When it’s time to potty train your puppy, you can do more than just teach her that she needs to go outside. You can also train your puppy to ring a bell any time she has to go out. Hearing this bell will alert you that your puppy needs a potty break. It has the added advantage of discouraging your puppy from scratching or barking when she needs to go out. Use the following steps to bell train your puppy.
Step 1: Introduce your puppy to the bell
This involves letting your puppy sniff the bell in order to learn more about it and get used to it. You can give your puppy a treat after she explores the bell, which helps form a positive association with it.
Step 2: Have your puppy ring the bell
For this step, bring the bell out and ring it to show your puppy how it’s done. When your puppy rings the bell on her own, give her a treat. This helps her learn how to use the bell.
Step 3: Hang the bell by the door
When your puppy has learned to ring the bell, hang it on the doorknob or by the door. Give your puppy a treat when she rings the bell herself. When you’re done working on this step, put the bell away until the next training session.
Step 4: Place a treat outside the door
Put the bell on the doorknob again, then have your puppy watch while you put a treat just outside the door. With the door closed, point to the bell to encourage your puppy to ring it. When she does so, open the door to let her go outside for the treat.
Step 5: Use the bell for potty time
Place the bell on or by the door when your puppy has to go out. Before opening the door, wait for your puppy to ring the bell. Let her out to potty, then reward her with a treat. Repeat this step as needed until your puppy knows to ring the bell to go out.
When you’re working on bell training your puppy, keep in mind that all dogs learn at different speeds. If your puppy takes awhile to figure out what to do, just remember to remain patient. With plenty of practice, your puppy will eventually learn to ring the bell for potty breaks.