Friday, February 01, 2013

Potty Bells and Big Buts

Potty bells. They really do work. A bell placed near the door will help your puppy train you.

Some of you may remember our experiences housetraining Kirby with the little hotel bell from the office supply store. We tried this, but Remy (aka Bigfoot) just wasn't having luck getting the little bell to ring effectively, so we instead hung one of those dangling ribbons of bells on the front door. I swear, Remy picked up the general idea in about two outings to the yard and he's been consistently using the bells now for several weeks. Just knowing when the puppy has to go to the bathroom -- and knowing that the puppy knows when he has to go to the bathroom -- is a huge relief compared to the guesswork of early puppy housetraining.

I guess these stories always come with a big but... (thank you Pee Wee Herman).

Remy has decided that the bells have trained his humans quite well and that we are now ready to move on to using the bells as a way to communicate his more sophisticated desires, such as:

  • RING! I need you to open the gate so Kirby can come down and wrestle with me.
  • RING! I need you to close your laptop and play with me. Now.
  • RING! You have just started watching  another interminably long DVD and I'm bored to tears.
  • RING! It has been at least 10 minutes since you last stopped the interminably long DVD, said some words I didn't quite recognize and took me outside, so it's time to go again. Have I mentioned I'm bored to tears?
  • RING! There you go saying those words again. I don't think I like them. I don't have to pee, but it smells really interesting outside. Did I see a little black and white striped "kitty" out there last time? I think I did.
  • RING! Have I mentioned I'm bored? I have at least seven toys sitting in front of me but you are just so busy doing something else...I feel like we need to connect. Really, we do. And you have opposable thumbs and can turn the doorknob...
It worked for a while. Remy had us jumping EVERY TIME. For weeks. Now methinks he has "rung wolf" a few too many times. We're not falling for it anymore. Remy is not pleased. If we've taken him outside in the last 15 minutes and we see him pacing back and forth, looking bored, and we hear the bell again, we just say "no Remy, not this time." 

After a couple of these attempts at ringing to no avail, the other day Remy started ringing and then barking when he really had to go. Perhaps this is a good thing. Now a ring means "I want something" and a ring with a sharp "woof" means I REALLY have to go outside.

What's next? 

Sometimes I feel like a dog butler.


Dreams on the Fly said...

How about ring and pull and open the door? No mom needed. Then he pulled so hard the ribbon of bells broke.

ScruffyDog said...

Oh my, if Remy could open doors we would be in such trouble!