Teach Your Dog To Ring A Bell For House Training

Teaching your dog to ring a bell to let you know when it needs to go outside to do its business is really pretty easy.  I have found that it usually takes somewhere between 4 to 8 weeks for the dog to catch on to the process.  About 85% of the dogs catch on and are willing to do it while about 5% of the dogs actually get scared by the bell.  Usually these are the very small dogs.

The process is simple but you must be consistent.  We start by getting an appropriate bell.  I no longer suggest using the jingle bell because they have a small hole in the bell that can actually catch the dog’s toenail.  Instead I prefer a small cowbell or even a small desktop bell like you would see at a hotel on the counter to call the desk clerk.  These desktop bells are available at Staples office supply/Office Supplies or any hobby or craft shop.

With the cowbell simply hang it from the door low enough that your dog can hit it easily with it’s paw.  The desk top model can simply be placed on the floor next to the door.

You attach your dog’s leash to his collar and walk it to the door and simply lift his paw and hit the bell.  As soon as the bell rings immediately open the door.  Your dog will learn that ringing the bell makes the door open.

Like I mentioned earlier it will take a few weeks for your dog to catch on so you will need to continue helping until your dog figures it out.   When it does catch on I think you will agree with me that it is very exciting.  Yes, now you will have a dog that can ring the bell and get your attention when it needs to do it’s business.

Occasionally I will have a client that tells me that their dog sometimes rings the bell when it only wants to go outside but really does not need to do its business.  No problem, open the door and let it out for some fresh air.  I think you will find that it is just another step in creating some good communication between you and your dog.

Remember consistency is important in teaching this exercise and also make sure that the dogs paw hits the bell not your hand.  Have fun and I hope you enjoy the experience.


Mark Mansfield

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