View Full Version : Signals to go outside... that darn bell ain't working! Help

22nd January 2011, 12:06 AM
I am sure this has been covered but at my wit's end. :bang: If we are watching Gracie, we can tell when she needs to go out by her signs and asking her. However, if we are NOT watching her, we have a problem. She just is not picking up on ringing the bells hanging from the door.... she seems to almost not like the bells. So what tips do you all have to get a vocal signal or some other way for her to tell us "I NEED TO GO OUT AND POTTY!" Can we teach her to bark? If so, how?

22nd January 2011, 12:43 AM
Well, part of yur answer is in your wuestion -- 1) realistically I think you are expecting too much of a very young pup and 2) 'when we aren;t watching her'... that should not be sentence ever said about a dog still in housetraining mode :lol:. Any guide to housetraining will say that at her age she needs to not be allowed to be at more than arm's length and under a hawk's eye at all times unless crated, so that she cannot have accidents, and she needs to be taken out still -- she is too young to figure out bells and be left to remember to ring them herself. It takes a long long long time to housetrain -- believe me, generally far longer than people give to the job. You need patience. Bells generally take a long time of focused training by the owner and aren't a quick solution. A lot of cavaliers never really give much of a sign and females are far harder to housetrain. There are tons of link to housetraining in the training info I link to at the top of the training section -- I'd review some of those and keep in mind tht you need to continue with the actual training process with the bells until you KNOW she will go to ring them when she needs to go out. Some dogs just never get this approach though.

Ian Dunbar has lots of info on training a dog to bark but then you need to link that to the act of needing to go out.

22nd January 2011, 01:33 AM
Gracie is just 8 months old. good point!!!

22nd January 2011, 02:08 AM
Honestly I have never trained a dog to ring a bell to get let out. But, I have HEARD that every time you go to the door to wipe some peanut butter on the bells so the dog licks it off and they jingle, then you get excited saying "good outside!" and let her out.

Eventually the dog should figure out that bell = outside, and bell is not scary because she remembers always licking peanut butter off at the beginning.

I had the same problem with having Coco tell us when she needed to go outside, and that is still a work in progress. We have just been keeping a hawks eye on her, watching her signs, and keeping her on a tight feeding/watering schedule. With all this combined, by 5 months old we are approaching our 1 month with no accidents..so far it has been almost 3 weeks! And JUST recently she started to bark to get let out. At first we had no idea what she was barking at, and noticed that when we took her out after that she went instantly like she really needed to go.

22nd January 2011, 02:19 AM
I am sorry I did not respond to PM but this is an area I am not good at. Ella has a bell but never used it. It takes a lot of time. I think it is easier when there is a routine. My step dad would be overly obsessed with taking their lab out to the point that every dog they have must be watched when he let's them out in the back yard even when scout was 12. He didn't have many or if any accidents.

I think they need a routine and I would read those training guides and books. With dedication and time it pays off in the end but she is still young. The bell thing is something my cousin does but if you have a ritual and take them out regularly or at certain times, then I don't know about it.

Good luck... puppies are adorable but I are work. I am so glad I don't have to deal with ruined shoes. I learned so next time I will not leave my best pair of shoes around when I get another puppy
I actually think my next cavalier will be a rescue.

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Love my Cavaliers
22nd January 2011, 03:21 AM
None of my dogs is a puppy any more, but they all tell me they have to go out differently. Riley just sits in front of the door quietly until I notice her. Oliver sits at the door and barks. Maddie comes and paws my hand until I get up and follow her to the door and Oz just makes himself annoying by jumping all over me until I get the message. They each found their own way. Our german shepherd was the only one who used the bells on the door. Oliver, who was our only cavalier who was around when we had our shepherd never learned from her. He just seemed to take advantage of her ringing them and went out whenever she did, but never rang them himself after she died.

