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Subject: Bell Training your dog

The Training: When you are taking the dog out to relieve themselves - take them to the bell hung on the door. Then, take a paw, hit the bell with the paw (VERY important — the dog must strike the bell, not you), verbally praise him, and take him outside. Stay outside until he does his duty or a reasonable amount of time (5-10 minutes) then back inside with loads of praise and a treat if he did his potty while outside.

If the dog makes a mess in the house, they get a firm scolding over the mess (never EVER push the dog’s nose in it!). Then, clean the mess with paper towels and take the soiled towels outside and set them where you want the dog to potty. Go back inside and get the dog, ring the bell with his paw, praise him for ringing the bell, take him outside, allow the dog to smell the soiled paper towels and praise him. Though this may seem a little odd to a human’s way of thinking, this makes perfect sense to the dog.

The hard part is this — a short time into the training, the dog begins to get the idea that ringing the bell means that they get to go outside. They want to test the idea. Every 30 seconds. I mean it. Every 30 seconds. And guess what? You have to follow the steps listed above each and every time during this, the most critical, training time. This is when the dog is learning and making the bell training their own, and when you’re most likely to get frustrated. You’ll certainly get your exercise opening the door for them! Stay strong and take the dog out each time — a little inconvenience at this point will lead to a well-potty-trained dog.

Works for cats too!

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