Boxer Crazy

Behavior and Training => Housetraining => Topic started by: Bers on March 15, 2007, 01:15:11 PM

Title: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Bers on March 15, 2007, 01:15:11 PM
How to Bell Train

1. Select your bell make sure the object is at a height your puppy can easily reach. The best location for the bell is either on the door itself or next to it. I choise a plastic change purse and a couple pennies because it was at hand, and have it hanging directly from the door handle.

2. Develop a "go out to potty" phrase. I ask Xena "Do you need to go out?"

3. Ring the bell yourself. Each time you bring the puppy to the door for a potty trip, say your potty phrase, ring the bell and give a treat. This way they associate the phrase and the action of going out with the noise. Repeat this as needed.

4. When you believe your pup is catching on, begin to coax the dog to nose or ring the bell itself. How you teach this can vary. I touched the "klunker" gently to Xena's nose while repeating her potty phrase then giving her a treat. Others suggest using a treat to get the dog to touch your hand, then moving it so the dog touches the bell to get the treat.

5. Continue as needed until the dog knows to go ring the bell to be let out. I found with Xena that as long as I was consistent, her progress was very quick and she became reliable fast.

6. Once the dog has caught on to the bell, make sure that they only use it when they want to go out. If they go out and try to play around, bring them back in, because walks and romps are separate. I gave Xena one minute to get down to business. If she didn't, then we went in and if she really had to go, she'd go back to the door and go through the routine. Most boxers are smart enough so they will still try to pull a fast one sometimes - Xena always conveniently had to go out when our neighbor was in the hallway - but generally use it for it's intended purpose.

And of course the key to any successful training - When the dog does recognize all or part of the routine, praise them to high heaven! For extra motivation, treats for ringing the bell (along with potty treats) can help.

This post was contributed by Julia (BoxerWB).
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: JugglingWolves on March 19, 2007, 01:06:42 PM
Great info!

I'm going to start Keenan on bell training this week :)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: lucky8926 on January 11, 2008, 01:13:13 AM
What age should this be started???
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Christen83 on January 11, 2008, 08:32:09 AM
We started at about 3 months, but I think it can be effective anytime.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on January 11, 2008, 09:19:43 AM
I think it works best when the pup has shown some sign that they are aware when they need to go - sometimes when they first come home, they seem to have no idea, it just sneaks up on them and then it's time to let fly  ::)

I didn't start Xena until 6 mos (when I finally heard about it!) and she caught on quickly.  Dash was 7 mos when we rescued him and he caught on well too.   I'm sure earlier would work even better!
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: tbs on January 11, 2008, 10:08:24 AM
I started a few days after we brought Knox home.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on January 11, 2008, 12:56:05 PM
I started right away with Phoebe, 11 weeks old.  I really don't think she had any idea why I touched her nose or paw to the bell everytime went went out to potty at first but I think in 2 weeks shewas ringing on her own.  And she still rings today at 16 mos for any reason she wants out.  Sometimes too many times a day for me...but I guess a better option than the other :yes:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Christen83 on January 11, 2008, 01:18:47 PM
I remember the first time Bruce just rang them on his own was SO exciting.  We were watching TV and we both jumped up telling him what a good boy he was.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on January 11, 2008, 02:10:33 PM
I find using the nose is better than the paw, they don't like to moving their limbs around much normally.  You also have to be sure to follow up with the "potty time only" reinforcement if you don't want an "all occasions" ringer  ;)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on January 11, 2008, 02:16:45 PM
Well that sounds like a great idea Julia...but I did train her only to ring when she wanted out for potty.  She trained me to come running when she ran the bell.  So...I guess you can train an old dog (me) new tricks :smile:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on January 11, 2008, 08:39:47 PM
She learned that she didn't have to ring the bell only to potty, and trained you accordingly  ;)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: highdrama on March 27, 2008, 12:53:56 PM
I am going to start this as of now.  Poor Bria just doesn't know how to tell us, wee soul.  Henri never did, Mr Power Bladder can hold for 18 hours (did once cos he refused to do it on his own land - grrrr).  Anyhoo, cannot find the proper bell item you're meant to use, so I wondered whether a wind chime hanging from the door handle would be a good idea?  Only problem I can see (with any bell actually) is that it will ring whenever you open the door, not just for "hurry-ups".  Would that be a problem? 

