Potty bells are a great way to train your pup to signal the potty time. By letting your dog associate a specific sound with going to the bathroom or by giving a treat, a bell, or a phrase, you can train your puppy to ring it before going out.
Also, if your pup is very quiet and you have guests arriving at any moment, this will let them know that it’s time to go outside and do their business.
As an added benefit, the bell can also be used when you want your dog to let you know that he has done his business. This way, you will always know when your pup needs to go out, and you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night or if someone doesn’t take him out in time. Let see How To Use Potty Bells For Puppies in the right way while training them.
Here are the steps to follow.
- Step 1: Introduce the Potty Bells to Your Dog
- Step 2: Train Your Dog to Ring Bells
- Step 3: Move the Bells Onto a Door
- Step 3: Move Bells to Exterior Door
- How Long Does It Take To Bell Train A Puppy?
- DIY or Buy a Potty Bell?
We recently write on best dog food for allergies which is available on a separate page. And also learn about what are doggy doorbells? especially how they work and how to train a dog to use the bells!
Step 1: Introduce the Potty Bells to Your Dog
You can introduce the bell by holding it in your hand and pressing it or simply leaving it on the floor. You can ring it yourself to get their attention at first, then let them go for it when you see that he’s curious about the new smell.
He might come back to it asking for more petting or just wanting you to give it again. This time, let him do the action himself to get an idea of what he should do to make this bell ring.
Repeat the process several times until your dog becomes familiar with the sound and/or smell of the bell.
Step 2: Train your Dog To Ring Bells
Now that you have built up a connection between bells, action, and reward, it’s time to train them to use that knowledge! You need some small treats ready before starting this step!
Place a few treats on one side of the room, leaving your dog on the other end. Grab your pup by his collar gently but don’t lure him with the treats. Instead of saying “Get it” or “Paw,” just shake the bell and show him a treat.
Now let him go and stand with your dog until he is about to eat the first treat, ring the bell with your free hand, and as soon as he hears it (when his head goes up), give him a treat and say “Yes!” do this several times until he gets the hang of it.
Once he learns that ringing the bell makes you come closer and rewards him, now you can release his collar but stay close by.
Give him some time to explore as long as he stays near enough for you to tell when he rings it (and rewarding every time).
As soon as you hear bells, come to him and give him some attention (he will learn that ringing the bell gets him some undivided attention).
Make sure he has a treat for every time you hear bells. Also, make sure that you don’t reward with other things like toys or loving as those should be reserved for potty time outside.
Step 3: Move Bells Onto A Door
Place bells on your door and ring them yourself first, even if he is still in the room! Then, let him know it’s okay and move away from the door.
You want your dog to start associating the ringing of bells with going out, not coming back inside. When he does this successfully two times, it’s time to attach his leash, so he knows what is expected.
Step 4: Move Bells to Exterior Door
Attach a leash and attach it to a long line (10ft) so you can control the length of the leash. To avoid confusion, keep the inside/house door closed when doing this step, but if there are other doors in your house, that is okay too.
Let your pup pull towards the door while he’s still on his long line; the leash should be loose enough for him to go outside by himself but kept short enough so he doesn’t wander around the area.
If you feel like he isn’t ready, just take him back inside and try again next time.
Once you see that his pull gets stronger every time you say “Bells,” then ‘Yes!’ and treat, it’s time to unhook his leash.
Make sure you stay close by while he is finding the bells for the first few times so that there’s always an adult nearby.
When he starts ringing them on his own, then give him some extra petting and praise! At first, it might happen that he doesn’t get it right away, but after a few more tries, make sure you still reward even if it takes one or two minutes.
Please don’t get discouraged with slow progress; every pup is different and learns in their own time!
That’s it! You did it! Training your dog to ring bells when they need to go potty is a life changer. If you did everything correctly, your pup should start ringing them.
How Long Does It Take To Bell Train A Puppy?
About 1-2 weeks if you do it every day.
It is a lot of work, but the reward is huge! Learning how to use potty bells can take a while, and your dog might get discouraged at first, so stay patient and give him a lot of praise when he does it.
Make sure you combine his training with going outside frequently to get the best results.
If there isn’t any progress after two weeks, maybe consider looking for another method or consulting a professional trainer for help.
Congratulations on teaching your dog how to ring bells to go out! Now you have one more thing off your list, and he has something new to look forward to!
It’s rewarding knowing that we can teach our dogs anything we want them to learn, closing the door on one more bad habit.
DIY or Buy a Potty Bell!
There are many potty bells out there, but they all seem to be more focused on looks than on quality.
You can make your own for free with things you already have at home; if that doesn’t sound like an appealing option, then try this one here.
It seems to get the best feedback from dog owners who’ve tried it themselves, and their dogs love them!
Don’t forget to give some treats when your pup rings his bell right away, every time he does it correctly, even if after several tries.
If, for some reason, you don’t want him ringing his bell or other dogs in the house might be getting confused by it, then just take it off so he won’t have the option to ring it.