tips before you begin
- Training should be fun for your pet. Keep the training sessions short enough so that your dog doesn’t get tired or frustrated. You can have several training sessions a day. You will need a few days to a few weeks to train your four-legged companion to touch the chime to go out.
Rewards for the desired behavior need to be immediate (within 1-2 seconds after the behavior) in order for your dog to associate the behavior with the command.
It’s good practice to say your dog’s name prior to a command. For these instructions, we’re going to call our dog ‘Bella’.
what you need
Tiny kibble sized treats your dog loves (chicken, cooked meat, cheese ...).
We will be using the word “yes” instead of a clicker, but if you prefer a clicker, grab it (and use the clicker whenever we say 'yes').
step 1 – teach your dog the touch command
- Put your palm 1"-2” from your dog's nose. The point is to just get the dog to touch your palm, even if it is accidental initially.
- Say “Bella touch”. (You can substitute your own word for 'touch'.)
- The moment your dog touches your palm, say “yes”, give her a treat with your other hand and praise her. As stated earlier, timing is important - the “yes” and treat have to be immediate (within 1-2 seconds).
- Increase the distance between your palm and your dog's nose.
- When your dog touches your palm on command 20+ times, move to step 2.
step 2 – teach your dog to ring the chime using the touch command
- Remove the chime from the chime guide, hold it towards your dog and say “Bella touch". The chime should be 1"-2” from your dog's nose initially and lowered until it is hanging by itself as your dog successfully performs the command. When you get to the point where the chime is hanging by itself, point to the chime when you say "Bella touch."
- The moment your dog touches the chime, say “yes”, give her a treat with your other hand and praise her. (Again, timing is vital.)
- When your dog touches the hanging chime on command 20+ times, move to step 3.
step 3 – teach your dog to touch the chime when she needs to go out
When you think your dog needs to go out, ask her “Bella, need to go out?”
When you get to the door, point to the chime and say "touch".
The moment she touches the chime, say "yes”, give her a treat, praise her and take her out.
Keep doing this every time your dog needs to go out. Eventually, she will touch the chime on her own.
When you hear your dog ring the chime on her own, immediately say “Bella yes” (loud enough for her to hear), then go to the door, say “Bella need to go out?”, and take her out.
If you want to reinforce that touching the chime is to go to the bathroom only, give her less than 5 minutes to go to the bathroom. If she doesn’t do anything, take her back inside. Don’t play with her when out on these ‘bathroom breaks’. If she uses the bathroom, give her a treat.