I reckon whatever we do, Bria will cotton on pdq.  I forgot how clever a boxer pup is and how quickly they learn.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: whitedaisy on March 27, 2008, 12:56:23 PM
I use a cat toy in a sock tied with a shoe string. A wind chime would work well, but I bet it will be super fun too  ;)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on March 27, 2008, 12:58:42 PM
Gayle - Any noise maker will due, I actually used a plastic change purse and a couple of pennies w/Xena.  And the sound you make opening and closing the door is fairly different from the sound of wee Bria bonking it with her nose.  I promise they won't be mistaken for each other!

The problem most folks have is that at some point the pup catches on to being let out and will start doing it constantly just to go play. When that happens you just get strict - outside, potty, straight inside - no playing on potty trip!  They pick up on the difference quickly enough and generally only try to fool you on rare occasions  ;)  Xena would try to put one over on us if she heard her favorite neighbor passing by  ::)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: highdrama on March 27, 2008, 01:05:04 PM
LOL fun times ahead then!  She is pretty good at not mucking around outside so I will be firm.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: AandWBoxers on January 21, 2009, 03:14:09 PM
Rex jingled the bells today!
(After we were already getting ready to go out, though...) 
Is that still progress?? 
 :)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on January 21, 2009, 03:17:22 PM
Sure...keep up the training ;)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Mommy2Luna on January 21, 2009, 05:52:27 PM
I'd REALLY love to start teaching my Luna to do this. Unfortunately I am hearing impaired (not deaf, just bad hearing...and I'm 27...had hearing problems all my life.) One of the things about my hearing problems is that I can hear, just not as great as most, but I CAN NOT hear high pitches (like fire alarms, or some bells, etc...)

Can anyone suggest an alternative to the bell ringing? I'm just not that creative right now. lol. I suppose I could get a cow bell, but wouldn't be able to hear it if I'm in the other room. Any suggestions? Should I teach her to do something like put her paw on my leg or something?
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on January 21, 2009, 06:09:14 PM
Yep you could teach her to touch your leg when she wants out...just touch her nose or paw to your leg when you are taking her out...do what it says to do with the bell but substitute your leg..

Good luck...these guys are really smart and learn quite fast if consistently trained to do the same thing...
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on January 21, 2009, 06:17:02 PM
Associating the bell with pottying is absolutely progress! I suspect he'll be ringing it earlier and earlier in the "prep" process until he's asking ahead of time.

Leg touching sounds like a good idea, though it'll be in more places than just the one door (where ever you are in the house) so it may take longer for him to generalize between rooms that touching your leg always means the same thing.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Mommy2Luna on January 21, 2009, 07:05:42 PM
Thanks! I think it's a great idea. I'll have to do my own little version of the bell training...although I may try the cow bell at first. They seem to be pretty loud. Wish me luck! :fingerscrossed:

