We have had great success in bell-training our two cockerdoodles to let us know when they wanted to go outside. (I prefer the term cockerdoodle to cock-a-poo...ick.)
We've hung a bell next to the back door, which they swat with their paws when they want out, or their food bowl is empty, when they want a treat, or sometimes just when they want to annoy us. Since a bell hanging outside the door doesn't work too well when the door is shut, and they naturally scratch at the door when they want in, we purchased a doorbell with a wireless button switch with the idea that they could learn to ring when they wanted back in.
However, the button proved to small for them to successfully press.
Altoids to the rescue!
I mounted the button inside a tin, making the lid a wide surface to press on.
The lid of the tin does stick out at a bit of an angle, making it easier to operate with a paw.
It's not pretty, but it gets swatted at by dogs and has made it through two Iowa winters so far.
Step 1: For this project you will need:
A wireless remote doorbell with a switch small enough to fit inside the tin.
A button, washer, lego, whatever.
Gorilla tape (I love this stuff!)
3M/Scotch double-stick mounting tape. The heavy duty kind with the red peel-off backing.
Step 2: The guts:
The wireless button switch is mounted inside the bottom of the tin.
A plastic button is affixed to the top of the tin with Gorilla tape to ensure good contact with the switch.
The hinge is reinforced with Gorilla tape as well.
You can see the original hinge of the tin is actually no longer connected to the bottom. No matter.