Sophie is potty trained and hasnt had an accident in the house in months however she always jumps against the glass patio door to go out.  I would prefer her to ring a bell or bark, i hate to have the glass get all scratched up.  I have seen the bells at some stores but do not know how to go about teaching her to ring it.

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Franklin pokes everything I point at with his nose because he knows the "touch" command so I just pointed to the bell and when he poked it I told him good boy and gave him a treat. I did this everytime I took him outside. He has never been one to alert me when he has to go potty, he just sits and waits for me to take him out so I didn't really have success as using a bell to alert me when he wants out. But basically if you just give her lots of praise any time she even looks at the bell and then work up to praise only for when she touches it and then have her touch it every time you open the door and she will learn to touch the bell to go out. 

I would also like to try this with Scout. He goes to the door but is so quiet I don't usually know he is waiting there for me and then has an accident right at the door. Poor little guy is trying. I think I will get a bell this weekend and start the touch command with it. I'll keep you posted...

Rocky was also very quiet at the door when he needed to go out. He would actually just wander by the door and if no one was there, he'd find a nice spot on the carpet to potty!! Not fun. We put up bells and everytime I took him out, I would take his head in my hands and very gently tap his nose on the bell so it would ring, then take him out and praise and treat him like crazy when he pottied. Didn't take long and he was a champ at bell ringing and was potty trained. No problems after he learned to ring the bell to tell us he needed to go out. I just used a string of Christmas jingle bells rather than buying those expensive dog bells. My sister-in-law just took some big jingle bells and tied them on some string for her cocker. Works just fine. We take the bells with us when we travel because Rocky still doesn't bark or scratch the door to go out but he will find the bells.

Just as Melissa suggested, it's good to teach the "touch" command when using bells.  Marty has been bell trained since he was 8-9 weeks old and we rarely had accidents once he was trained (provided we were quick enough, of course).  I've used this for my other dogs in the past.  I highly recommend it -- great housebreaking tool.

Another thing you can do is ring the bell yourself and say "potty" (or whatever bathroom cue you like to use) each time you go outside.  Then gradually offer your dog the bells to ring themselves with the potty command/cue.   I kind of use a mix of the touch command and ringing it myself at first -- depends on the dog.  

One word of warning though -- they may (and most likely WILL) use it to make you let them out just for recreational purposes.  This is your choice if you want to allow it, but because most herding breeds tend to be... mmm, I guess I would use the word "bossy"....I'm pretty strict about about the bells only being used for going potty and I personally decide when they can and can't go out and play.   So, if you want to go that route -- remember always potty business first and play after.   If they don't use the potty, yet rang the bells, just bring them back inside and watch them.  But that's your choice if you want to just use it as a general "go outside" cue or just a specific, "need to potty" cue.  :]

You can check out the Lentek Pet Chime.  It's a paw-print that you teach the dog to step on and functions as a doorbell would.  I've not used it, but know someone who does and likes it.

I cant believe it but Sophie is already ringing the bells to go out, i just picked them up this morning.  Corgis are so smart :)


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