Oh, and Luna is a girl.  ;)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on January 21, 2009, 07:15:50 PM
I know of one person that tried the cow bell and the dog was afraid of it...I would try a variety of different methods too...one method may work and another may not.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on January 21, 2009, 07:26:33 PM
One thing that I've heard made the dogs a bit hesitant is trying to force them to use their paws. They are so nosey to begin with, using their noses is just normal!  :2thumbsup:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on January 21, 2009, 08:03:19 PM
I did not find that using the foot was a problem.  Phoebe will actually use either her foot or nose...I think it depends on how many times she has to ring it.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on January 21, 2009, 08:22:42 PM
Both of mine are fine for you picking up their feet for grooming/inspection (they don't love it, but they'll let you do it) but hate if you try to make them "do" something with it. I can see volunteering to use a paw, but forcing doesn't really work and luring tends to get their nose following you rather than a paw.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on January 21, 2009, 08:25:43 PM
Well maybe it is just my pups then that have no problem with using their paws or allowing me to do whatever with them.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Patti on January 21, 2009, 10:24:12 PM
I also think the type of ringer depends on the dog. If the dog is more into using it's paws, jumping up etc.. they will be more willing to ring the bell with their foot. Otis isn't a paws-on type of dog so he uses his nose. His buddy Norah is the opposite and always has to touch you, things, everything with her paws so she uses her feet to ring and never her nose. I'm actually glad Otis uses his nose though - less scratches on the door & frame ;)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: aquagirl900 on January 21, 2009, 11:27:16 PM
I've done this with my two.  Jetta I started at 3 months and physically put her paw on bell.  She was potty trained by 3.5 months.  Bo took a few months to fully catch on.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Bers on January 22, 2009, 12:28:43 AM
I wish this had caught on for our crew, it probably would have made housetraining Lucy, our adult pup, a lot easier. None of them ever got it, I guess maybe I was doing something wrong. And in the meantime Bob, the cat, discovered the bell and decided it should work for him whenever he felt like going outside!
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Samsons Mom on January 22, 2009, 12:29:06 AM
im gonna start working on this with samson. cause if i ever manage to find and apartment that will allow him, this will come in handy.

but knowing samson, he'll ring the bell just to drive mommy nuts :dizzy2: :devilish:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on January 22, 2009, 07:18:10 AM
Keri - That's why the proofing step (ring only for potty) is so crucial to the training process!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on January 22, 2009, 07:27:33 AM
Or you can think of it as your exercise program LOL
Phoebe admittedly rings the bell to potty and to go outside...and sometimes I swear just to be annoying...however, I do let her out each time due to the fact you never know and she gets out to play...so the bell has evolved to the "let me out" notice.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: aquagirl900 on January 22, 2009, 08:17:05 AM
If ours were just outside and ring the bell I tell them to lay down.  If they are persistant I feel that they are telling me they really need to potty and I let them out.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Bers on January 22, 2009, 08:56:56 AM
Or you can think of it as your exercise program LOL
Phoebe admittedly rings the bell to potty and to go outside...and sometimes I swear just to be annoying...however, I do let her out each time due to the fact you never know and she gets out to play...so the bell has evolved to the "let me out" notice.

I do the same with my doggies too, even though they don't use a bell. Sometimes they ask to go out just to play (not in this weather of course!!), so I will get up and let them out when they ask *within limits*.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: AandWBoxers on January 22, 2009, 09:16:11 AM
I'd REALLY love to start teaching my Luna to do this. Unfortunately I am hearing impaired (not deaf, just bad hearing...and I'm 27...had hearing problems all my life.)

I, too, am hearing impaired and I know I won't hear the tinkling bells...  I have been following Rex and Mugs into the kitchen when they go in there.  That way I'll see if they go to ring it and be ready with a treat. 

I would think you could teach your dog to do just about anything to get your attention regarding going outside!  Teach her to roll over or something!!   :roflol:


Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: blynn03 on January 22, 2009, 09:23:05 AM
I taught mine to walk to the door, turn around, and then sit and look at me.  If we are somewhere else, they don't go to the door, but they do sit and look at me.....and I am able to tell by their body language that they mean business.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: AandWBoxers on January 22, 2009, 01:27:28 PM
Mugs was starting to do that, as well - go to the door and stand and look at us.  Like she is right now.......... 

Mugs rang the bells this morning, too!!   :boing:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerWB on January 22, 2009, 06:12:57 PM
...and I am able to tell by their body language that they mean business.

