My 7 year old golden knows what the bell ringing means too. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. Have a now 13 wk old puppy, started using these at night when we brought her home at just over 8 wks of age. Can't keep them on door when we are around because she likes to play with them, plus older dogs tail hits them frequently. Followed directions and it took two or three nights before she started ringing the bells when she needed to go out - VERY pleased. They are well constructed and work well.