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Training Your Dog to Ring a Bell

train your dog to ring a bell

Training Your Dog to Ring a Bell

Train your dog to ring a bell when he needs to do his ‘business.’ You will suffer through fewer accidents and empower your pet. Ringing a bell is an invaluable skill that will leave you wondering why you haven’t taught it sooner.

Materials You Need to Train Your Dog to Ring a Bell

Steps Used to Train Your Dog to Ring a Bell

Hang the bell next to the door that you want your pet to exit through and at nose level to the pet. While in the training process, it is best to use the same exit door each time you practice. Do not hang the bell on the door, but next to it. To do so would result in the bell ringing anytime the door was opened or closed – even though the pet didn’t ring it. This results in a dilution of the strength of the pet’s bell ringing behavior.

Days 1 & 2

Bring your pet close to the bell and wait for them to investigate with their nose. Most pets, noticing something new, will nudge the bell with their nose.
The moment this happens, mark and reward. Wait for another nose-nudge, then mark and reward again. Continue this sequence three times, then remove the pet from the room and put the bell away. For the first two days, practice three times each day for three repetitions. The goal is the keep each step in the process fresh and exciting to the pet.

Days 3 & 4

Now that your pet is reliably ringing the bell to receive a treat, it is time to transition the reward from a treat to being let outdoors.

  • When the pet rings the bell this time, mark and slowly open the door – tossing a treat outside the door to encourage the pet to leave. Without the tossing of the treat, it’s quite possible your pet would just stand in place awaiting the treat.
  • Once the pet has consumed the treat, call them back inside and close the door.
  • Wait for the bell to be rung again, and then follow the same sequence just described. Continue this sequence three times, then remove the pet from the room and put the bell away.
  • For the next two days, practice three times each day for three repetitions.

If you stay consistent with your training you CAN train your dog to ring a bell when he needs to go outside. This type of training and others are covered in our dog training sessions. Basic dog training can improve communication and make owning your dog a more enjoyable experience for both you and your pet. Call now and sign up for your private dog training session.