22nd January 2011, 03:50 AM
I've got no help (actually looking to see what replies you got! :o ). Just wanted to let you know, you are not the only one with an 8 month old who is not signaling to go out. We have to watch Rose too, OR ELSE. :rolleyes: I would have thought a girl would be easier to housetrain- human girls are! lol Oh well. This is our first puppy, and first dog to housetrain, as our previous 2 dogs were rescues and came housetrained. We have good weeks and bad weeks here, and rainy weeks are the worst (I thought spaniels were supposed to LIKE water :P). Nothing to do but keep an eye out for tips and press on, I guess...:wink:

22nd January 2011, 05:16 AM
Claire is 11 months, and doesn't ring the bells. But, still I persist in ringing them as I let her out. I hate to even mention accidents, but she hasn't had one in weeks, probably at least 8 weeks. And then it was because my sweet hubby isn't as consistent in letting her out as me.

We have an older dog that we let out VERY frequently, so Claire gets let out with him, so it ends up being a lot.

For a while she had submissive peeing, and would wee a bit when she would see my one friend and my youngest niece. But, she seems to have outgrown that.......as it's been 3 months or so. Until last night, when she saw my little niece (7 year old) and wee'd just a tiny bit, as she hasn't seen her in weeks.

I kept thinking she would train easy, and she hasn't. It's been 20 years since I trained a female, and I remembered it being easier than my male, but I am thinking my memory is failing me LOL!

I just let Claire out a lot. Sometimes she goes, sometimes she does not.

murphy's mum
22nd January 2011, 12:06 PM
The joy of potty training:D

We made the same mistake as you with Murphy, he was our first dog. We kept letting him wander on his own, and then wondered why we kept stumbling across accidents. The Ian Dunbar book really is a good aid to training us and them :)

Murphy is 5 now, and all he does is sit in front of one of us and stare, if this doesn't get our attention he paws our legs. Misty on the other hand, who is a rescue, and also around 5 never asks to get out. She just goes when Murphy goes, or if we are out a walk, I think she must have had to hold it in a lot before we got her.

22nd January 2011, 01:22 PM
My dogs ring the bell to go out - but I didn't actually get a bell until Max was nearly one and it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to take the bell while travelling so he would know where to ask to go out. I had this epiphany after he had been trained for several months and we went to look at the house my son and his friends would be living in for school. Max walked in the door and immediately peed on my son's friend's bedroom carpet icon_nwunsure. (I don't think it was the worst thing that had ever happened on that carpet by the looks of it but still).

I'm a bit lax with the bells and my dogs abuse them. They will ring the bell anytime they want my attention - if they think it's meal time - if they want me to get off the computer and play with them etc. I think if you want the dog to use the bell you should ring it yourself every time you go outside.

As far as housetraining goes - it was something that Karlin (I think) said that really made so much sense. It was that the dog needs to be housetrained for each room of the house. Just because they go to the door when they are in the kitchen - and you might think they've "got" it - it doesn't mean they realize where to go when they are in the living room.

My dogs are fairly velcro so if they leave where I am it's fairly certain they are going to ask to go outside - and when they were younger they were always within arms distance.

22nd January 2011, 01:57 PM
I would have thought a girl would be easier to housetrain- human girls are! lol Oh well.

Yep...this made me laugh out loud!:lol:

25th January 2011, 11:23 PM
I hope to get some more tips tomorow, but we are doing better just taking her out regularly and watching for signs. But continue to ring the bell with her paw and say OUT when we take her out to potty. Hopefully, she will eventually catch on!

3rd February 2011, 01:04 PM
The trainer who visited basically said the same thing as many here.... she is a PUPPY still at 8 months. Give her time. BUT, she said that we should have the right kind of bell and the one we had was probably too loud/scary. So she suggested a bird cage bell with a more gentle tinkling sound. We found one and she has actually used it a couple of times. Once was just to go out and play... of course.... but once she really had to potty! So getting there!!!!!!

4th February 2011, 03:49 AM
Good the hear!

4th February 2011, 12:06 PM
We dont use a bell but have a dog flap in the back door so Leo goes in and out when he needs. I lock it when Im not there and we are very furtunate that our garden is completely walled in so he's safe.
I wouldnt know how to begin training with a bell:lpy: You lot are all very clever!

4th February 2011, 06:17 PM
Not a good place to potty. So taking out to the front area is working best. The key is repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition.......:p