i have a stupid dog. how do you train a dog to indicate

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Posted 12/3/2012 by PEAce sign in NSBR Board
 

PEAce sign
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Posted: 12/3/2012 1:05:50 PM
that she has to go outside?

this dog is not motivated by anything. she never indicates when she has to go. she looks out the window and barks at wildlife (she's a hound/beagle) but never because she has to go. she is driving me crazy because i can't housebreak her. she's 2 or 3. got her from the pound in april.

i tried the crate, but she goes in the crate.

she is capable of holding it all night, because she has. it's almost like if something wakes her up, she'll go. if she sleeps all night, then she won't.

same with the daytime when i'm at work.

she's even gone in the house after being out a couple of times.

we have another dog who is no problem whatsoever.

i'm going to have to get rid of her if we can't fix this. has anything worked for you??

Onekwa
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Posted: 12/3/2012 1:13:07 PM
How big is her crate? If it's too big and she can curl up and sleep in a totally different space then near where she goes, then the crate is too big. Unless she doesn't care if she sleeps in her own mess.




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Posted: 12/3/2012 1:17:04 PM
it's probably a little too big. but i also think she doesn't care.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 1:20:19 PM
I'm no expert, but I'd do these things:

1. small, small crate. Just enough space to sleep. No walk-around room at all.

2. keep her in the crate unless she's being actively played with. or keep her tethered to your side if you hate the crate idea.

3. bells on the door knob. My mini schnauzer rings her bells when she wants out. I bought mine at Walmart in the pet section, but the large jingle bells that are out this time of year would work equally well.

Good luck. It is soooo frustrating.


Tammy

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Posted: 12/3/2012 1:24:30 PM
I was also going to suggest the bell. You help your dog ring the bell every time you let him out and reward when he rings and again outside when he goes.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 1:26:28 PM
My beagle took forever to train. She was 3 when we adopted her and it took a couple of years to trust her uncrated. She didn't start jumping at or scratching the door until we got our border collie. Beagles tend to be harder to train.

I agree with the bell recommendation. My dog would sit at and look out the patio door. She wouldn't bark, but expected us to watch her signs. We still let her out on a schedule, but she does alert us when nature calls.




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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:07:15 PM
ok, thank you everyone!

we have two weeks off work/school coming up and i intend to focus on this stupid dog. (i kid. she's so dang sweet but dumb as a rock.)

we will put bells on the door. my son will be leashed to her when he's home. i will set the kitchen timer to go off every hour so he can jingle the bells at the door and put her out. crate at bedtime.


would a dog necessarily have to 'go' every hour? or does that not matter, as long as we're doing the bells on the door?

Shevy
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:08:12 PM
Mine also does the bells. He'll also use the bells if he just wants to go out and play and we allow that too. But when we are upstairs there are no bells. So he stares at me with the force of a thousand suns until I ask him if he has to go out and then he runs to the door.



MergeLeft
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:12:04 PM
It's not necessarily stupidity but unlearning other habits ... we have a very, very smart blue heeler mix that we got from the SPCA in July and she still doesn't really let us know when she needs to go. We think she had access to a doggie door (or was simply an outside dog) wherever she lived before.

We joke that she has us trained more than we have her trained in this area - we've all learned to jump up and open the door the minute she gets up and starts sniffing around, because that's usually our only indicator.

I plan to work on the bell thing over Christmas break when I can be with her more consistently. For now, we keep her on a feeding schedule (helps to better predict when she needs to go) instead of free-feeding, and when we can't actively supervise her, she is confined to the kitchen. For whatever reason, she won't go on the tile floor, but she's perfectly happy to go on the area rugs in the living/dining room.

ETA: she has learned to potty pretty much on command - we taught that by saying "go potty, good go potty" whenever she peed outside and now if I take her out say at bedtime and tell her "go potty" she will squat and do her thing. But if I forget to take her out for a while and she has the urge, she'll just as happily go on the carpet.



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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:12:41 PM
hang a bell that she can reach with her nose on all the doorknobs she uses to go outside. Every time you take her out, make her ring the bell first. She should realize eventually that if she wants to go out, she can ring the bell and let everyone know she has to go outside.

