4.5month pup having a hard time understanding doorknob potty bells

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/j372qr/45month_pup_having_a_hard_time_understanding/

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So I admit the potty bells is a somewhat recent addition. My older dogs know how to use them but they don't really just because they can hold it long enough that there's no need. So the bells have just been hanging unused on the door for years now.

Willow comes along. We didn't use them for the past 2 months because she was gated off from the front area and I just had a timer on my phone for when I would get up and take her out. My bad #1. I should have at least been showing her.

Now that she has mostly free reign of the first floor I'm starting to use the bells. It's only been about five days since I've started making an effort to get her to use them (otherwise she goes to the front door, stares and waits, then goes potty there because I normally don't notice and can't see her from where I usually am)

She seems to kind of understand she needs to do something with them. When I sit there with her to wait for her to do it, she starts pawing at the air but she's like 6 inches away from the bells horizontally. I even lengthened the rope so she could reach it easier, paw it on the ground, or bite and pull if she wants to (she has enrichment toys that utilize bite and pull ropes)

If you use bells, how long did it take and what did you do? I skipped the internet saying "get them used to touching it" (my bad #2, but my previous dogs learned just from taking their paw and slapping the bells with their paw and immediately going out)

She seems hesitant to actually touch them. She has done it right exactly ONCE, and I threw a party for her as we opened the door and went outside. But that was two days ago.

Obviously this seems like a difficult concept for her to grasp so I'm not upset. And she's doing so well. I just wonder if I'm expecting too soon.

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