 :laugh4: "This is serious business, Mom! I gotta poop!" ... sounds like Aaron and Xena. She goes and "stares a hole in his head" anytime she needs something.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: blynn03 on January 22, 2009, 08:34:29 PM
Yeah...there is definitely a distinctive stare when they are serious versus when they just want to go outside.   :roflol:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Patti on January 22, 2009, 10:43:41 PM
Yeah...there is definitely a distinctive stare when they are serious versus when they just want to go outside.   :roflol:
Yep, I agree. Otis is a little more antsy right before he plants himself in front of the door (when we are without a bell), and I can just tell what's going on.
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Mommy2Luna on January 23, 2009, 01:16:43 AM
I'd REALLY love to start teaching my Luna to do this. Unfortunately I am hearing impaired (not deaf, just bad hearing...and I'm 27...had hearing problems all my life.)

I, too, am hearing impaired and I know I won't hear the tinkling bells...  I have been following Rex and Mugs into the kitchen when they go in there.  That way I'll see if they go to ring it and be ready with a treat. 

I would think you could teach your dog to do just about anything to get your attention regarding going outside!  Teach her to roll over or something!!   :roflol:




Ahaha! Sounds like a good idea...although I'd hope she won't pee herself while rolling. lol. That would be a disaster.

Glad to see a fellow "hearing impaired" boxer owner! :D
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: AandWBoxers on January 26, 2009, 11:47:15 AM
LOL A big mess indeed!   :laugh4:

Mugs has started to sit at our front door and STARE if we're not in the kitchen.   :stunned:  I made a mistake once of not getting up right away...  She taught me!!!

I was born with the hearing deficit, also, (Thanks, Grandma...), and will never forget the first time I heard the fizz of Coke poured in a glass!  I was a sophomore in HS.  (Just got my first hearing aids...)  It's great for when the kids are fighting, tho...  Just turn them down!!   :earmuffs:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Gott2beme on May 01, 2009, 06:46:58 PM
Oh I sooo agree on this one!!!

Before we had brought Izzy home, we were visiting with my honey's friends and their older dog had went up to the bell hanging on their door handle and pawed at it.  I laughed!  I was amazed!!  They said it was the best thing they could of ever learned!!

So when we picked Izzy up, the breeder gave us a little bag of things to take home....a bell on a long string was included with a paper from their vet on how to "bell train."

I am happy and proud to say.......Izzy has been ringing the bell to go outside now for 2 weeks....she's only 11 weeks old!  I had told my daughter about training her boxer baby the same way and....well.....I'm a mom I know nothing!!!  LOL  Her pup is 18 weeks old and they still have problems! 

I use to train pups the old fashion way......catch 'em quick!  LOL  But this is truly the best way!!
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Patti on May 01, 2009, 09:00:39 PM
Good job, Izzy!
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: VANCE on October 09, 2010, 10:53:15 AM
maximus will ring the bell when he has to potty about 75% of the time.the other times he will make a grunting sound

when he just wants to go outside & play he will ring it 100% of the time :wall:

Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: AandWBoxers on April 13, 2011, 11:37:04 PM
I thought I would bring this thread up to the surface again in case someone could use the information...
Also, I have a picture to share of the doorbell I created for my crew, to give another idea on how to create one for your own home. 
Heck, I could even make you some if you want!  ::)
Anyway, here is our doorbell:
(http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/73/bellpe.jpg)
This is the toe portion of a sock with a crocheted top.  (To match my kitchen, of course!)  :blush:  I have craft bells of two different sizes inside.  It really works well, doesn't scratch up the surface and it's loud enough to be heard in other rooms! 
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: BoxerPerson on April 14, 2011, 07:03:31 AM
Cool...I just have the bells (4) hanging.  They were Christmas bells actually ;)
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: Patti on April 14, 2011, 09:47:48 PM
this reminds me to put our bell back up. Otis pushes his nose into the door now thinking we can hear it :mad:
Title: Re: Train your puppy to ring a bell
Post by: AandWBoxers on April 14, 2011, 11:41:01 PM
 :heart: Awwww~ How adorable!!  :sweetheart: