While each puppy learns their own communication quirks, it can be frustrating for everyone if they are unable to alert you when it is time to go outside. Fortunately, it’s very doable to learn how to bell train a puppy. Your dog can tell you they need to go potty in a simple and clear way by using a potty bell. However, giving your dog a bell or button can make it easier for them to communicate their needs and desires to you. Dogs of all ages can benefit from this ability. To learn how to teach a puppy to use the outside bathroom, read this article.

What Is Puppy Bell Training?

The main focus of puppy bell training is communication. You’re teaching your puppy to ring a bell when they need to go outside and relieve themselves, to put it simply. Really, it’s more like an inverted doorbell.

Bell training a puppy to go outside is incredibly useful for a wide range of scenarios:

  • A puppy who struggles to alert you when they need to go outside
  • A puppy who isn’t keen on using a safe space like a crate, so they might sneak off for a wee
  • Keeping smelly indoor accidents to a minimum
  • An older dog who may have regressed with toilet training
  • Taking your puppy to a new house with a different layout
  • or when you aren’t too sure about when your puppy needs the loo.

Here’s something you didn’t previously know. There is actually a ridiculous variety of bells for training puppies—one for each need. There are puppy toilet bells that hang from the door handle and resemble sleigh bells, others that look more like bells at hotel receptions, and bells that actually resemble bells, such as those that hang on top of storefront doors.

There’s even a wireless dog doorbell for the tech-savvy among you! Naturally, if you’re crafty, you can always choose to make your own. But let’s face it, there is something about online shopping that makes us tingle in just the right place.

The Benefits Of Bell Training Your Puppy

Whether your dog usually whines, barks or just plain looks at you when he’s ready to go outside, teaching him to use a bell will make asking to go outside as simple as it can be. This will build trust between you and your puppy and give him a chance to go potty outside right away, hopefully, fewer indoor accidents during potty training.

Anybody can understand the bell signal (as long as they are aware of your dog’s training), so your dog will be able to ask to go potty regardless of who he is with. Bell training is best introduced when a puppy is still young, especially since it can be done concurrently with potty training.

What Type Of Bells Should You Purchase?

There is no correct response, but the bells you’ll notice us using are these jingle bells that hang from doorknobs or can be hung on nails next to doors.)

bell training puppy

There are several other options, including this “dinner bell” style bell, or this more high-tech option. The training is essentially the same, so pick the one that fits your house and lifestyle the best.

How To Bell Train A Puppy To Go Outside?

We’ll walk you through a few easy steps so you can be successful in your bell-training puppy endeavors. You may be interested in How To Leash Train, Crate Train, and Potty Train A Puppy.

Introduce Your Dog To The Bell

Introducing your dog to the bell and what it does is the first step in the process. Simply rewarding and praising your dog on the first day for engaging with the bell should suffice. An indulgence is due even for a sniff!

To ensure that your dog isn’t afraid of the bell or the sound it makes, repeat this procedure for a few days. Your dog might try the bell himself at this point, but you’ll probably have to press or shake it yourself. If he does, make sure to give him even more praise and rewards than usual.

Ring The Bell Every Time You Take Your Dog Outside

Make sure your dog knows exactly where to find the bell before you proceed to step two. You should put it on or close to the door that you want him to use to go outside. If your dog has good reach, you might want to hang the bell from the door handle or place it next to the door on the floor.

When it’s time to use the restroom, take him to the door with the bell. If he doesn’t already know how to do it, make sure he sees you ring the doorbell. Then, open the door and let your dog out to relieve himself right away.

Consistency is crucial, to be sure. This procedure must be repeated each time you let your dog out. It’s a good idea to make sure everyone in the home is going through the motions, too, so your dog knows the bell is a way to communicate with anyone.

Reward Your Dog For Touching The Bell Himself

Your pet may offer a helping paw without being asked, in which case give him praise and treats to motivate him to do it again. If he’s only been watching so far, you may want to incorporate a verbal command such as “bell” to say when you ring the bell, followed by a word your dog recognizes (“potty” or “outside,” for example) as you open the door to let him out. His ability to connect the sound of the bell with the opening of the door may be aided by verbal cues.

Reward your animal friend when he starts to reach for the bell on his own! For continued reinforcement of the association between action and reward in the mind, make sure to let him out right away as well. Before you know it, your dog will be ringing the bell entirely on his own, even when you’re not immediately nearby!

Relationship Building

Most dogs quickly learn how to ring a bell or press a button to gain access to the outside world. In the home, frustration can be reduced and your bond with your dog can grow if you and they have a shared language of bells or buttons. Another advantage is that it enables your dog to express its needs to family members who may not be as aware of their natural cues to go outside.

Additionally, if you ever have a pet sitter stay at your house, the bell system can help your dog adjust to your absence because they will be able to express some basic needs.