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Our puppy used to do a good job letting us know when she had to potty when we lived in a smaller flat. She had an incredibly subtle signal though, basically she'd go to the door and give us a little glance. We recently moved when she was about 6 months old. With the new place being larger, we aren't always around the front door to notice her sitting there to be taken out and she started having accidents, so we decided to start bell training. She picked it up super quickly - within a week, and all was well for 2 weeks. However in the last week, she's suddenly discovered that she can abuse the bells big time! She's constantly ringing them to be let out.

She does have a wee most of the time, but is clearly also wanting to collect all the sticks in the front yard. Now autumn is here, she also loves sniffing the leaves. I'm pretty sure despite being 7 months old, she's going out more often than she did as a 5 month old! I'm also fairly certain that she does not have a UTI, as over the last few days I've called her bluff and just ignored her straight out to experiment and she just runs off to take a nap or play with a toy. It then becomes this huge guessing game to figure out when she actually needs to go. Yesterday she went 9 times in a day - is that normal for a 7 month old?

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to curb potty bell abuse? Or should we just put up the bells and go back to the old method...

The little offender:
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Couch
 

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My puppy (6 mo) paws the door when she has to go out, but just like yours and many others, she sometimes abuses it and paws at the door anytime she wants to go out to the yard. In particular, I find that my puppy tends to want to go back out quickly after we come in, so I ignore her signals for about 30 mins after we come back in. Past that point, I’ll take her out to potty when she signals but I don’t let her stay out to play. Try to keep playtime completely separate. Not sure if this helps at all — it’s not a solution but it’s a way to manage it.
 

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Ditto.. when I think she’s faking the trip is very short .. no playing, potty or back inside. I’m a newb to GR’s but this does seem to help for us. They are clever - got to respect that 😂
 

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Yeah...never teach a dog how to control you! 😆 Kona also quickly figured out the cause-effect relationship for those bells, and sometimes it sounded like wind chimes in our family room.

At a certain age (somewhere between 5months and we've-had-enough-of-those-bells), we decided that Kona was old enough not to have accidents, and then just made sure that we regularly took her outside for "potty walks". That is the routine that we still use.
 

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Now our pup is 5 months, we know how long she can hold a number 1, and at what point she needs to go number 2 based on when she's eaten. So sometimes we just ignore her now if we can tell she's just trying to go out to play or mess around (obviously sometimes we do let her out to play as well). We often close the door to the conservatory as that's the door to the outside (where the bells are). If she really needs to go and its closed so she can't access the bells, she will paw at the door or jump up and give a little grumble. Since she was 4 months, she will not go to toilet in the house unless completely desperate, and we would never let her get to that stage anyway. So she can be trusted :)
 

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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to curb potty bell abuse?
Take away the bell.

What that bell means to your dog: "If i ring it, i can go out.".

Instead, take a note when she has eaten/drank water and time it from there.

Our pup is 3 months old, and goes outside more-or-less at the times of: 08:00, 12:00, 18:00, 23:00.
After 8:00, 12:00, and 18:00, he also gets his meal. So, we go out before meal time. 23:00 is last outing for the day, before we go to sleep.

When our pup was 2 months old and we just got him, we went out with him after every nap time and eating, essentially every 2 hours, since he wasn't potty trained.

Now, he knows how to show us when he wants to go potty. But there have been 2 times, where he has shown that he wanted out but once out, no #1 or #2 was made. Of course, i noted the time down and it was 1h since last outing. So, now, i'm smarter in the future and doesn't go out with him when it isn't "time".

Your doggo is in her teens, and she will try the limits on how far she can push you. ;)
 
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