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Maddie’s I-Have-To-Potty Bells

by Meghann on October 6, 2011

Thanks for all the comments regarding the crate and Maddie!

I promise she’s not always a bad dog – and I love her to pieces – I just found it amusing how quickly she escapes from her crate. πŸ™‚

We’ve crate trained her since she was 14 weeks old with treats, leaving our scents in the crate (we don’t leave toys or blankets in the crate anymore because she’ll pee on them and push them to the back – she has a thing for soft surfaces, which is why we leave her in the crate in the first place), and we’ve tried placing the crate in a separate room. I promise I generally don’t patronize her with the crate and it’s usually an in-you-go-no-turning-back situation. Thanks to your advice, I am going to look into plastic crates and won’t be afraid of using the padlock in the future!

Any other time I’m at home with Maddie all she does is lays on the couch and sleeps. Every once in a while she’ll get up and fuss with a toy, but mainly she sleeps. When she does escape from the crate, I’m pretty sure all she does is sleep, BUT she also has mini accidents that make the crate necessary.

Admittedly potty training Maddie hasn’t been easy, but recently we discovered something that works with our little (lovable) terror – I-Have-To-Potty Bells.

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When I purchased them, the instructions were simple – place the bells on the door and make a point to ring them every time you take your dog outside. The theory was that Maddie would eventually catch on and realize that ringing bells equated to going outside.

I made the big purchase in June and immediately hung them on the door when they arrived. I made a point to ring them every time I took Maddie outside and waited for her to catch on.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Until one day – she pushed her nose to them and I heard a ‘jingle, jingle’ from across the room.

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I took her outside and she immediately did her business.

It. Was. Awesome.

Of course, nothing is perfect and she still has an accident every once in a while – and a crate is still needed – but every time I hear her rings those bells I know something clicked with her.

Maddie now understands that the bells mean to go outside. She also knows they are what get my attention. She rings them when she’s bored, when her water bowl is empty, and when she’s hungry. Honestly, she can ring them as much as she wants, as along as she continues doing her business outside. πŸ™‚

Also, as a side note, I may tweet and blog about Maddie as my little trouble maker, but that’s just because I generally find it amusing enough to share. Any other time she sleeps, eats, and goes outside – nothing special. She’s a good dog with a big personality and does some crazy things.

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It’s like Marley & Me, only Maddie & Me. πŸ™‚

/end Maddie talk

I had the oddest craving this evening for rotisserie chicken. I can’t even remember the last time I purchased one, but for some reason it sounded like an excellent idea as I was heading home this evening.

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Greasy, messy, and absolutely delicious.

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Thanks to the chicken, dinner came together pretty quickly.

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I roasted some carrots and made a dressing of plain yogurt, spicy mustard, and oregano to coat the carrots with. It was my version of a carrot salad and it was actually pretty tasty.

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Steam in a bag snap peas for my greens. The snap peas were much better than the broccoli. πŸ™‚

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The rest of the sea salt chocolate found its way in my belly for dessert.

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I feel so off today.

A good sign that I need a vacation.

Two more days!!!

1 Sana October 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Aww Maddie is your baby! It’s crazy that she knows the bells get your attention! She is smart!
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2 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 6, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I love all your maddie stories! I think she’s pretty funny. My brother has a puppy and I should suggest the door bells to him! They live in an apartment and try and take her out every hour to two hours so she doesn’t have accidents!
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats recently posted..I’ve Joined the Crack-Pot Club

3 Hilary October 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Mmmm…rotisserie chicken! Always good for a quick meal!
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4 Meghan October 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Aw Maddie is a cutie! Their quirky (and sometimes agitating) personalities are what make them so lovable πŸ™‚

I love picking up rotisserie chickens when I am feeling lonely. My grocery store makes an amazing rosemary one, pair that with roasted potatoes…mmm!

5 Ashley October 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm

We used a bell to train our pup Regis! We started it the day we brought him home and it works wonders. He does the same thing… rings it for any and all attention to be brought to him! πŸ™‚

6 Deva @ Deva by Definition October 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I love rotisserie chicken. πŸ™‚
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7 Laura October 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I think we’re going to need to try the potty balls for our monsters. Our newest addition is having some issues with going outside.
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8 Reenie October 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I think she’s pretty smart ringing the bells to get your attention πŸ˜‰ ha~ Cute!!