(obviously I didn't read the other posts first )

brab74
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:18:48 PM

i will set the kitchen timer to go off every hour so he can jingle the bells at the door and put her out. crate at bedtime.


I agree with the kitchen timer and ringing the bells when going out, but don't just put her outside and hope she goes - actually go out with her. Keep her on leash (even if your yard is fenced) and make sure that she goes and isn't out there just wandering around. Take her to the same area of the yard each time. Bring treats. As soon as she goes, praise her lavishly and give her the treat as soon as she is finished - right there. Don't wait until you get back inside.

If she doesn't go right away, bring her back inside - no treats, though (no punishment or harsh words either - just act neutral). Put her in the crate - no playtime or freedom now. Take her back outside in a few mintues and try again.

Consistency is key with potty training. Good luck!

Woobster
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:32:29 PM

but don't just put her outside and hope she goes - actually go out with her.

This.

Go out with her. Tell her to go potty. When she does... praise her like she just won a gold medal. I have 3 small dogs. One is almost 10 years old and the other two are 3. DH and/or I go out with them every single time they go out to make sure they do their business. If we don't, the two younger ones will just run around and play and then forget why they are out there.

crimsoncat05
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Posted: 12/3/2012 2:42:45 PM
DH and/or I go out with them every single time they go out to make sure they do their business. If we don't, the two younger ones will just run around and play and then forget why they are out there.




we do this with our dogs, too... and, we also have 'set times' they go out (along with any other 'emergency times' they ask for). The set times are: first thing in the morning, right after we get home from work, right after they eat (if they hadn't already done all their business, and right before bed. I never just put them out and leave them out. My BF calls it 'hand-holding' for them, but I want to know if/when they've done their business.

Our newest dog is about 5 (we got her from the breeder after she retired from being a show-dog), and she lived outside in a pen, so she could go whenever she needed to. When we brought her home (ours are house dogs) I had to 'hold her hand' for a good 4-6 months, but she learned, ad she goes pretty much on command, now. They don't ring a bell, or anything, though (I tried teaching that; it didn't work)- they give us 'the look' or start sniffing around; I've just learned to recognize the signs.




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Posted: 12/3/2012 3:24:28 PM
last question...should i put her in a crate for 8 hours while i'm at work and while the other dog is free?? while we're housebreaking??? seems cruel.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:22:48 PM
Keep in mind, she was getting NO care beyond food/water/shelter at the shelter. She was having to poop in her room, live in her room, eat in her room...the natural separation of dirty and clean was taken from her. It can be very difficult, but not impossible. All mine are rescues so I know first hand it can be done, but it is tough.

Have you considered hiring someone to work with her? I am fortunate in that I am home all day, almost every day because I WFH. So when a new dog comes in, they are getting closer attention than one left in a crate all day. If I had to be gone all day, I would hire someone ASAP to help actively coach a former shelter dog.




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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:27:59 PM
Did I read that this dog is from a shelter? I don't want to address crate issues with a former shelter dog, but wanted to put out there that our dogs are crate trained and stay in their crates every day while we're at work. It's not cruel; it's their 'den' and they like it there- they just hang out, relax, and listen to the radio. They even go in their crates to sleep or hang out at other times, with the door open.

for us, it's somewhat of a survival thing: survival of our stuff, since the cats and dogs would most likely get into it and cause mayhem and destruction while we're gone, lol! Plus, they're used to it and we want to keep a routine for them.







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Posted: 12/3/2012 4:53:55 PM
I think giving her a reward is a good idea.

Take her out and when you do, say "Do you need to go out?" in a playful voice - stand by the back door and ask her several times.

Go out with her and make sure she does her business and when you come in praise her for being a good girl - give her lots of praise and then give her a little treat (milkbones work good because they are crunchy and good for their teeth.)

