As I was sitting here checking my email, my very own Marley inspired me for this post. You see...Marley and I have a system...when he has to go to the bathroom or wants to go outside to play he has to ring his puppy bells that dangle on the back door. Since I was upstairs playing on the computer, I just heard the frantic 'I really have to go to the bathroom, Mom!' bell ringing!
After letting him out (he is outside playing as I type), I grabbed the puppy bells and decided today I'm going to remake them because they have seen better days...and in doing so, I thought I would share how truly simple these are to make AND use for your dog! No more barking, no more door jumping/scratching! Now, I can't take credit for this great idea of the puppy bells, as they were given to me, but I can share with you how you can make your own and how I will recreate mine!
So to get started, you will need some ribbon (the thicker the better because these will be pulled, teethed on, tugged, banged around...). You will also need some simple holiday bells (found at any local craft store, especially during the upcoming holiday season!). Finally, you just need a sewing machine to sew it all together.
Measure the ribbon according to your dog's height. My dog is a Golden Retriever, so he doesn't need a lot of slack in the ribbon. Taking the holiday bells, you can place them on a key ring to hold a lump of them together. You then loop the ribbon around the key ring and sew to secure. For the top, to keep it simple you can just create a loop to fit around the door handle (or secure with snaps/buttons as mine previously were). Piece of cake!
Training: Now you will need to train your pup how to use these. Ever hear of Pavlov's Theory? Well, it holds to be true. When taking your pup outside always ring the bell and guide him/her through the motions. If your pup knows the 'sit' command, just make them sit at the door near the bells and ring it for them. Pretty soon they will associate the ringing must occur for them to go outside and they will do it themselves! Marley picked it up within 2 days, so I know your pups can do it too! Don't get discouraged if they don't pick it up immediately and always remember to praise your pup for ringing before you let them outside!
Creating this pup bell is just so simple and provides even more structure for your pup! It is even great to travel with so you know when they need to go out. It allows them to better communicate to us and hopefully prevent embarrassing accidents! Every house with a pup should have one!
Just a thought...a polka-dot thought!