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Many dog owners get confused with what their dog is trying to tell them. But, if you teach your dog the simple act of ringing a bell in order to communicate, your dog will make it a lot easier to tell you when he needs to go potty outside. Ringing a bell helps to streamline a dog’s communication with us, and many pups that will go to the door naturally and bark when they need to go can easily be trained to use a bell to tell you clearly what they want and need. Ringing a bell is a useful skill that a dog of any age can use, but it is particularly helpful when you potty train a dog.
When you choose to allow your dog the opportunity to communicate his need to go outside to go potty, you have a few different options. Of these options, the cheapest and easiest is to use a bell or clicker that hangs from your doorknob or just near your door. It is also possible to place a receiver around the house to let your dog push the bell by your door so that you can hear it no matter where you are in your home. Of these high-tech options, the talking button that uses recordable buttons that teachers your pup to talk is most efficient.
Typically, a dog will be able to catch onto bell ringing or button-pushing in order to gain access to going outdoors quickly. When there is a shared language of buttons and bells between your dog and you, only then can you help to decrease your dog’s frustration in your home as well as increase your bond with your dog.
Another advantage of bell ringing is allowing your dog to be able to clearly communicate his needs with another person in your home that might not be as attuned to the natural signals your dog is providing when he needs to go potty. Plus, if you have a pet sitter taking care of your pup, this bell system will help your dog away to better adjust to your being away since he will be able to communicate these core needs to his pet sitter.
Teaching A Dog To Ring a Bell
Your dog can be easily lured to ring a bell through the use of treat or use of “touch”. Since you want your dog to be able to communicate independently with you, and not respond just to a cue, one of the best ways for him to do this is by showing him to use a bell. When this demonstrating skill is learned over time, only then will your dog be able to make a connection by ringing a bell to ask to go potty outside. Only then will he be able to start to mirror this particular behavior.
Bell Training Using Touch Training
To get started, you need to keep in mind that a training bell that is specially made for your dog needs to be purchased. Choose from brands such as Caldwell’s Potty Bells or Mighty Paw Bell, or you can make your own with a strand of bells that can be purchased at a craft store. You can also use holiday jingle bells that are strung on a simple shoelace.
Sturdy and charming, potty bells can snap easily around a door handle or lever allowing your pup to jingle the bells instead of scratching or barking. After you have chosen your bells, you will need to start training your pup. Make sure you have plenty of dog treats to help with the training process.
First, you should start by introducing your pup to the bells that are hanging from the doorknob or hook. Use a small amount of peanut butter or cheese that is spread on the bells to help encourage your pup to approach the bell using his muzzle. If your bell is enticing enough for your pup, you will need to give him the “touch” command and show your pup the bell just a few inches from his nose. When your pup’s nose touches these bells, then you should say “yes” before giving him a treat. Repeat these steps between 10 and 15 times so that you can get a reliable touching response each time the bell is rung and you say “touch”.
Your next step is to move the bells further away from your pup, every time you tell him “touch” the bells. Gradually increase your distance as well as the duration of your pup’s response to your “touch” command. Remember that training your pup will work the best inconsistent but shorts burst, so you should do “touch” exercise daily, but only in 10 to 15-minute sessions.
Put The Potty Bell Right Next to the Door
After about a week of practicing, your pup should be able to move to the next step of the dog bell training. This step places the bell right next to your door and requires your pup to touch it with his nose. First, hang the bell from the doorknob of the door that is used most often to let your dog go outside. If you prefer, you can also mount or hang the bell on the actual door frame.
You can also purchase an electronic doggy doorbell, which is a good choice for a dog that doesn’t like the jingle sound. Whichever type of bell you use, make sure it is placed at paw or nose level for your pup. Make sure you have enough treats with you to continue training your pup. After the bell is handing from the hook or knob on the door, take the bell and tell your pup to “touch” it while holding the bell out to your pup as close as the hanger or string will let you.
When your dog has touched the bell using his nose, make sure to say “yes” before giving him a treat as a reward. Keep repeating this step until your pup will touch the bell immediately after you say “touch.” While certain dogs will not need as much time to master this skill because they have already mastered how to touch the bell, other dogs may take a little longer. Once your pup has mastered touching the bell when you are holding it in your hands, then you can make the transition to just pointing at the bell while saying “touch.” Keep following these steps to mark and then reward your dog so allow him to master this new skill.
Ringing a Bell to Go Potty Outside, But Not for Anything Else
Once your dog has mastered the bell ringing on command, then it is time to help him understand that he is able to ring the bell himself when he needs to go outside. However, you will also need to show him that potty time is the only time he should ring the bell since you won’t want him to be ringing the bell nonstop.
Remember that consistency is key to your dog learning the bell ringing process. Every member of your family as well as anyone else that takes care of your dog needs to encourage this new skill all the time. If there is enough consistency and repetition then your pup will learn that if he wants to go out to go potty, he needs to touch the bell using his nose.
When your dog rings the bell on his own for the first time, make a big deal out of it. Throw a party if you need to. Make sure to praise him enthusiastically and give him a treat, but also make sure to take your dog out immediately. When he goes potty, give him a treat so that he can make a connection between going potty in the correct place and ringing the bell.
Potty Training Bells
Straightforward and fun, bell training for dogs isn’t limited to specific breeds of pups. Dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages can learn to master a potty bell in just a few weeks as long as he has consistent pet training. Remember that bell training can be a great way to potty train your dog, and It is also an adorable trick.
How long does it take to bell train a dog?
It really depends on the time and effort that you put into training your dog. It also will depend on your skill level, the age of your dog, and your dog’s personality. Also, consider what your goals are for your dog’s training as well as the breed you are working with. On average, a dog with consistent daily training should learn a new skill in under four weeks while dogs with short training sessions twice a week will learn a new skill in about nine weeks.
Is bell training bad for dogs?
No, bell training is not bad for your dog. If you want to potty train your dog, then bell training your puppy or adult dog ting a “potty bell’ can be extremely helpful. When you teach your dog to ring the potty bell to let you know when he needs to go out, you have a convenient and simple way for your dog to alert you to his need to go potty while also eliminating accidents. This is a skill that is recommended by dog trainers, professional behaviorists, and AKC experts .
How do you train a dog to ring a bell for treating?
There is a three-step process to bell train your pup. First, you need to train your pup to touch a bell using his nose before rewarding him with a treat. Next, you need to encourage him to ring the bell at the door he primarily uses to go outside before rewarding him with a treat. Finally, you will need to train your pup to ring the bell only when he needs to go outside to go potty and not any other time.
Can you train an older dog to use a bell?
Yes. Bell training is not just for a puppy but also for older dogs. Following the training steps with enough patience and consistency, even your older dog will soon learn potty bells.