Bell Training - Puppy

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mariahsim's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-26

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Hey everyone! 

I'm new to the site and to dobies... I've had big dogs (and little ones) before and couldn't wait to get mine. However, I've never bell trained a dog before. Testudo is a male red and almost 7 weeks old (will be on Tuesday).

Does anyone have any suggestions/tips that have successfully bell trained their dobie? He can always hold everything in his crate and I can generally catch him before he goes in the house to take him outside, but he still has accidents here and there. 

I always take his paw/nose and have him ring the bell before going outside, and even if he accidentally rings it I still take him outside for a few minutes or so. I have just been having a hard time getting him to look at the bell or even see what he's doing most times. 

 

Thanks for all the help! 

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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First of all, welcome to the forum and congrautlations on your Dobie..

but

I think you're starting too early.. I think you got this baby waaaay too early.. All the training shouldn't start yet. Take him out every 20 mins and praise him when he goes potty and that's about as far as you should be going right now.. There will be a lot of more experienced trainers jumping on this thread, but for now all that's needed is positive reinforcement.

I am not sure I understand why you brought this puppy home so soon. I hope things work out for you, but there is a major concern for such a little guy leaving the litter and his dam so soon.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Welcome to the group.  Your little Testudo sure is a cute one, for sure. 

Your pup is still only 6 weeks old---that's basically still infant stage.  If you're trying to teach him to go outside, I suggest you take Lady Kate's advice and take him outside often and make sure he understands the concept of going outside to potty before trying to complicate it by having him ring a bell to alert you first.  His beginning weeks and months with you are teaching stages----he's not old enough mentally or physically yet for his training stages.  Teaching is different than training in that teaching is getting the basics down, making sure he understands them, praising him for doing right and correcting him when necessary...training is just adding a few more complex steps to tweak those behaviors, and get him to think before acting, which at 6 weeks, he is NOT ready for yet.  Plenty of time to work on the bell ringing when he understands that going outside to potty is the acceptable thing to do. 

mariahsim's picture
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Ziva's Dad,

When does "training stage" begin for most pups? 

mariahsim's picture
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Also, thanks for the welcomes! :)

DJ's Dad's picture
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from mariahsim:  When does "training stage" begin for most pups?

There is no magic age, but the basics of teaching should be pretty well understood before training begins.  My pup, DJ is 15 weeks old, and so far, she has been taught to go outside to potty as soon as she wakes up, right after eating, immediately after a nap, and after about 15 minutes of rough play.  She knows that now.  In fact, right after she finishes her food in her bowl, she walks over to the door and waits for me to let her outside.  THIS would be the perfect time for me to introduce the bell-ringing to her if I was going to do it.  She knows the 'sit' command because she has to sit before I put her food bowl down.  She has to sit before she is petted most of the time.  She knows "all four on the floor" and doesnt jump up on people, not even little kids when they are begging her to jump up on them.  She is learning things right now.  She starts her puppy training classes in a couple of weeks and she will be just at 4 months old when she starts.  Perfect age to mold some of her behaviors she has already learned into better behaviors and to introduce more complex thinking, like loose leash walking, wait at the doorway, stop when I say stop (some people use the command 'freeze'---same thing.)  Puppies develop at different levels and some are super smart from the get-go, but I still think that 6 weeks is way too young to expect anything other than bare basics with a puppy.

Lori's picture
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It's not to early to give the bell a ring as you go outside, it will get him used to hearing the sound and the motion but don't expect him to associate the meaning for a few months.  That would be like expecting your 5 month old baby to be toilet trained. Way to complex for one so young...Be happy if you can get him to go outside, say 'go potty' to him and praise him greatly when he goes.   One thing I wish I had done was teach my Rocky to go only in a corner of the yard so that might be a good thing and also on a leash.   All good stuff to learn but don't get too caught up in training.    At 7 weeks his main purpose in life is to eat, poop, sleep and play a little.