Ring a Bell to Toilet Outside




Teaching your pup to ring a bell is a great alternative to having your puppy bark or scratch the door when they need to go out to toilet. By creating a clear way for your puppy to communicate their needs with you, you can prevent many toileting mishaps as they are learning.

The first step is to familiarise your puppy with the bells. Place them on the ground and let your puppy investigate them.

When they are comfortable and relaxed around the bells you want to pair the sound of the bells ringing with opening the door and getting to go outside. To do this, simply ring the bell before you open the door every time you let your puppy out to the toilet. You can also practice ringing the bells before opening the door and tossing a treat outside for your puppy to go and get.

Next you can start to teach your puppy to interact with the bells. Present the bells towards your puppy, and wait for any engagement before marking and rewarding.

As your puppy gets good at this, you can bring the bells closer to the door before eventually hanging them from the door handle.

Every time your puppy rings the bell let them out into the garden and throw a treat for them to chase after.

When they are doing really well the next stage is to fade out the thrown treats and just let your puppy out to toilet as their reward. This will become a functional reward for your puppy, who will get to go out to the toilet outside when they ring the bell. To prevent your puppy learning to ring the bell to go outside for other reasons you should take your puppy out on a lead to the toilet zone every time they ring the bell. Always reward and praise them highly when they toilet in the right spot and if they end up not needing to go, just bring them back inside again.

It can take several weeks until this is really reliable so make sure to continue taking your puppy out regularly to the toilet and be vigilant to prevent accidents.

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