Fro a while, after we adopted our dog Jack, we tried to train him to ring a bell by our back door to let us know he wanted to go out. Well we tried over and over until we gave up.
Tiger saw us ring the bell for Jack, and then let him outside. All he needed to do was see this done once. And he got it. Once Jack was outside, Tiger went over to the door and rang the bell. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well for Tiger. He tried maybe once or twice more, than gave up.
The other night, as I was calling Jack in from outside, Tiger escaped into the yard. Not good. It was completely dark. I called and Tiger just kept going. He jumped off our deck and could have ran under it, but he just stopped and let me pick him up. Boy was I relieved. It could have been a very long night.
So the next morning, I go downstairs with Tiger and he goes over to the door and rings the bell. At first I didn't get it. Then I understood. Since he was able to get out the night before, he thought maybe the bell would work for him this time. I couldn't believe it. He is so smart, he just has to see something done once and he gets the concept if it is something he is interested in. He did try the bell a second time again in the morning and since he saw I wouldn't let him out, he gave up. That's my boy!