Then repeat several times a day...she'll eventually get the hang of it.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 5:13:30 PM
I wish I had a dollar for every time someone suggested the bell thing to me. We have two bells, one on the door and a table bell on the floor. We ring them both every time we take Smokey out and he will not ring them himself. We've even taken his paw and made him ring the bells and that doesn't help. He just isn't going to do it, I guess.

Smokey is a schnauzer mix that we got as a rescue about 6 mos ago. We have had a hard time housebreaking him, but what seems to have worked better than anything is a small crate, restricting his area in the house (we have baby gates up everywhere) and taking him on a daily walk every day at the same time. It is pretty much a given that he will go on the walk. Routine seems to be the key, just like with children!

Good Luck!


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Posted: 12/3/2012 5:55:50 PM
If I don't pay really close attention to my dogs one of them will have an accident in the house.
Its my fault for not 'getting' it. They ask to go out, I just miss it sometimes. Their clues are subtle and it took me a long time to read them.

You say if someone wakes your dog up it needs to go out. There's a clue that someone needs to do it. Right away. Then praise and give a small treat like a Charlie Bear. Theyre tiny and even if you have to give a lot of them they won't be as calorie dense as giving a bone everytime.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:39:59 PM
I wish I could afford a trainer!!! Doubtful though.
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Posted: 12/3/2012 6:51:32 PM
I trained my medical service dog to ring a bell when she wants to go outside.

BUT, that is the last step, not the first thing to address with this problem.

It sounds crazy, but many dogs even need to be "taught" that the poo/pee coming from their own hind end belongs to them! We humans assume that would be obvious, but it's really not.

You need to first get your dog to understand that you want them to go potty - and potty outside. After they potty outside, then you can train them to ring a bell to go out - but doing the bell now, before they even know WHY you want them outside is going to be more confusing. Right now your dog thinks it's fine to poo in the house - ringing the bell will not be associated with poo/pee in anyway in their mind right now. Train the "what" BEFORE you work on the "where" and then finally the "when" (bell).

You also need to buy and use some kind of enzyme cleaner to TOTALLY eliminate the scent of previous accidents inside your house. Until you do that, no matter how well you cleaned with normal cleaners, your dog will still be able to smell the waste in that location and in doggy language, that odor is like a huge "toilet here" sign - no wonder some dogs have a hard time housebreaking. It sounds gross, but the next time your dog poos in your house, collect it and rather than throwing it, toss it out into the area of your yard where you want your new dog to eliminate. That way you start getting their scent outside. It will be one more way to communicate in dog terms that poo/pee goes out here.


Pay attention to feeding times and when your dog needs to eliminate. Mine generally goes 1-2hrs after breakfast. You can feed supper earlier in the afternoon so the dog doesn't have an accident at night etc. You can even put up their water bowl a few hours before bedtime if needed until they get this figured out. You will have better luck training the dog if you can "catch them" and help them develop the habit of going outside.

Those are just a few suggestions that might help you. It IS a challenge with dogs who had been living and eliminating in their cages. You have quite a bit to retrain and some breed just take longer than others. FWIW, use your other dog's good potty behavior to your advantage. (Have both dogs outside and heap praise on the older dog for "Potty" immediately after he eliminates.) Dogs learn behaviors from each other MUCH faster than we humans can teach them!

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Posted: 12/3/2012 8:34:11 PM
I'm right there with ya PEACE sign! And my dog is not getting the bell at all. We've rung it with her paw religiously for over two months, and nothing. I've tried tethering her to me the whole time I'm home, and it still doesn't work. Unless I stare at her the entire time, she will walk behind me and go. But it's been a long time she's actually done that.

She does love her crate, though, so I'm thankful for that.

But I do think she's figuring out that if she just waits, we will take her out often enough that she doesn't need to go inside. She goes out 5 times a day, on a set schedule. She is also fed on a set schedule. It seems to slowly be helping.

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Posted: 12/3/2012 8:43:55 PM
She likely will continue using your house for a 'backyard' because she has caused it to smell like piddle. Can you install a doggie door so she can go outside whenever she chooses? Our doggie door is in our laundry room so I can leave her in the room when I'm gone with her having access to the back yard.

