Monday, December 14, 2009

She did it!!

She did it! Jersey learned to ring the bell in order to go outside and go potty.

She actually learned to ring the bell pretty early. She got to the point where if I stood a few moments at the door with all the dogs standing there waiting to go out she would ring it. However, tonight I was on the computer, heard the ring and saw her standing by the back door. I let her out and she went straight out and peed. Success!

I had heard of others teaching their dogs this but never really gave it much thought. Me and my guys have a pretty good routine and most of the time I'd be letting them out a certain times during the day anyway. Occasionally one might whine or pace at the door if they have to go at a "non-scheduled" time. Any pups and fosters simply fell into the same routine.

One day while Jersey was still just a young pup I was out shopping at Pet's Supplies Plus. At their front counter were these very cute, even stylish, bells on ribbons made just for this purpose. I thought "what the heck" and bought one. The first step was to simply hang it on the door. Every time I went to open the door for the girls I would make a big deal out of ringing the bell. Easy enough. After about a week of this I would then stand at the door and do what I could to encourage Jersey to touch it. If she even accidentally bump it I would open the door. Then I would just stand by the door. I could tell she was thinking about. Finally she made the connection and rang the bell.

She's rang the bell before when left inside and I'm outside. She rang and rang wanting to be with me. Since she was new in her training and I really wanted her to connect ringing with the door opening I would allow her to come out. Then once she rang it and when I let her outside she ran to grab a stick she had been chewing and just wanted to play. I called her back in. But this is the first time that it worked perfectly. I'm on computer, she rings the bell, I let only her outside, she went potty and then came back to the door.

How cool is that?! I mean I knew dogs could do this, knew it was relatively easy to train, but to have your dog actually do it....just cool.