We recently faced up to the fact that Chloe is not yet perfectly house-trained. Too often, we’d get complacent and then find that she’d snuck off to the basement or another distant room to pee or poop. The problem is that we live in a large house, and while she’s good as gold in the rooms she sees all the time, she must regard lesser-used rooms as being, in effect, outside. Our solution? Poochie Bells, and a lesson with a trainer from Ahimsa Dog Training, the dog school we took her to when she was a puppy.
Poochie Bells are, essentially, several bells sewn on a long ribbon that hangs over a doorknob, or on a hook. The trainer showed us how to teach Chloe to use the bells to signal when she needs to use the bathroom. (The bells come with directions, but we felt like we needed extra help.)
The reason I’m telling you this is because dogs who are traveling may also treat an unfamiliar room (like a hotel room, or your friends’ guest room) as an acceptable place to use the bathroom — purely because it’s not “home.” Chloe had only one accident away from home in the PPB (pre-Poochie Bells) era, but only because I was obsessively vigilant. I’m pleased with the bells because they give Chloe a way to communicate her needs both at home and on the road — we now travel with a set of bells, which we hang on the door of our hotel room so Chloe knows that our house rules also apply in this new place.
So far, it’s working like a charm. I’ve added Poochie Bells to Chloe’s packing list, and if your house-trained dog has been having accidents away from home (or if you fear she might), consider adding them to your packing list!
Please note that other companies make door bells for dogs, and crafty readers may be thinking that it wouldn’t be too hard to make a set out of some bells and ribbon. We happened to buy a set of Poochie Bells, and they’ve worked for us.
Poochie-Bells EcoFriendly Soft Bamboo (Terracotta)