Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Works for Me - Wednesday

I have been reading Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee and Carol at I Throw Like a Girl. They both directed me to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer... she hosts "Works For Me Wednesday".

They got me to thinking if anything in my life "works" and if I'd like to share... I was talking to my daughter and she gave me some ideas... I laughed because she said, share something you organized.... hahahahahahaaaaaa that is a hoot! Organization is not my strong point.... I'm still laughing about that.

About that time my little puppy, Andy, rang the bell to go outside.

Yes, that's right. He rings the bell to tell us when he wants/needs to go potty (or chase the squirrels out of the yard).

I was in the middle of taking pictures when all 4 sets of my batteries went dead... yeah... at once. So, I'm now charging them all and later (8 hours from now) I might remember to take pictures and add them to the post.

When Andy was just a little thing (he's still not very big), it was hard to tell when he was going potty. His little legs were so short, and the grass was so long, that it was impossible to tell when he "squatted".

Our son and his wife had trained their boxer to ring the bell to go outside. We were very impressed. She told me how and so we trained Andy.

The first thing you need is a treat that your puppy LOVES. Andy's treat is cat food. He will do all sorts of things for cat food. For the first 18 months of his life I walked around with cat food in my pockets!

So, what you do, you hang a bell by the door that you take him out. Then you teach him to ring the bell... like you hit the bell and then give him a treat. Repeat a couple of times and then put his nose to the bell and ring it and give him a treat. Do that several times and then rest.
Later go through the process several times until he understands that "ring bell = treat"...

It doesn't take long because they LOVE treats!

Next, ring bell, open door and give treat... over and over...

Next, ring bell, open door and take him out and give treat ...

All you do is break down the steps and reward generously when he does it on his own... waiting to give him a treat at the end of the newly learned "trick"

It does not take long - it just takes consistency and responding when he rings the bell...

(after we moved I had to sort of remind him about the bell because it was in a new place. I had to retrain him to ring the bell. He KNEW what that meant, but didn't know where the bell was in the new house.)

Not long after he learned to do this, I was having a Parsonage Committee meeting. All the committee had come over to the house to examine and inspect (a normal occurrence in our lives). I had assured them that Andy was house broken and did not go in the house...

Andy kept ringing the bell.... they were all "leaving", but standing around talking. I was ignoring Andy and hoping that he just wanted to go out to play.

All these nice ladies who are responsible for the care and upkeep and condition of the parsonage were talking and talking... finally, Andy rang the bell LOUD... looked at me and squatted right there in the middle of the ladies! From that time on, I paid close attention to the bell ringing!

We have had very few "accidents" since he learned this trick. Most of them are our fault because we haven't been listening or pay attention. ... or he's been sick...

That's what works for me!


carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

That's a fantastic idea! I would love to see pictures especially for ideas on where to put the bell.

Mrs. Who said...

It's amazing how smart they are, isn't it??

Beverly Lewis said...

WE have SO much in common. I am not organized either. It never occurred to me to participate in Works for Me Wednesdays but I'll have to rethink it. I have been told I turn everything upside down and miraculously things land in the right places. I dont think that's a valid tip. ; )