Monday, March 1, 2010

Bell Training

One issue we had early on with Cindy Jae was potty-training.

Frankly, it reminded me of potty-training my youngest. I was frustrated and she didn't care.

We tried lots of things and eventually one of the other trainers mentioned bell training. Sounded simple, just attach some jingle bells to the doorknob and ring them every time you take the puppy out. At some point, she'll make the connection and start ringing the bells on her own whenever she needs to go out and take care of business. I wasn't sure how to keep her from *eating* the bells since she tried out her teeth on everything she could reach, but I figured it was worth a try.

So I bought some jingle bells, sewed them on a ribbon, and hung them on the gate. Within just a time or two, she got it. Wow! What a smart puppy! She'd trot over to the bells and sit waiting expectantly for me to come and take her out.

What she was *supposed* to learn was, "If I ring these bells, I go outside and go potty."

What she *actually* learned was, "If I ring these bells, I go outside!!!"

After a day or two of constant ringing, I took the bells away. I was not taking that dog outside 10 times an hour and I couldn't bring her around to my way of thinking.

As Cindy Jae has grown, we've moved her downstairs where there's more room and she has access to the front door. I hung the bells back up and she's mostly got the real reason she's supposed to ring the bells. Now that's she's more mature, she doesn't get bored so easily and go looking for trouble.

Well, not as much.

She still tries to eat the sofa pillows and will grab whatever she can reach, but she knows that it's wrong and when caught, will put herself in her crate. Goofy dog.

1 comment:

Heather said...

After reading the first part of this blog, I thought "Wow, she is a smart pup". Then I read the rest. She had your wrapped around her little paw for a little bit!
As far as trying to get things she shouldn't. this little tidbit worked with my kids. If she picks up or starts to chew something she shouldn't, tell her "No", then hand her something she can have. It didn't take long for my kids to get the connection, and soon, I could trust them and their mouths.