How to Train your Dog to RING A BELL to go Outside
You want your puppy to be able to easily paw the bell. Attach the bell to the door that you use to take your puppy in and out for elimination. For training purposes, you will use only this door.
To start training, you ring the bell right before you step out the door (AFTER you put his leash on
or whatever you do before you open the door and let him out, whether it’s asking for a sit or just opening to door to let him nose through) for a bathroom break.
You should plan on ringing the bell for a couple of days before asking him to nose it.
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Tip No 1:-
- Sit near the bell attached to the door. Click and treat for any interest your puppy shows in the bell, even if he just looks at it.
- He should then begin to show increased interest and start to nose the bell. Click and treat. Alternately, if you have already taught him his target cue, you can cue him to “Touch” the bell. Click and treat for all correct responses.
Tip No 2:-
- When your puppy is regularly ringing the bell, it’s time to teach your puppy that ringing the bell means that you will open the door and take him outside.
- For this phase, you will need to leash him. When it’s time for a potty break, leash your puppy and wait by the door. Just be still and wait for him to ring the bell.
- When he does, click, treat, and immediately open the door to take him outside. Give him his cue to eliminate and then give him a treat for doing so. Repeat for each potty break.
Tip No 3:-
- With repetition, your puppy will learn that when he rings the bell, you open the door. One day, you will not be near the door, but you will hear the bell ring.
- This is your puppy experimenting! Immediately stop what you are doing, go to your puppy, leash him, and open the door. At this point, you no longer need to click because he has learned the behavior of ringing the bell.
Tip No 4:-
- Give him ten minutes to eliminate. If he does, praise and treat him. If he doesn’t, simply bring him back inside. At this point, your puppy probably hasn’t learned that ringing the bell is only for when he wants to eliminate.
- He has learned that ringing the bell means he gets to go outside. By leashing your puppy, you will quickly determine if he really needs to eliminate or just wants to play, and you can easily bring him in if he thinks it’s playtime.
Tip No 5:-
- Repeat Steps 3 and 4 each time you hear your puppy ring the bell. You may find that your puppy rings it a lot at first! This is typical.
Some Other Useful Dog Training Tip:-
- If you suspect that your puppy just wants to go outside and play, and you don’t open the door, you will teach him that ringing the bell doesn’t mean anything.
- This will set back dog training. You may also find that he eliminates indoors because you didn’t let him out. So even if you think that your puppy’s playing, go and open the door.
- As long as you leash him so he can’t run and play outside, you will soon teach him that ringing the bell is only for when he needs to eliminate
It doesn’t take long to dog training method a dog to do this. For example, it took Dexter only two days to completely use the bell and cease barking. For him, it just took a day of me asking him to target the bell before I opened the door. Of course, results may vary, it may take more time for you and your dog, but be patient, the method works!