We often think that it’s hard to train our dogs if we are not expert trainers. It can be true. Yet, there are some dog-training that we can do ourselves, such as the potty bell training. It is a fun and easy way to train them even we are inexperienced in training dogs. Bell training works when our dog wants to go outside to potty, and we want a fun and easy way for them to communicate with us. So, instead of barking, whining, and waiting at the door for someone to notice him, they can simply ring the bell.
Now, let’s talk about how to train your dog with a bell. Let’s go through the step-by-step process, and you’ll be surprised, as they learn it for as early as two weeks. Let’s check them below.
First we introduce the bell to our dog and make it ring. It is to show him and make him understand the function of the potty bell. Then, let him examine the bell himself, and if he touches it and rings, say “Good job!”. We can do it randomly within the day, and we should only show the bell during practice.
There are two ways our dogs could ring the bell, and we can teach them all of these.
We show him the bell, and whenever he touches it with his nose or paw, he gets a treat. We can also ring it first, so they know how to do it. Once he rings it every time we show it to him, we can put the bell away and show it again during the next practice.
Another way that our dog can ring the bell is by the door. We can hang it at the door where he goes out and put the treat outside the door. He should ring the bell every time we ask him, so the door opens, and he gets the reward or treats outside. Again, keep the bell away until the next practice so he will not play with it.
Now that our dog knows how to ring the bell, he needs to know when to ring it. He needs to understand that ringing it is not for fun and plays but for a specific purpose- his potty trip.
We show him the bell and ask him to make it ring before we open the door. And if he does, compliment him by saying “Good job!” and give him a treat. Remember, it should only be done every single time we take him out to pee or poop. If this goes on regularly, he will soon understand the connection between making the bell ring and going outside for potty.
A consistent practice would make our dog becomes a master of the potty bell ringing. However, our dogs can’t absorb the information all at once. Our dog has a limited capacity for storing the information in their brain. According to Stanley Coren, PhD., a canine researcher of the University of British Columbia, a dog’s mental behavior is close to a human child age 2 to 2.5 years, given the several behavioral measures. Therefore, like teaching a child, make it habitual yet in small doses so they can easily remember and we see better results,
We also need to make sure that our dog knows that the bell should only ring whenever he goes for potty. He may also misunderstand that ringing it would allow him to play outside. So, we should show him, too, that he could play outside even without ringing the bell. Again, it should only ring when he goes out to poop or pee.
Though our dogs can learn more effectively in small doses, they learn more quickly when repetitive. As stated by the Atlantic Dog Academy, it takes 30-60 repetitions to fluently start connecting their behaviors to the reward. So, do not stop training him until he masters the association between ringing the bell and going outside for a potty. It may take shorter or longer, but there will be improvements every step of the way.
Before anything else, you need to purchase a bell for your dog’s potty training. You can find a wide range of selections on Amazon. It’s better to choose a bell that is louder to hear the sound quickly. There are different types of bell you can choose from, whichever we think is more effective for our dogs.
If our dog likes to pull and tug on things with its mouth, this could be the best bell for him. All we need to do is hang it on the door, and our dog would pull the bell if he wants to go for a potty. It will ring every time the door opens, so we have put up with the jingling bells sound.
To avoid the jingling bells sound whenever the door opens, here is another option. This type of bell is has a small, bent metal with holes on one end and the bell on the other end. We can mount it on the wall at any level we prefer, which is within our dog’s reach. The dog will use its nose or paw to ring the bell whenever he wants to go potty.
This type of bell uses electricity or a battery to run the transmitters and receivers. We can install it anywhere in the house, and we will be able to control the volume, the frequency, and the ringtones.
This type of bell is what we typically see at the front desk of the hotel lobbies. Our dog would just push the button with its paw or nose to ring it. We can place it on the floor anywhere in the house.
We may become doubtful about our dog’s ability to learn the training. We might give up easily, especially if it’s not cooperating at the beginning because we are expecting too much too soon. Patience and trusting the process are what we need. It is not an instant success. Don’t underestimate your dog. Regardless of the size or breed, if we are determined to teach them, it will all be worth it in the end.