Suggestions please!! Potty bell is being rung too often!

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Lovin' Life!
Barked: Sat Mar 10, '12 8:06pm PST 
My almost 2-year-old Cairn Terrier, Taffy, was bell-trained to go potty when she was just 12 weeks old. She picked it up immediately, and have had no accidents in the house since then. However, over the past 2-3 months, she has been ringing that bell like crazy! She'll go out and do #1, then 30 minutes later go out and do #2. She's empty! However, about 15 minutes later there's another ding. I'd say 5 times out of 10 she doesn't want to do anything but sniff the wind or just stand there.

We don't have a fenced yard, so we have to take her on a leash every time. During the day when we are at work, she holds it for 8 hours, and at night she'll sleep a solid 11 hours and not have to go, so what's her deal??

How can we re-train her to ONLY hit the bell to actually go potty? We've tried giving her a treat when we come in and she went, and giving her a scolding when she doesn't, but it's not making a difference. Suggestions???
dog walk

did someone say- 'cheese'??
Barked: Sat Mar 10, '12 8:17pm PST 
She is probably bored and wants to get outside. Especially if you live somewhere cold and it is now warming up?

She might need more outside time to play, sniff, and walk....
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Sat Mar 10, '12 9:08pm PST 
I think Gus is right. She's bored and wants more outside playtime and walks. Work on taking her out for walks or playtime when she hasn't rung the bell. Also, take those treats outside with you, and give a treat right away when she potties, not after you come back in. That's too late; at that point, she doesn't know the treat is for pottying outside.


Toovy Doovy Doo- Ready and- Willing!
Barked: Sat Mar 10, '12 9:26pm PST 
Every dog I've ever had that was trained to use the potty bell goes through this phase at some point. Some even start to ring the bell for other things. Tuvok rings the bell to remind me it's time to feed the dogs.
To solve this problem, ignore the ring if it's only been 30 minutes or so since your dog has pottied. Most dogs do prefer to go out every few hours though.
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Sun Mar 11, '12 8:43am PST 
You have to admire her smarts! Of course she thinks this is the "I want to go out" bell! And dogs love going outside, that's where all the great smells are. How often do you go for walks or spend time playing outside? I know my brother's Yorkie was constantly asking to go out because he wanted someone go out and play fetch.

I agree with others--one thing I would change though is reward her for going potty immediately after she's done it--not wait til you come back inside. You also might reward her by going out and playing with her for a few minutes. I would never scold her for ringing just because she wanted to go out, just ignore or don't reward.

After all just because she found a use for the bell other than what you meant doesn't mean she's being naughty--she's just being smart and using the means of communication you taught her! Frankly I'd be laughing if my dog did that! smile

blue dog

blues- are- cool
Barked: Sun Mar 11, '12 9:51am PST 
I created a monster when I hung Bryce a bell

he will ring it, then go put his paw in the empty food dish!
he had an evil grin the day I hung it. he knew instantly!

when my husband got home from work that day, Bryce rang it to show(train) him. he looked at me " you got him a door bell???? great,we are in trouble now"

The- Schnauzinator
Barked: Sun Mar 11, '12 12:01pm PST 
Yeah, scolding her isn't going to make any difference. Dog's can't make the abstract thought of "well, if I go potty when I go outside, my people are happy; but if I don't go potty they get mad" The only thing she'll learn is that sometimes you get mad at her (for what she thinks is no reason)when she comes back inside. Like others said, she probably needs to get out more because she's bored. If you don't feel like taking her out a lot, give her a Kong or something to occupy her mind.

The only way I can think of training her to stop is to just ignore her bell ringing when you know for a fact she doesn't need to potty. hopefully she'll eventually get it.

I'm a big brat- and I don't care- :)
Barked: Sun Mar 11, '12 4:54pm PST 
Koby's learned to lie about having to go out too. laugh out loud The weather hasn't been good until lately, so we couldn't give him much outside time until now.