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Puppy trained to use doorbell can't get the hang of using a doggie door by himself

Discussion in 'Puppies 101' started by Fainlysmom, Sep 1, 2021.

  1. Fainlysmom

    Fainlysmom Premium Member

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    Our wonderful 7-month-old Sheltie puppy, Fainly, whom we trained to use a doorbell to go outside for pottying (with our accompaniment to his potty area) cannot seem to learn now to transition to using a doggie door by himself. We've been trying for a week or so, and he isn't understanding. He's not afraid of the door, but he still uses the doorbell to tell us he has to go (and for other things he wants to do or needs) so that the doorbell is ringing frequently, and he won't use the doggie door unless we are there and go out with him to his new potty area, which is at the other end of the house and downstairs from the former area. We didn't have a choice in where to put the door. When we're there and go out the human-size door next to the doggie door he happily goes out his door and uses the potty area.

    To complicate matters he has inflammatory bowel syndrome and has diarrhea at times. We're concerned that if we remove the doorbell he'll start going on the carpet. Help! Any of your sage advice will be appreciated.Thank you!
     
  2. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

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    Maybe put a bell by his doggie door, have him ring that then go out.
     
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  3. Fainlysmom

    Fainlysmom Premium Member

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    Thanks. We did that already, and he has used that doorbell a couple of times, but the goal is to have him go in and out on his own without ringing any doorbell. We're not sure how to teach him to do that -- he just doesn't seem to understand and we're afraid if we take away the bells he'll go on the carpet.
     
  4. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

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    I was less than clear, sorry. Have the bell by his door have him ring it then go out so he associates those two rather than ring, my servant opens the door. Try to transfer the activity while replacing you open the door with he goes out it.

    Good luck.
     
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  5. Margi

    Margi Premium Member

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    Lose the bells altogether. Or put them outside where he can see them--assuming you have a clear door flap like mine.
    Right now he thinks he is doing what you want. If he knows not to go potty in the house, he should use the dog door if he has to...
    You're kind of starting over. I'd give him lots of treatos and praise every time he goes out the door by himself. I would also probably try to catch him pottying by himself outside and come out and praise him when he's done.
     
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  6. Fainlysmom

    Fainlysmom Premium Member

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    Thank you again, SheepOfBlue. I understand now. We're a bit hesitant to go completely without a bell so we're trying this first. He has, unfortunately, loose bowels today. I'm afraid it's too much stress on him to give him no bells just yet.
     
  7. Fainlysmom

    Fainlysmom Premium Member

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    Margi, thanks so much for your suggestions. We plan to get rid of the bells altogether as soon as his diarrhea clears up. As I said to SheepOfBlue, we think it might be too much stress right now with his bowel problems. It's so sweet, he's trying very hard to do what he thinks he's supposed to; too bad we're confusing him like this, but we've fenced off the back yard for him now and want him to be on his own for pottying, especially since he's learned he can make us do a variety of things by ringing the bell. He rings it when he wants to play also and brings us a toy.
     
    Margi and Sharon7 like this.
  8. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    in my multidog household- never had bells but every dog who came into the house would just follow the others in and out the door.
    my first sheltie was a rescue and I was opening the door for her to go in and out. it was pretty early on and I wondered how I would know if she wanted to come in one morning. a few minutes later, I look down and there she is- so she'd followed my other dog back in. never worried about her after that....
     
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  9. Fainlysmom

    Fainlysmom Premium Member

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  10. Fainlysmom

    Fainlysmom Premium Member

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    Complete success this morning. He barked once at the old place, I started downstairs toward the new one, he hurried past me and went out his door. Produced, and came back in. Yea Fainly! Will take some watching to make sure he remembers. Thank you to all for your good advice.
     

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