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Bell Ringing Gone Crazy

August 30th, 2008, 08:09 AM
I have a charming intelligent 8 month old Labrador. We taught her to hit some jingle bells (which we tied to the back door) so that she could let us know when she needed out. She learned very quickly that the door opens whenever she pawed the bells. Prior to that ,we couldn't figure out what her 'I need to go out' signal was and although we walked her often, she often also had accidents in the house.The bell ringing solved the accidents except that she doesn't restrict the bell ringing to her toilet needs, She rings them to chase a butterfly or to resniff the grass or to dig holes or whenever she's bored. Is there a way to teach her to use the bell only for her toilet needs ? Will she grow out of this ?
Any experienced bell ringers out there ?

August 30th, 2008, 08:47 AM
:laughing: I'm glad I'm not the only one who has to listen to bells all day long. Our Lab Penny does the same thing. Dogs will associate the bell with someone opening the door to let them out, not necessarily for just doing their business. When Penny gets a little too bell-happy, I take it as an indication that she's bored and isn't getting enough exercise so I'll increase the off-leash play, her walks, and play more games with her indoors as well. As I'm sure you've already noticed, Labs have an incredible amount of energy (as well as most 8 month old pups). If she's tired, she'll be resting, not ringing the bells and driving you nuts :thumbs up .

I also wanted to add, that if I ignore her bell-ringing when she has recently come indoors, she learned that climbing into my lap and chewing my face gets the same results as her ringing the bell :rolleyes:. I wish I had half her energy :D .

August 30th, 2008, 08:49 AM
My dogs did the same thing :) Ring the bell just to go outside and play.
When my first one was young, I would take him out on a leash and wait until he did his business then bring him right back in. He soon realized he didn't get playtime or a walk if he constantly rang the bell.

Once he was older and we had a long standing routine, he would ring the bell just because he wanted to lay out front and snooze :) and I let him.

Just last night my two year old sheltie rang the bell at 2 AM (I was ticked). She did a token pee just to make it look good. Brat. I've recently realized she likes thunder and pouring rain as she rang the bell numerous times one evening, and I know she didn't have to pee. I finally told her "no" and go lay down. She wanted to go for a walk in a storm, lol.

August 30th, 2008, 09:36 AM
This would be why I did not go with the bell ringing routine - that and the fact that my Eskimo is a Hoover and would have eaten the ribbons or other material holding the bell to the door and then swallowed the bell. His way of telling me that he has to go is to paw me with his right front paw (when he chooses to do so).