How to Train your Dog to Ring a Bell to Potty



Ever want to learn how to train your dog to ring a bell to go potty?  I was on of those new doggy mommies who wanted to do just that!  I wanted him/her to tell me when he/she had to potty!  I knew it was doable — and much as easier to do with a puppy because my sister and I had trained her schnauzer (Sydney) on the bell when we lived on the third floor of an apartment building.  We learned this technique at a puppy training class and it’s been a lifesaver!


For years I’ve told people about training my Parker Posie on the bell and many people said — you need to write about that.  Well, today I’m finally doing that!  Now, keep in mind that all breeds of dogs are different and may respond differently to training.  It may take some time, so be patient and, most importantly, be consistent.

Training your dog to ring a bell when they need to go out and potty is pretty brilliant.  We learned this process on using a call bell (ding ding).  Below are the steps we took to train our dogs (when puppies) to ring a bell to potty!

How to Train your Dog to Ring a Bell to Potty:

1) Purchase a bell. We bought a call bell that you put on the floor. With this type of bell, you train your dog to push/press down on them with their paw.


2) Place bell by door. You want to place it by the door that would be used to go outside. If you have multiple doors, put it by the door that the dog would use the most to go out and potty.

3) Ring the bell every time you take/let your dog outside. There are different ways to train, but every time we would take our dog out to potty, we would ring the bell and say “potty, potty”.

It’s important to have a routine.  First thing in the morning, lunch, dinner and before bed are the most common times; however, as puppies, you need to keep a close eye on behaviors.  They start to sniff a lot more before going, so immediately pick them up, ring the bell, say “potty potty” and head outdoors.  Catching them before an accident will really reinforce the “potty potty.”

From time to time we might sit and encourage him/her to ring the bell, but you don’t want to force it or spook your dog, so positive reinforcement is important.

4) Put leash on your dog if you are taking dog out.

5) Once outside, say “potty, potty”. You want your dog to know that they are out to potty, not walk or play.

5) Be consistent. Your dog will eventually pick up on the association that ringing the bell equals potty.

Don’t be afraid to reward positive behavior while training your dog.  It may take some time to see results. I’ll never forget days that both Parker and Sydney walked up to bell and rang it!! It’s like winning the lottery, friends {giggle}.  Immediately take them out and say, I remember saying “potty, potty”.

After returning inside, reward your fur baby with a treat! The rest was history, as you’ll find your dog using that bell to communicate when he/she needs to go out (and sometimes when they don’t).

If your dog starts ringing the bell more than it should because he/she just wants to go out, take them out, but if they don’t potty bring them back in. It’s important that the dog knows the bell is for potty, not for play. Many people are in awe of the fact that our dogs rings a bell to let us know they need to go out and I have to admit it’s a beautiful thing. I’m a proud dog mama.

On another note, Buster (our rescue), joined the Rowe clan at the age of four or five and we’ve never been able to get him to jump on the bell routine.  That’s why I mentioned that our successes were when training them as puppies.  I think it was circumstantial with B (Buster), he wasn’t even house trained and that was the most grueling training process I’d experienced.  I cried on many days wondering if he was ever going to stop pottying in the house.

What do you think?  Seem feasible?  It is!  Patience, Consistency and rewarding good behavior is the key!  Well, I hear Parker at the bell… I’m off to do a little pottying {wink}.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Kristy Rhine says:

    We trained our do to ring a bell (maltipoo) and it was really pretty easy! I am so glad we did that. I love all you puppy pics! Thanks for the 🙂 on my blog.


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