Learn whether you should use pee pads and how you can teach your dog to ring a bell to go out. Yes, really.
Practice Ringing the Bell Whenever You Take Your Dog Out
Hang the bell by your door and practice having Zippy ring it whenever you take him out to pee and poop. After half a dozen reps or so, don’t give a cue. Instead, wait with Zippy and give him time to think--half a minute isn’t too long. Count it off inside your head to keep yourself from jumping the gun. If Zippy rings the bell spontaneously, great--take him outside to pee. If not, give him your target cue or encourage him to ring the bell, and continue practicing that way for another few outings.
Sooner or later, Zippy will ring the bell on his own when he needs to go out and you’re otherwise occupied. Reward him with a toilet break and congratulate both of you.
What to Do If Your Dog Rings the Bell at Random Times
Some smartypants dogs will ring the bell when they don’t need to pee or poop. Look, they love to go outside, so you can’t blame them for trying. On the other hand, you also can’t take them for a long leisurely stroll eight times a day. To avoid this problem, always bring your dog out on leash in response to a bell ring, even if you have a fenced yard, and limit the outing to a pee and poop break; then bring him indoors. You could also ask yourself whether Zippy is a little bit bored or underexercised. If so, you know what to do!
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