How To Bell Train A Dog (Ring A Bell To Go Outside)

Having a dog is such a pure joy isn’t it? However, it is not without its challenges.

Those first few months with a new dog in the house can be hard, as there’s so much training involved, and there will probably be lots of accidents during the whole house training process. 

One of the ways that you can speed up this process is by bell training your dog. Bell training involves placing a bell by the door you use to let your dog out so that they can ring the bell when they need to go out to ‘go potty’. 

This type of training is actually pretty simple, and does not take long at all to teach your dog. So, let’s take a look at what exactly bell training is, why you should do it, and how to bell train a dog! 

How To Bell Train A Dog (Ring A Bell To Go Outside)

What Is Bell Training

Bell training is the process of training your dog to ring a bell when they need to go outside to go to the toilet.

All you need to do is place or hang a small bell near the door that your dog uses to go outside, and train your dog to use this as a signal that they need to go. 

Most dogs, once they have been house trained, will naturally want to linger or bark by the door when they’re ready to go outside to use the potty. So, having a bell next to the door for them to ring is a great way to ensure that you always are alerted when they need to go outside. 

Why Should I Bell Train My Dog

Bell training your dog is a great way to teach your dog to communicate its needs with you.

Some dogs will simply stand by the back door, ready to go outside, but if you’re not in the room or the immediate vicinity, then you will not notice that they are asking to go outside.

This could result in accidents if you are not quick enough. With a bell, you will surely hear when your dog wants to go outside, and you can go and open the door for them.

This will also make it much easier to fully house train your dog as your dog will be able to communicate successfully with you whenever they need to go outside!

How Long Does It Take To Bell Train A Dog

Bell training is not all that hard, as long as you are consistent and implement positive reinforcement to train your dog. Even as a first time dog owner, you will be able to effectively train your dog to use a bell when they want to go outside in just 2 weeks. 

How To Bell Train Your Dog – Step By Step

Bell training your dog is simple, when you’ve got all the tools and you know how!

It’s important to note that whilst most training takes treats and rewards to teach your dog that a certain behavior is good, the bell training needs to be done in a way so that your dog understands how to communicate with us independently, rather than responding to a cue or command for traits.

Therefore, you will have to show your dog that ringing the bell results in you letting them go outside, so that they can make this connection for themselves. 

Step One

The first step is to actually find or purchase a bell that is suitable for your dog to use. You’ll want to find one that can either hang by the door, or can be placed very close to the door for your dog to ping it whenever they need to head outside.

We recommend something like this one that your dog can either push when they need to go, or this one that your dog will be able to nudge and nuzzle when they need to go outside to use the bathroom. 

Step Two

Once you have got the bell, the next step is to introduce it to your dog, and allow them to sniff, explore and examine the bell for them to get used to it. This will ensure that your dog is not wary or fearful of the bell at all, and will be more inclined to use it.

When your dog engages with the bell, or shows interest in it, make sure that you reward them with either treats, fuss or affection. 

Step Three

Next, you will need to place the bell near the door that is most often used for letting your dog out for the toilet.

After this, every single time you take your dog out for this purpose, you will need to press the button or ring the bell, so that your dog understands through repetition that the bell is associated with going outside. 

This step is very important because repetition and consistency is the key to success.

You have to ring the bell every single time that you let your dog go outside to use the bathroom, as this will help them build an understanding and make the connection between the bell ringing and going outside. 

Step Four

After ringing the bell frequently whenever you take your dog outside to go pee, your dog will pick up on this cue, and will start to understand that ringing the bell is a means to communicate that they need to go outside.

This should result in your dog starting to mirror your behavior, and ringing the bell by themselves when you’re not there to go with them. 

When your dog starts taking their own initiative and ringing the bell, give them lots of praise, affection and attention, and immediately take them outside so that they know that this behavior is a positive one, and they understand that ringing the bell results in lots of affection from you, and they get what they want…to go outside. 

Once your dog starts ringing the bell for themselves, make sure that you continue with the consistent reactions of opening the door for them and praising them.

This will ensure that your dog fully comprehends what the bell does.

This will also ensure that your dog is house trained properly, and anyone who cares for your dog can understand what your dog’s cues are when they need to go outside, so that you never have to clean up an ‘accident’ again!

Summary

To summarize, bell training your dog is a great way to ensure that your dog is toilet trained and house trained. By training your dog to use a bell, they will be able to communicate their needs to you stress free and hassle free.

This will also help to make your dog more independent and confident, whilst the whole process helps you build a stronger relationship and closer bond with your dog. 

Daniel Johnson