Posts Tagged ‘teach your dog’

Using a Dog Doorbell for Potty Training Your Dog

February 23, 2013

Dog Potty Training Doorbell

Teaching Your Dog How To Tell You When They Need to Go Outside

Maya was really bad about letting me know when she needs to go outside. It is not a problem most of the time since I let her out regularly. However, there have been a few times when she really needed to go but she didn’t know how to let me know. So I’ve started training her to use a bell.

If I let Maya out regularly, why would she need to know how to tell me when she needs to go out? There have been two fairly recent incidents as to why. This past summer, Maya played in the sprinkler. After I let her inside, I didn’t think about all the water she had just drunk. As a result, she decided she had to go so badly that she couldn’t wait for me to let her out at her regularly scheduled time. Another incident was when I forgot to let her out before bed time. As a result, she had to go in the middle of the night. Since I was asleep and since she didn’t know how to tell me she needed to go, she went on the floor.

So teaching Maya to use a dog doorbell has begun. I’ve read a lot about it and here is how I am doing it:

First, get a dog doorbell. Maya’s bell is a ping-pong sized jingle bell that is hangs from a ribbon by the door. The jingle bell hangs right at her nose reach. I made one and it is ugly, but it works. You can get a nice dog doorbell like the one in the above photo on Amazon. Then there is the cute one below, also from Amazon.

Ethical Gotta Go Dog Potty Training Doorbell

Next, I teach her to ring the bell. Maya knows the word ‘outside’ and gets excited every time I say it. So to train her to ring the bell I say outside, get her excited about it, then direct her to the bell hanging by the door. It is fairly easy to get her to touch the bell with her nose. When she does, I tell her she is a good girl and I reward her by letting her outside.

If your dog doesn’t engage with the bell as easily as Maya did, use a treat to guide your dog’s nose to the bell. And if your dog doesn’t already know the word for going outside, you can teach your dog this word at the same time as you teach them to ring the bell.

As of yet, Maya has not learned to ring the bell when she wants to go outside off-schedule. She still goes out regularly so she really hasn’t had the opportunity. But someday, I hope she uses the dog doorbell when she really needs to let me know she’s got to go.

What does your dog do to let you know they want to go outside?

Teaching My Dogs the Rollover Dog Trick

October 3, 2012

Usually Wednesday is reserved for Wordless Wednesday. But I couldn’t help but to share my dog Pierson’s new trick. If you’re not interested in reading today, just check out this cute video of my dogs showing off. 🙂

Sephi knew how to do the rollover dog trick but I never taught it to Maya. But when Pierson came along with his great need to learn new things, I started teaching them both to rollover. I started on Saturday, Sept 8th. Pierson had it down by the 11th. Maya was doing okay but not like Pierson. Here is how I did it.

The Command, The Motion, and The Bribe
Both Maya and Pierson already know how to play dead so rollover was a two-step process. I gave them the down command. Then I gave the hand signal for play dead. However, instead of saying ‘play dead’ I said ‘rollover’. I had a treat in hand and led them around to do the rollover. As soon as they were all the way around, I told them they were good dogs and gave them the treat. I did this one-dog-at-a-time, of course. While I had one dog sit and stay, I went to the other dog and worked on the rollover trick.

Training Sessions
When I first started on Saturday, I spent about 2 minutes with each dog. I managed to get them each to do two successful rollovers, then stopped. Always end training on a positive note. I didn’t keep training until they got bored. And if I had two successful tries, I didn’t want to keep going and give them the opportunity to not do the trick.

Sunday, we did a 2 minute session for each dog in the morning and again in the afternoon. Same for Monday and Tuesday. Two short training sessions twice a day is all it takes. Don’t try to cram in longer training times. You can spend 5-10 minutes at the most depending on your dog’s enthusiasm and success. If your dog loses interest or is not performing the trick right, have him do something he does know well then stop on a positive note.

Some Dogs Just Won’t Do It
Pierson had the trick down by Tuesday. That is just four days! He is such a smart boy and certainly makes it seem easy to teach the rollover dog trick. I can’t promise it will be that easy for you and your dog. Every dog is different and some dogs just don’t feel comfortable doing the rollover trick. I do the trick outside because the ground is softer than my hardwood floors and so doesn’t hurt their back. Some dogs, like Maya, may take longer because the rollover is not a natural motion like sitting is. And some dogs won’t do it because perhaps they feel that exposing their belly makes them vulnerable.

If you want to teach your dog the rollover dog trick, take note of his behavior regarding the trick. Is he enthusiastic about it or is he reluctant? If he is reluctant, you may want to work on the issue of why he is before you teach this trick. Training should be fun for both you and your dog. You don’t want to force him to do something he is not comfortable doing.

How to Teach Your Dog to Catch a Frisbee

October 1, 2011

To teach your dog to catch a frisbee is not as easy as you’d think. This has been a tough one for me. I have tried in the past to teach a dog to catch a frisbee but have never been successful. Even now, I am having a difficult time teaching my dog Maya. She keeps wanting to wait until the frisbee hits the ground, like a ball, before she grabs it. She doesn’t understand that I want her to try to catch in in the air.

Since I am having trouble, I decided to peruse the net to find out if there is a better way to teach Maya to catch the frisbee. In my search I found some great instructional videos. By watching these videos, I learned there is more than one way to teach a dog to catch a frisbee. I also learned that even though I am not necessarily doing it wrong, there is a better way.

Step number one is to get the right frisbee. The $.99 cent ones at PetsMart are okay to start but may not be the best. For one, they are hard and could hurt your dog’s mouth. I’ve heard that Hyperflite, Aerobie, and the Kong Flyer are great frisbee dog toys. But my only experience is with the Kong Flyer. I really love this one and so does Maya. It is very flexible, soft. Best of all, it is virtually non-destructible which is great since Maya loves to chew on her toys.

Step number two is to get your dog excited about the frisbee. There is no trouble there. Maya loves it!

Step number three, which may not be in this above video, is to make sure your dog releases the frisbee when you tell him to. Maya does, albeit reluctantly. And even though she is a Retriever, she sometimes has trouble bringing it back to me.

Step number four, roll the frisbee on the ground. This helps your dog learn to grab it by the rim. I admittedly did not know to do this step. This may have helped Maya learn to catch it before it falls flat.

Step number five, teach your dog to go around you so that you have time to throw it. I never thought of this. In fact, I’m not sure it will work with Maya. Yes, I could teach her to go around me easy enough but Maya is slow and I feel like she needs to get a running start after the frisbee so that she can catch it before it hits the ground. If I make her go around me first, then the frisbee will land before she even realizes I’ve already thrown it. However, the Border Collie in this video is definitely a fast dog and so this learning how to go around first looks like it would work.

Step number six, teach your dog the ‘catch’ or ‘take it’ command and let them grab the frisbee from your hand. With Maya, I unknowingly skipped steps four and five and went straight to this one.

Step number seven, toss the frisbee in the air in front of you and use the ‘catch’ or ‘take it’ command just as he is about to grab it. As your dog gets better at it, increase the distance of the throw.

With Maya, because she is slower than that Border Collie, I have been throwing the frisbee at or by her. I have to make her stay at a distance from me, then I toss the frisbee. She has gotten to where she can catch the frisbee in the air 40% of the time, but she is still not running to catch it. I will try some of the tips in this video and perhaps soon I will have a video of Maya for you to see.

Does anyone else have any tips on how to teach your dog to catch a frisbee? If you have a video or photo, we’d love to share it!

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