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Maybe if she sees you do let her out every time she rings them, she will eventually get the connection. I wouldn't ignor her because it may be the one time she really has to go out.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:59 AM
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We have tried both ways--perhaps not for long enough. While letting her out every time she rings the bells seems to be reinforcing her attention-getting behavior, not letting her out may lead to some housebreaking accidents. My husband tends to ignore her if she's just been out. Sometimes she will ring them and then just lie down by the door, indicating that she really doesn't have to go out. It's usually at night that she tends to ring them often. And that's her most excitable period of the day--between about 5:00 and 8:00.
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:11 PM
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What does she do when you let her out and she doesn't have to go? Maybe she hears something outside that you don't. My dogs ring the bell when they hear something that I can't and as you said, it's usually at night. When I let them out they stalk the yard until they are certain whatever they heard isn't in their territory. It may be more of an ivestigation/protection thing than an attention thing.

Just a funny little thing about my dogs. We have four, two girls and two boys. The boys are the ones who ring their bells. Buddy has his bell and Corky has his bells. They both hang on the same door nob but they never ring the other's bell, only their own. Corky has 4 bells on his. He has already broken off one of them. I'm hopping when/if he's broken them all he will ring the ones we replace them with because my guess is he won't ring Bud's.
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:24 PM
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If you are convinced she had adequate '"potty time" outside, why not remove the bells for a short period of time, and return them when you think would be needed again to indicate a need to go out?
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:01 AM
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Taking the bells off sounds like a good plan! I think I can safely do this during those periods when I can predict she will ring the bells for reasons other than I-have-to-potty. Like when my husband (her best bud) leaves for work in the morning. She always mourns his departure by whining and ringing the bells!
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:04 PM
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Cheza does that too, but I know her schedule well enough by now to be able to guess as to whether she has to go or not. Also, USUALLY if she does, and I think she doesn't, she will go to the door more than once and ring them, or sit by the door. If she doesn't have to pee, she will get distracted by toys and stay away from the bells.
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