"ringing a bell when needing to go out"


New Member
ok so our husky has no probelm when telling you when he needs something..in fact its usually very loudly and in yur face untill you figure out what it is he wants but my new lab puppy is very different and our bigest problem with house training is when he has to go out he quietly goes over and sits by the stairs or down by the door and unless yoru looking at him you miss it and he pees on the floor. so my husband had the great idea of teaching him to ring a bell so we rigged a bell on a chain to hang from the rail at the top of the stairs and he has figured out when i tell him "Ring it" to ring it with his paw and he gets a treat i'm just having trouble getting him to connect i have to go out and ring the bell..we've been ringing it on our way otu every time but its still not clicking. any help would be gretaly appreciated. thanks
A better alternative to ringing a bell is to have your dog come to you, sit and look at you. At least, this is what I have done with my dogs.

But you can train your dog to use a bell. It seems that opening the door right after the dog rings the bell should do the trick. Your timing has to be right for the dog to associate the act of ringing the bell and going outside. Is this what you have been doing?


Experienced Member
It sounds like you're teaching it right. Basically you just have the dog ring it and then immediately open the door and take him out.

However, most people I've talked to who taught their dog to do this took away the bell after the first week. The dog will learn to ring it whenever he wants to go out, not just to go potty.

Since your dog is just a puppy, you just need to be patient. He may end up developing a signal of his own as he gets older, or he may never develop one. It's not very natural for a dog to tell someone he needs to go out so manydogs never develop a signal like barking, they just learn to hold it until the next time they are taken out. It soudns like your puppy is already ahead of the game in that he is sitting by the door! As he gets older he will learn to hold it longer while he waits for you to see him, but as a puppy it is up to YOU to watch him like a hawk and take him out constantly.


New Member
thanks guys he does ring it when he wants to go play too but for now its woking hes using it the majority of the time and we have the occasional trip out to play not potty...lol


Experienced Member

great site for clicker training...might give you some ideas too about how to introduce and reward the bell ringing.

I also prefer too the come to me and put a paw on my knee so that if i'm sleeping or away from the doorbell or door in this huge 3 story house that i know the dog needs to go out NOW! :)


New Member
I trained Dantes to bring me his leash when he needs to go out!
I just made him carry it while I op[en the door and to the elevator so I can put it on him...