3PSoup
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Posted: 12/3/2012 9:30:11 PM
Marking my spot. LOL pun intended

We have the same issue with our dog. He is almost 2.



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Posted: 12/3/2012 9:33:59 PM
I think this sort of got covered, but don't give your dog access to food all day long. Eating makes them have to go, and if they can eat all day (free feeding), they'll have to go all day. Definitely use treats when she goes outside - take them out with you.


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Posted: 12/3/2012 9:54:22 PM
We did the bell thing with that little cutie, down there \/ She figured out very quickly that if she rang the bell, she would get to go outside, and she LOVES to go outside. We had to take the bells away because she was ringing them ALL the time. When I was getting out the Christmas decorations, she heard some jingle bells and she went nuts, lol.

Anyway, if her crate is large enough for her to do more than stand up and turn around, it's too big. My vet says that if the crate is too bed, they turn it into a master suite - bedroom in one area, bathroom in another. You want it to be a bedroom only. You can make it smaller with a divider or adding some bulky bedding.

Piper is 2. She's completely housebroken, but I still gate her in the kitchen at night and while we're at work. It's just a habit that works for us - she has her crate in the kitchen (with the door open), and that's where she chooses to sleep. I also keep a piece of newspaper on the floor for her during the workday. I leave at 6:45, and usually get home by 4:00. If I make it home by 4, she's fine. If I'm running late, and don't get home until 5, she pees on the paper. I'm sure that many people would not approve of the paper thing, but it works for us, and I feel like she has permission to go if she needs to. I would not be able to go 10+ hours without going to the bathroom, and I can't imagine expecting a dog to!


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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:51:51 PM

We ring them both every time we take Smokey out and he will not ring them himself. We've even taken his paw and made him ring the bells and that doesn't help.



I'm right there with ya PEACE sign! And my dog is not getting the bell at all. We've rung it with her paw religiously for over two months, and nothing.



As far as I know, the dog is supposed to ring the bell with their nose, not their paw. The bell has to be low enough that they can nudge it with their nose. You have to be consistent and stand at the door until the dog rings the bell.

scrapulous
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Posted: 12/7/2012 6:43:17 PM
My bell is low enough for her nose to hit it, but she would turn her head away when I tried that, like she was afraid of it. Everything I've read about the bell says nose or paw, and several of my friends' dogs use their paws, so I don't think that part matters.

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Posted: 12/19/2012 3:08:05 PM
How is it going now? Are you off work and home and working with her or does that start later this week?



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Posted: 12/19/2012 3:12:01 PM
I'm pretty sure she rehomed the dog. Maybe last week?


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Posted: 12/19/2012 3:15:02 PM
The dog has a new home.

ETA:

Just have to respond to this:


As far as I know, the dog is supposed to ring the bell with their nose, not their paw. The bell has to be low enough that they can nudge it with their nose. You have to be consistent and stand at the door until the dog rings the bell.
My friend had a Shih Tzu who would smack the bell with her paw. One of my Shih Tzu used to lick the bell to get it to ring. It doesn't matter - as long as they make the bell ring to indicate they have to go outside.

I used to have a bell but removed it when my dogs changed it from a potty bell to a general service bell. They still go to the door to indicate they have to go out and will bark if we don't notice them right away. (Actually, my oldest dog is the one to go to the door and the other two get up and follow him out when he goes.)

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Posted: 12/19/2012 5:03:23 PM
Yes, Murphy is happily living with another family and dog. They have sent me a couple of pics and she looks great. My boys are adjusting pretty well and are happy to have Facebook updates. And I'm very relieved.
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Posted: 12/19/2012 5:06:35 PM

As far as I know, the dog is supposed to ring the bell with their nose, not their paw. The bell has to be low enough that they can nudge it with their nose. You have to be consistent and stand at the door until the dog rings the bell.


Our dog touches it gently with her nose or paw, and if you don't open the door or aren't on the way she will whack it as hard as she can with her paw. It's like she's saying, " I SAID I need to go OUT!"



