Potty training your dog can be a daunting task, but if done right with love and patience, you can also teach your dog to tell you when she needs to go outside. That’s right; she can ring a bell to tell you she needs to go potty instead of barking and scaring you or waking a sleeping baby. Teaching your dog to ring a bell is easy to do for puppies and may take a little extra practice for adult dogs.
Imagine cooking dinner, sitting down watching television, or enjoying family game night and hearing the ringing of a bell instead of a loud and obnoxious bark. If you have company over and your dog can ring a bell to signify she needs to go potty, it will not only be a calmer gentler request to go outside, but your guests will also be delighted at the talents of your dog.
House training your dog is a matter of repetition. Bell training is very similar. Only adding the bell and teaching your dog to ring it will require extra patience. Introducing the bell while you are house training a puppy can be fun for you both. You can add a bell as a fixture for the door your dog will use to get outside. You could also train your dog to use a bell anywhere in your home as a signal for needing to get outside. She could learn to touch a bell with her nose or pick up a bell from a particular and consistent holding spot like an end table and ring it to signal to you she needs to go outside to go potty. Avoid keeping a bell in various places, and be sure to remain consistent, using the same location for the bell and one training technique so as not to confuse your dog.
Just like with house training, bell training will take time, commitment, and patience. Have some special treats on hand just for this training. You will also need a bell and a decision on where to place it and how your dog will interact with it before training starts. This process for a puppy could take two to four weeks. For a house trained dog, teaching her to use a bell as part of her requests to go outside to go potty may take a little longer simply because you are retraining by breaking the old habit of barking or scratching at the door to go outside and teaching her a new method. Have patience with both puppies and older dogs.