Potty BellsI will never forget the day a close friend asked  “do your dogs ring the bell to go outside yet?”. I was completely dumbfounded by this question. He explained that dogs can be trained to ring a bell when they need to go out. I went online to see if this “trick” was valid, and surely it was. I have had dogs my whole life and I never knew doggie doorbell ringing existed.

I googled  “how to train your dog to use a bell to go outside”  and sure enough a ton of articles and” how to” videos magically appeared on my computer screen. Even though all these success stories were peering at me, I was sure my two 2 month old labradoodle puppies would not master this feat. In fact all I thought was, my adorable dogs will probably eat the bells and I am out 20 bucks.

It turns out the bell ringing is quite easy to teach. There were many varieties of doggie bells online but we purchased the bells at our local pet supply store so we could get this challenge underway. We placed it on our door handle and hoped for the best. When training a dog it is always key to get them to associate the task you want them to do with something else. In this case, they needed to associate the bell with going outside to go potty. There are various ways people imbed this association. We chose the “paw to bell” technique (again, there are a few so google it and see what works best for you and your dog). Whenever we took our dogs outside we would touch their paw to the bell so it jingled and then let them out, we would also say “time to go potty” or “let’s go outside”. Surprisingly it took only a few days for them to begin doing it on their own. My puppies are now just over a  year old and they use the bell whenever they want to go out. 

Ringing the bell is a good trick but more importantly it is a great way to communicate with your dog. It also helps limit accidents because if a dog is sitting quietly by the back door and you are someplace else in your house, you don’t know that he/she needs to go out. This technique alerts you to their needs so you don’t have a mess to clean up. Give your dog a little treat for mastering some skills, let it be Christmas dog treats.
A link to help you out is as follows:

By Lisa Altman

Fluffs of Luv Pet Care offers an array of customized pet care services, including in home pet sitting, dog walking, cat only pet sitting, overnight visits and cat and dog grooming and more. As the most reputable pet sitters and dog walkers in Charlotte and the surrounding area, Fluffs of Luv has put countless clients at ease by caring for their cherished companions while they were away.  Give Fluffs of Luv a call for a free in home consultation or to set up a grooming appointment 704-421-3492 or visit www.fluffsofluv.com.