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Posted: 12/19/2012 5:10:34 PM
We used bells to train our latest dog. Everytime we took him out to go potty we rubbed his nose up against to make them ring and said "potty" If we just went outside to play we didn't do that. After about 3 days he had it all figured out.

And use treats....lots of treats

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Posted: 12/20/2012 3:41:56 AM

Yes, Murphy is happily living with another family and dog. They have sent me a couple of pics and she looks great. My boys are adjusting pretty well and are happy to have Facebook updates. And I'm very relieved.
Does that mean that they have been able to address the potty issues you outlined? Or is she now an outdoor dog or??




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Posted: 12/20/2012 5:34:12 AM
She is having accidents there, but they are working on it. Not sure if/how they'll successfully housebreaking her.
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Posted: 12/20/2012 6:29:27 AM
One thing we taught all 3 of our dogs to do was to bark on command. You can do this by choosing a word "Speak" or "say please" and making a barking sound. We used a treat to train ours.

For example, take a treat she/he really wants and then say "Say please" and go woof... you get the idea.

Once you have a dog that can bark on command every time you go to the door, whether you're going outside with the dog to potty or go in the car, make her "say please". Once she's got the idea that if she barks you'll take her outside, that's a huge hurdle.

Our dog would frequently (at least twice a summer) run into the woods. Since it's pretty dense underbrush and she was small, she could be 20 feet from our cleared backyard and have no idea where she was so she would sit and wait for us to come and get her. So I'd be walking through the woods saying "Say Please" and eventually she would bark and we would find her....

It's just as important to be able to get them to bark on command as it is to get them to be quiet on command.

CountryHam
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Posted: 12/20/2012 6:53:45 AM

She is having accidents there, but they are working on it. Not sure if/how they'll successfully housebreaking her.


I was in full support of giving her away or back to a shelter.
I was curious though, you did let that family know at her age
she wasn't housebroken right?

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Posted: 12/20/2012 8:10:38 AM
My dog (schnauzer/poodle mix) is bell-trained. She did go through a small phase while we were training her where she rang her bells every five minutes, but the novelty wore off after a couple weeks. I think that was just her figuring out that I would really put her out whenever she rang them.

Occasionally she will ring the bells when she wants to play, but she always rings them when she needs to go out and that is what matters!


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Posted: 12/20/2012 8:20:20 AM

you did let that family know at her age
she wasn't housebroken right?
of course i did.

julieberg
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 160,179
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Posted: 12/20/2012 8:25:11 AM

3. bells on the door knob. My mini schnauzer rings her bells when she wants out. I bought mine at Walmart in the pet section, but the large jingle bells that are out this time of year would work equally well.


This works great for our dog, but we trained him to do it when he was a puppy. He is now 11 yo. He is a shih tzu and was pretty brainless and he learned it!! He's has gotten much smarter......

scrapulous
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Posted: 12/20/2012 8:32:57 AM
Well my dog is a year old, we've had her since Sept, and she STILL doesn't ring the stupid bell, nor does she indicate in any way that she has to go out. If I let her out often enough, she has no accidents. But basically I'm the one that is trained, lol. If I don't let her out every few hours (except when she's crated; she does not have accidents in her crate) she will go on the floor, with no indication that she needs to go. Sigh.

mirabelleswalker
My president has 6-pack abs.

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Posted: 12/20/2012 1:08:22 PM

Occasionally she will ring the bells when she wants to play, but she always rings them when she needs to go out and that is what matters!


Our dog was doing this in the evenings and it was driving me crazy. I'd get up to open the door and she'd run and get a toy. I broke her of it by making her go outside every single time she rang the bell, whether it was to go out or to play. Now she only rings when she wants to go out.



momstime
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 12/20/2012 2:46:12 PM
I bell trained my golden in the first week we had her (8wks). Today, 10+ years later, if she wants to go out and play/swim she will go to the back door and stare back at us. If she has to go potty, she actually rings the bell with her nose. If she REALLY has to go quickly, she will use her entire head and knock the bells hard. We take that to mean "Get up and let me out NOW!"

The bells were the smartest things I did with her (beyond the crate). She absolutely NEVER barks. I like it that way.



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