My old neighbors used to use the bells for their boxer.

9 Kelly October 6, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I’m glad you’ve got Maddie used to the bells! I’ve heard a lot of people that have success with the potty bells, especially with hard to potty-train breeds.

Random Funny Thing: I was at a trade show for work recently and saw that someone made potty bells that they are marketing to potty train children. Here’s their site: http://www.pajakids.com/my-potty-bells.html Since I knew about the doggy version before these, all that I can think of is comparing your children to dogs, which is strange and wrong. But maybe they really help kids, who knows.
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10 Meghann October 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm

haha! Too funny!

11 BroccoliHut October 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I so need these! We pretty much have Margot trained (hasn’t had an accident in several weeks), but sometimes it’s hard to distinguish requests for potty time from requests for general attention!
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12 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Sometimes dinner just needs to come together fast for sanity reasons, ya know?! πŸ™‚
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13 kathleen @ the daily crumb October 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm

thanks for the potty bell tip!! we have a 4 month old puppy who is having a litttttle trouble remembering where to pee. we have heard great things about the bells, but never any first hand experiences. guess we should give them a try!

14 Carly (Swim, Run, Om) October 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Meghann, a friend of mine just moved to the Tampa area who has experience in training dogs. She used to work for Bowser’s old groomer, and she’s been taking classes and working as a trainer for the past couple of years. If you’re interested in hiring a trainer, I think she would be a good one and give you a reasonable rate. I feel the need to point out that, while some situations are different, a dog that’s been properly crate trained should not be having accidents. I think Maddie is only a year or so younger than Bowser; she really should not need to be crated at all at this point. She definitely should not be having accidents in her crate … the crate is probably too big for her if that’s the case. And a crate should be a homey place, with a blanket and/or towel plus a toy or too. It’s supposed to simulate a den. Bowser’s crate is open with his favorite blanket and piggy toy … he usually doesn’t go in there, but it is there for him. Basically, the crate is ultimately supposed to be a safe, homey place.

Terriers are very headstrong and training isn’t easy (Bowser is a schnauzer, so I know!), so I really recommend finding a trainer, whether you want more info about my friend or find someone on your own. Both you and Maddie would be so much happier!
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15 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) October 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

We just adopted a little Chiweenie last month and we’re still working on the potty training, as he doesn’t know how to signal to go outside, so he has minor “accidents” in the house with pee-pee. (I think he might be marking his turf?) Not sure. I’ll give the bells a try! Thanks so much for sharing. πŸ™‚

Our Chihuahua/Dachshund, Caesar: http://www.j3nn.net/2011/09/19/secret-no-more-our-newest-family-member/
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16 Jane @ Broccolini + Cheese October 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I’ve never heard of those bells but they seem like a great way to potty train! Thanks for sharing!
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17 Liz October 7, 2011 at 2:06 am

Those rotisserie chickens are so handy! I like to pick one up & make chicken salad & bbq chicken sandwiches with it πŸ™‚

18 Amy @ Amy Starts to Run October 7, 2011 at 2:37 am

My dog has learned to hit her nose on the doorknob when she wants out. And loves to play the “just kidding!” joke where she hits it, waits for us to open the door and then walks away. Sigh.
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19 Meghan October 7, 2011 at 5:38 am

Honestly Maddie is a typical Jack Russell πŸ™‚ We Bell trained our puppy we got in June, she was 4.5 months old and had never been housebroken. For awhile we had problems where she would not ring she just peed in front of the door! Finally we have reached a point (knock on wood) where she hasn’t had any accidents in weeks. She too rings when bored, but we make her go out. She is a little terror but makes me smile, and I love her to pieces too. She lost 2 beds for chewing them, including the chew resistant bed. She steals my bras, underwear, the cinnamon container, etc and loves to chase kitties. But I wouldn’t get rid of her for anything!
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20 Jessica @ Sushi & Sit-Ups October 7, 2011 at 6:45 am

