For any person who has studied Psychology and understands the concept behind Pavlov’s dog experiment which was, “When the bell rang the dog began to salivate indicating it was time for food,” can take this same concept and apply it to housebreaking methods.
As a puppy, they need to understand the correct places to relief themselves. Once this rule is learned, then higher level thinking activities can be taught, learned, and comprehended.
For instance, during the holiday season many pet stores are selling soft plush elastic colorful dog collars with bells on them. Besides the fact that many dogs may not like the bells constantly ringing in their ears, the collars are the perfect size to hang on a door handle.
When I saw the colorful collar at the pet store and the picture of the dog with it on the label, my first thought was, “How great would it be to make Tymmie wear this and then take pictures of him!”. But he doesn’t like pictures or collars.
My main reason for buying the large bell collar was to teach a new housebreaking method of ringing the bells to indicate when he needed to go out. Of course at first I made him wear the collar for twenty minutes as I snapped pictures and he gave the puppy dog torture face. Afterwards I took it off and showed him where I was putting the bell collar around the front door handle and began using it as a training tool.
Figure if an older dog is having trouble walking or is affected with arthritis, by the time they find their owner to tell them they need to go out, it may be too late and an accident may occur beyond their control.
One way of teaching an old dog this new trick is:
· Every time you walk out of the door, say the word out and ring the bell.
· Do this five times before taking the dog out the door so they can begin to understand that when the bell is rung, it symbolizes going outside to go to the bathroom.
· Some dogs may pick it up within a week; others may take longer like closer to a month but have patience.
Make the dog ring the bells as well. Say the word out as you ring the bell. Then say the word out and tell the dog to ring the bell. For every one he gets right, reward it with a treat or a positive, loving praise.
Tymmie learned within two weeks that ringing the bell lets us know he needed to go out. While I had company over, out of nowhere Tymmie went up to the door and rang the bell. At first I wasn’t aware he did it and then he did it again! What a proud master I was and gave him tons of praise, hugs, and kisses and then ran him outside before an accident could occur.
Have you ever thought about using the bell dog collar as a training tool for an adult dog that may be having trouble getting outside in time?
Some advantages to using a bell:
- Older dogs may not be able to hold themselves long enough to find their owners and make it back to the door in time.
- Arthritic dogs find it too much of an effort to walk.
- Eliminates over excessive barking
- Stops jumping up on the owner
The accidents which were occurring just from bladder control issues can be eliminated with the correction method of ringing of the bells.
Give it a try, it is really fun to see your dog ring the bell. :o)