Cute Dog Door Bells

Teaching your dog to ring a bell when it needs to go outside is more than a great trick.  It gives your dog a way of communicating his needs.  This is especially important when your dog is older, not feeling well or the regular schedule is disrupted. Ringing a bell also avoids unwanted barking or scratching at the door.

It’s very convenient for older dogs who may need unscheduled relieving opportunities or those who work from home and don’t keep to a strict relieving schedule with their dog.

 

It’s simple to teach your dog to use them!

The super simple Method

Hang the bells on the doorknob that you use to take your dog outdoors for relieving breaks.

Do everything as you normally would, adding in giving the bells a jingle yourself just before opening the door.

Within a few days your dog will probably be ringing the bells to go out. Some dogs may take a few weeks to catch on and some may need a different learning method.

 

Clicker Method:

Your dog should already be familiar with the clicker, what it means and have learned other skills by this method. Your dog also needs to be housebroken before implementing the below steps. If you are in the process of housebreaking, try the “super simple method” above until your dog is fully housebroken.  If he still isn’t ringing the bells to go out, try this method.

  1. Show the dog the bell
  2. Let your dog get used to the bell and the noise it makes. If your dog is super sensitive, hold the bell in your hand to muffle the noise, gradually allowing your dog to get used to the noise. You can also hang the bells and let your dog become accustomed to their presence in the background. Continue with this desensitization until your dog is comfortable, relaxed or indifferent around the bells.

 

  1. Teach the dog to touch the bells

A clicker savvy dog will understand to try new things and interact with his environment. Bring out the bell, holding it in your open palm, reasonably close to your dog. Wait until he paws or noses the bell. At the exact moment he touches the bell, click and give a treat.   Repeat with the bell close to your dog in your open palm a few times. When he’s 90% at touching the bell when it appears, begin moving the bell around, a bit higher, lower and further away.   Progress to holding the strap the bells hang on and teaching your dog to touch the bells, not your hand. Keep practicing until he is touching the bell immediately after it appears at least 90% of the time.

 

  1. Put the bells on the door

Your dog should immediately go to the bells and touch them. Click at the moment you hear the jingle. Give a treat.   If you position yourself a bit away from the door so that your dog has to step away from the bells to get his treat, it will neatly set him up for the next repetition. Ideally he will immediately go back to ring the bell again to earn another treat. If he does repeat a few times, then put the bells away. If he doesn’t go back to the bells, try verbal encouragement, putting your hand near the bells or anything you can do to help him get interested in the bells again. Repeat this step until he immediately rings the bells when you hang them on the doorknob.

 

  • Increase the distance 

 

    1. Now increase the distance you are from the door a bit in each practice session. You want him to ring the bells and come to you for his treat. He should go to the bells even when you are across the room or the bells are out of sight.
  • Start using the bells before going outside

 

Before taking your dog outside for a relieving opportunity, hang the bell on the door.  Let him ring the bell once.  Click and treat. Then take him outside as usual to take care of business.   Stop hanging the bells on the door at any time except for the moments before taking him out.  Begin delaying the treat, first a second, then two, building up to giving the treat after you are outside. Keep delaying the treat until after he has taken care of his potty business. Repeat this step until he rings the bell immediately after it is presented and anticipates the door opening.

 

  1. Hang the bells on the door all the time
  2. To order a set of dog door bells use this form:
  3. You can now hang the bells on the door and use them all the time.   It is likely that your dog will ring them immediately as he has been taught to do. You can ignore this behavior, if you are certain he doesn’t need to go outside or you can take him out, only giving a treat or rewarding him when he urinates or defecates. It is likely that in the beginning he will ring the bells often in an attempt to get his trip outside and reward. You can also put the bells away for a couple of hours and bring them out later. Eventually he will learn that the bells are for outdoor business only.

The cost of the bells is $13.99. To order a set of dog door bells go here.

The links are to the Amazon store and are affiliate links.  The products are manufactured by me, Amazon stores and fulfills the orders.

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