Bathroom/Going outside cue?


New Member
The title actually isn't exactly my entire question. Let me provide some background info first.

I used to have a pomeranian which was given to my family by my aunt. I am unsure if my aunt taught her this or not, but either way the dog adapted this behavior to an unfamiliar setting. Whenever my dog wanted to go outside, she would go to the door and bark at it. Then, one of my family members would open the door for her and let her go into the front yard and do her business. At first, we would keep a really close watch on her, sometimes accompanying her, even though she never bolted outside in excitement and showed signs of ever wanting to run away. After a while, we would be more lenient with keeping watch and we had found that she wouldn't run off, but she would instead just go outside, do her business, and come right back to the door. When nobody was at the door or window waiting/watching, she would actually bark at the door to let us know she was done and to let her in.

I have a series of questions based on this.
1. How would I teach future dogs to bark at the door to let me know they want to go out?
2. How would I teach future dogs to not run off when unleashed?
3. Finally, how would I combine the first two?

My theory for #1 is to teach the dog how to sit and speak before attempting to teach them this bathroom cue, and then sit them down and command them to speak before opening the door and heading out.

As for #2, I am completely stumped :( Is that just a sort of depends-on-the-dog thing or can it be taught? My pomeranian never used to leave my side whenever I took her out for leisurely walks. She wouldn't even need a leash because she never chased anything, nor did she ever stray behind. She always followed where I went and never showed erratic, unpredictable behavior when out on a walk.

My apologies if this post is a novel!


New Member
OMG I just opened this site to ask this question,and its so important to me to know how! because we live (with my 4 months old puppy) in an apartmant in 4th floor!! so I really need to train him to tell me when he wants to do his business!! hope we get answers very soon!!


Experienced Member
From my experience, some dogs never develop a way of telling you they have to go out, but it's not that big of a deal if they are potty trained- they just learn to hold it. My corgi, Lance, doesn't tell me when he has to go, he just holds it and we generally go outside around the same time each day. My toller pup, Vito, started going by the door when he was 9weeks, he definetly wasn't potty trained but we kept close watch and took him outside every time he approached the door. That's now his cue for letting us know when he has to go out.

I personally wouldn't teach my dogs to bark to go out. I would find barking to be a demanding and an annoying behavior and much prefer a passive sit if anything. However, you are correct when you say that you would first teach your dog to speak, and then teach your dog that speaking makes the door open :) But even if your dog knows how to open the door, I'm sure you know that there is still all the potty training work involved too :)

As for not running off, it's generally a lot of training. Before I get to that, I would say that my two dogs are extremely well behaved and don't run off, but I would NEVER leave them unattended in a non secure area. There are way to many variables you can't control, people walking by could tease your dog, loose dogs could run up, or maybe you didn't perfectly train everything and your dog succumbs to the temptation to chase that squirrel into the road where cars are..

So now for the training part-
1. Having a really good recall, and proofing it against all distractions. you would need to be able to call your dog off of anything, even in mid sprint towards something.

2. teaching your dog the boundaries. Your dog will need to learn what areas he can go in and what areas he can't cross. My dogs know they can't step through the gate, even if opened, or can't step across the curb

3. Teaching your dog that the leash means nothing when it comes to rewards. I don't rely on my leash for training, so my dogs know that when I clip it off or on it means absolutely nothing. for dogs who automatically run off as soon as the leash is off, you might want to practicing unhooking the leash and immediately dropping a ton of treats on the floor for awhile until your dog learns that the rewards don't stop.

Overall it can be a lot of training to have your dog stick by you off leash. Generally it all boils down to teaching your dog that you are the source of the rewards. If your dog loves to chase squirrels, you can teach them that looking at your predicts the opportunity to be allowed to run after them together. Like you said, some dogs naturally want to stick by without any training. Generally speaking they are shyer, calmer dogs.


New Member
When we taught my sister's dog, Koda, to ring a bell to go outside to potty he quickly learned that bell = outside but NOT bell = potty outside. So we had an insanely smart border collie puppy who was ringing a bell every 5 minutes to go outside and play. The problem being that at that stage of the learning game, every time he rang the bell we HAD to take him outside lest he loose interest and eventually pee on the carpet.

I'm sitting here trying to imagine how annoying he would have been if we had taught him to bark as a cue out, instead of ringing a small, musical, bell. i wanted to break the bell i would have wanted to kill the pup!

That being said and done, yes you would need to teach speak first. Then prompt for a bark before going out. However, for a while, whenever he barked for any reason in the house you would need to take him outside, too. Barking in general needs to equal going outside. Then when he gets the message you can take him out only when barking at the door.

Barking to come in is a different story tho. My dog Q does this and i never trained him to. The other three will whine and scratch if they feel they've been out to long, but only after they're COMPLETELY done sniffing EVERY SINGLE blade of grass in the front yard. Trophy - you could leave him out all day and he'd NEVER bark or whine to get back in. He LOVES being outside.

And I'm in 100% agreement with fickla that i would never let a dog out untethered and unsupervised. I do let my dog Qwill out to potty untethered when one of my other dogs is out on the line, but if i don't go out with them i stand right inside the door looking out a window and open the door and call him back to me if he goes out of eyesight. Qwill is my solid rock of a dog who knows everything and does everything i ask, but what if a stray dog chose that moment i walked away to bound out from the field on the other side of the street? of course Q would go to say hi, and while our street isn't busy the few cars that go down he generally FLY down it doing 60. I would never be able to forgive myself if he died because i didn't go out to watch him.


New Member
guyz a question,I've noticed that my puppy knows where to poo,but the pee thing is not working well.To me, I walk him/carry him every hour to pee in the same place,and if I tried to see if he will go by himself to pee the next hour,he wont!! he pee where he stands!!! :(
so is it me,the one who trained him in a wrong way(carry him every hour to pee)???
BTW I did this for the poo thing and worked.
plz help


New Member
Our girl rings a bell to go outside to potty or just to hang out and sunbathe on the deck. When she wants to come back in, she'll sit and wait at the door - if I don't open the door she'll do a little yelp.