How Your Dog Lets You Know It's Time To Go Outside


Experienced Member
So, I was trying to work out what I could teach Evie as a cue so that she can tell me when she needs to go outside. Currently, she quietly walks to the back door and sits and waits to be let out. Only problem is, that if you're not quick enough to notice her missing and to let her out, she will pee by the back door.

So, I was going to teach her to bark on cue, but she doesn't bark and i didn't really want to encourage that behaviour anyway.... and getting a dog door isn't an option, so instead I've bought Evie an electronic doorbell.

The button is at nose height on the door frame of the back door (the door she always uses to go outside). The chime is out in the living room where we can hear it.

My doorbell arrived 3 days ago. Day 1 I spent teaching Evie to press the button (at this stage the button was not on the door frame, but in my hand) and she only got clicked and treated when the button was properly and the chime made the noise. If she touched it and no noise came out, then no treat.

Day 2 I put the button on the door frame and simply told Evie to touch it everytime she wanted to go outside. To begin with I would click and treat AND open the door for outside, but very quickly, just opening the door for outside was enough of a reward for Evie (She loves going outside to stalk our bunnies...)

Day 3 (today). My family and I were all sitting in the living room talking..... we randomly hear a 'dingdong' and there's Evie sitting at the door waiting to get outside! Success!!!

So proud of my Evie.

She's still got a bit more training to go, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. :D!


Experienced Member
Wow thats really neat! Well done to Evie learning that so fast.

We used to have keys hanging from the door lock that Oka would jangle (she did that her self) but she would then nudge them all day - she prefers to be outside. So we took the other keys off. Now she will nudge the singe key if she wants to go out for play...but we have a schedule that we try to stick too. If she needs to toilet and it's not a scheduled time she will sit at the back door then sit in front of us, whine once, put her paw on your leg then run back to the door....kind of saying "come oooonnnnn!"

This just made me think of something else Oka does - If she empties her water bowl she will lick the inside so it wobbles in it's stand making a clanking sound (metal bowl, metal stand), she will practically nudge it around the kitchen till we go and fill it up....what makes me laugh is that she doesn't always drink from it when we fill it up. it's like she's made us fill it up for later!!


Honored Member
My dogs have a schedule we stick to. But sometimes they need to go, before it is time to go. And they will stand in the hallway, looking into the livingroom. There is a special look in their eyes, telling me something is up. And when I get up and they run to the door, I know what it is:D Or they come stand in front of us and put their head on a leg or arm and just stare at you. When the quaestion: What is it? is followed by a run to the hallway, we know;)

Mewzard: isn't she clever!! That way you can't forget to fill the bowl:D
I ususally have the bowl filled, but when it isn't and Cooper is thirsty he will nudge the bowl so, so it makes sound, like Oka does. :)


Honored Member
Evie, that is brilliant!! well done!!

Mewzard, too clever about the empty water bowl! wish my dog would do that!!! I hate it when i find his water bowl empty, and always wonder how long it has been empty.


Well-Known Member
What a great idea. I've been trying to figure out a different way for Levi to let me know he wants out. Right now he scratches his paw at the door and I'm afraid he is going to tear it up. I've seen something similar with bells on a string hanging from the door. I need to teach him something lIke that.


Experienced Member
Well the doorbell was so each to teach. Even easier since Evie already knew the 'touch it' (with her nose) command and also how to target things with her paw.

And yes, Collieman posted a few training videos of his puppy Rommel learning how to ding the bell on a string as a way to let him know it's time to go outside :) I would have done it this way, but I don't think a bell would have been loud enough for us to hear in this house lol.


Honored Member
Great Job Evie, that's awesome that she caught on so quickly.
Missy will bug me when she needs to go out, such as nudge my hand pace the floor, whine and if I'm asleep or she really needs to go she jumps on me and start barking, not a pleasant way to wake up. I never taught her to tell me when she needed to go she just came up with her own way to let me know.


Experienced Member
Lol, i wish Evie had done that. But Evie's idea of letting us know that she needs to go outside is sneaking off into the laundry and sitting patiently at the door until someone notices her. And like i said, if you're too slow then she'll pee right there next to the door. :rolleyes:

And lol at the way you get woken up. Evie wakes my partner and i up EVERY morning with overenthusiastic licks to our faces.


Honored Member
yeah, we got a dog bell, too, at first, but it took my dog about 2 days to decide it was great fun to ring it, bring us all over to the door, and then let him every hour or so....:rolleyes: I was able to return it and get my money back. I did not know what to do to slow that down----without accidentally teaching Buddy that ringing the bell DOES NOT get him outdoors...

we have successfully trained Buddy that one(1) bark gets him back IN, on days his doggie door is not open. Actually, my guy trained Buddy to do that, which is amazing, as my guy will never ever get any awards for dog training savvy, lol, so i was quite impressed my guy did that!!:D


Honored Member
now that i think about it, it's hard for me to describe how Buddy does let us know, yet, he does.:ROFLMAO:
If he is downstairs, he stands by door, and if that doesn't work, he comes and stands there staring at us,
and gives us "the look" i guess, and will progress to a soft whine if we fail to notice him. For urgent diarrhea, he gives an alarm bark accompanied by a look of sheer panic in his eyes.

If Buddy is upstairs, he stands there and gives us "the look" or nudges us to give us his "look". But it DID take Buddy a while to be able to let us know.....yeah, it did take him a while to get enough confidence to tell us, or maybe it took us a while to get it.


Honored Member
I love the idea of a door bell dog bell; that is so clever and Evie really took to it - obviouly she thinks it's a clever idea too. :cool:

We use the low tech bells on a ribbon. V. really can't abuse the privledge of bell ringing because we have a separately fenced in 8x8 outside potty area which is accessed by it's own door and totally separate from the actual yard (it's like a doggy outhouse) so there is no fun to be had by ringing the bells. :D

Pawtential Unleashed

Experienced Member
V. really can't abuse the privledge of bell ringing because we have a separately fenced in 8x8 outside potty area which is accessed by it's own door and totally separate from the actual yard (it's like a doggy outhouse) so there is no fun to be had by ringing the bells. :D
Too smart - nice!


Honored Member
My dogs have a dog (cat) door so they can take themselves out.

But Paris sometimes forgets how to use it (or one of the cats likes to sit on the other side of the door to give the dog a smack if they try to get through - she isn't a very nice cat sometimes) so she whines and scratches at the door if that happens