February 08, 2021 4 min read 0 Comments

A dog sits and looks at its owner's hand as they give it a command

Amber LaRock author of How To Train Your Dog To Ring A Bell To Go Outside

Potty training can be one of the more challenging parts of welcoming a new pup into your home. Knowing when your dog needs to go outside is essential for proper potty training, making the bell method the perfect way to be notified. So how do you train your dog to ring a bell?

In this article we’ll dive into the details of bell training your furry friend, and give you all the tips needed to help your pup succeed!


Why Train Your Dog to Ring a Bell to go Outside 

Training your dog to ring a bell when they need to go outside is one of the best ways to help them master potty training. Knowing when your pup needs to go can be a challenging aspect of potty training, and can lead to accidents when you miss your dog's signals.

Bell training your furry friend is a wonderful way to always be a step ahead of the game. Giving your dog their own personal alert system can help them avoid accidents in your home, implement structure in their potty routine, and even offer a fun tick for them to master.

Teaching them to ring a bell when they need to go outside is a wonderful way to ensure their success in potty training. This trick is one that they will not need to perform on command, but rather just when they need it. While this helps your pup gain control of their bathroom routine, you benefit in the end!


What You Will Need for the Training  

Now that you’ve decided to bell train your dog, it’s time to gather a few supplies. There are a few materials needed to achieve bell training success, and help your dog enjoy every step of the process. The supplies needed include:

  • A bell that your dog can easily access. This means hanging it from the door knob or any other level they can easily reach.
  • Training treats that can be rewarded throughout the process
  • Time needed to successfully train your pup. The process shouldn’t be too lengthy, but every pup will differ in what they need. 

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Training Your Dog to Ring the Bell

Before your dog can learn to tap the bell when they need to go outside, they must first become familiar with touching the bell in general. Reaching up and touching an object is not a natural behavior for a dog, meaning you will need to show them how. 

You can introduce them to touching the bell by first bringing them over to the door where the bell hangs. You will first lift their paw to make contact with the bell, and immediately say a verbal cue that you have assigned for the action of touch. Once you say your verbal cue and they have made contact with the bell, you will then offer them praise and a treat. You will continue this process until they begin to understand that the noise of the bell and the touch cue will bring them a reward. This can take a few days for them to begin to grasp. 

The next step will involve you teaching them to touch the bell on their own. Once your dog has mastered the step we discussed above, they will soon realize that ringing the bell will bring them a yummy treat. You can do this by saying the verbal cue and touching the bell on your own, and doing this until your dog makes the connection and touches the bell themselves. Once your pup grasp the touch command with the bell, be sure to reward them each time. 


Teach Them to Ring the Bell to Go Outside

Now that your dog has learned how to ring the bell on cue, it’s time to discuss the final step in successfully bell training your pup. Your dog will need to learn how to associate going outside with ringing the bell, and you can easily do this by combining the two behaviors. 

To do this, you will need to incorporate the bell trick with your dog’s normal bathroom habits. You can do this by asking your dog to touch the bell each time you open the door to let them outside. You will then go outside with your dog, and reward them with a treat once they go potty. 

You will continue this routine each time your dog goes outside, which will eventually encourage them to ring the bell when you are standing there without a cue. Once your dog fully understands that ringing the bell is associated with going potty, they will begin to ring the bell on their own. Every dog will learn this skill at a different rate, but it is possible for every furry friend. 


Final Thoughts

Bell training your dog is a wonderful way to master potty training in your home. Be sure to review the information that we discussed above, and you can help your pup achieve bell training success!


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Meet The Author 

Amber LaRock

Amber is a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Recently she has specialized in veterinary and animal-related content creation and social media management. When she is not working she loves spending time with her furry friends exploring the outdoors.