I haven’t had Publix rotisserie chicken in so long either! I used to eat it all the time!
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21 Hillary October 7, 2011 at 7:05 am

Best thing about rotisserie chicken? It lasts for days—and it’s so versatile! Yum.
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22 Patrice @ Moment To Memory October 7, 2011 at 8:16 am

oh yum…now i’m craving rotisserie chicken! And Maddie is just the cutest dog ever! πŸ™‚

23 Hope October 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

Awww..Maddie is so cute! πŸ™‚ I like hearing Maddie stories. I love rotisserie chicken’s. I don’t get them nearly enough.
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24 Meg October 7, 2011 at 8:34 am

Have you considered picking a safe spot on the tile floor to leave a pee pad when you’re gone during the day in case she escapes? Our Chihuahua sometimes has accidents too (we don’t crate him when we’re gone during the day because that’s where he sleeps at night, and it just seems like too much, but crate at night is the only situation that works for us because I can’t have him in our bed), and whenever we remember to leave a pee pad down he totally understands that that’s what it’s for! If you leave it in the same spot every time hopefully she should catch on :]

25 Meghann October 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

Yes, we’ve used the pee pad approach and it really does help! But i’ve had trainers warn against that because it reinforces their desire to pee inside. πŸ™

26 Jen October 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

Hahaha! I have the SAME bells for my pups!

I have a lab and a beagle mix, and when I got the beagle last year, I worked with a dog trainer to help me train her up proper πŸ˜‰ The trainer suggested the bells, so that’s what I use. But then my dog did the same thing as Maddie…rings it for everything. The trainer suggested that when my pup rings the bells, I take her outside and give her a few min to go. Then if she goes, awesome, reward her, etc. If she doesn’t go, then she goes inside in her crate for just a minute or two. The idea is to teach her that the bells are when you need to go potty and not when you just want to go outside and play. It worked pretty well (and it didn’t take her long to learn at all). And Jack Russells (that’s what maddie is, right?) are like the smartest dogs on the planet, so I’m sure she’d pick it up in no time!

27 Meghann October 7, 2011 at 10:10 am

Thanks for the tip!

28 Corey @ Learning Patience October 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

We live on rotisserie chickens…so easy and a quick go to meal helper!
Yum….sea salt chocolate is our favorite!
Have a fabulous weekend!
xoxo from Trinidad
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29 Melissa @ Mouthwatering Morsel October 7, 2011 at 9:47 am

my mum put a christmas bell there one day and thought it’d be amusing to get our dog to ring it every time he needed to do business. Now he just rings it when he needs to go and if we can’t hear him, he comes back to us and looks at us and nudges us then goes and rings again. some times my mum would say “not yet” and he’ll just wait and ring it when he REALLY needs to go. (:
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30 Amanda October 7, 2011 at 10:34 am

I love your Maddie stories also!! Keep ’em coming!

I was laughing my butt off at the Maddie’s Great Escape Video. She reminds me so much of my Rylee (2 year old dachshund).

πŸ™‚

31 B October 7, 2011 at 10:35 am

Hey, I’m not sure if this has been mentioned yet since i didn’t take the time to go through all the comments, but I think Maddie’s crate is too big for her – hence why you have the peeing on blankets problem. A dog’s crate should only be large enough for them to walk in, turn around, and lie down. This is what trains them not to pee in it – they have nowhere to put the bed/blankets and would be forced to lie in them otherwise. Some toys and giving her treats when she enters (on command) may also make it a more positive experience for her.

32 Lindsay October 7, 2011 at 11:53 am

Not sure I would consider a rotisserie chicken “greasy”, but I definitely consider it good AND easy for a Thursday night dinner!

33 Katie October 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Yay for the bells! I trained my pup Theo with them when he was a baby (9 years ago…I guess it was a while back); everyone is amazed when they come over and hear the bell ring…and I tell them that he just needs to go outside! Best thing ever.
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34 Rafael October 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Love Publix Lemon Pepper chicken!!
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35 Sophie October 9, 2011 at 11:37 am

Those potty bells ae such a great idea! Go Maddy! πŸ™‚
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