If you’re like most dog owners, you want to make sure your pup knows how to behave and not make a potty mess in your home. One way to help is using a different training method.  In this blog post, we will show you how to bell train a dog and provide tips on how you can get started!

How to Bell Train a Dog

Training bells can be a real lifesaver when you’re struggling to teach your dog how to communicate when they need to go outside to potty. Not only does it put an end to accidents, but it also helps avoid annoying signals like sniffling, whining, scratching on the door, or barking. 

How long does it take to bell train a puppy? Potty training requires patience and nerves of steel and you’re going to have to endure it for quite some time – usually around four to six months

Although it can be annoying and time consuming it really is essential to owning a pet and luckily bell training your puppy can definitely make the process easier!

How do you start dog potty bell training? A lot of people will say that it’s so easy that all you need is to hang a bell on your door and ring it every time you take your pet out for a potty break, until the pup finally starts ringing it by himself because of association.

However, dog trainers and experts suggest you use other methods that will come off as more intentional. According to the AKC, there’s a three-step tutorial that will give you the best potty training results:

  1. Teach your dog to touch the bell using their nose and then reward it with a snack
  2. Train your pup to ring the bell at the door and give it a dog treat
  3. Show your dog that she needs to ring the bell only when she wants to go potty 

If you by any chance notice irregularities and problems concerning your pup’s potty habits, make sure you visit a vet as soon as possible!

How to Potty Train a Puppy With a Bell – Dos and Don’ts

Now that you know how to easen potty training for your puppy, you’ll soon be able to enjoy your days without any accidents. No one wants to spend their time constantly cleaning after their pet, especially in situations like when your dog catches diarrhea, which is why puppy-owner communication is so vital to pet ownership

You have to keep in mind, however, that there are a few dos and don’ts that you should follow in order to get the most out of this dog potty bell training method

Bell Training Dos

  • Use a command – Pick a word that will signalize your pup to touch or ring the bell. Usually the word of choice is either “touch” or “bell” when turning this action into a command.
  • Practice in 10 to 15-minute sessions – Short training sessions work wonders for puppy training! You can continue after an hour has passed, but don’t prolong it too much, because puppies can forget what they’ve learned.
  • Use potty pads – To help train your pet more effectively, use potty pads. Then you’ll be able to slowly shift to outdoor potty breaks.

Bell Training Don’ts 

  • Starting off with a really loud bell – Pups are scared of loud noises, so you should look for smart alternatives. For instance, you can wrap the bell with cloth or tape, so the sound can start off mildly and then gradually become more intense.
  • Not rewarding your petTreats are an essential when it comes to training your pup! Verbal and food rewards can substantially improve your pup’s training process, since dogs are susceptible to positive reinforcement.
  • Expecting too much too soonDog potty bell training is a slow and difficult process, so don’t try to rush it! You need to steadily introduce your pet to the bell and properly train it!
  • Thinking that your dog’s not the right “type” to learn – Any breed can be potty trained if you put enough patience and consistency in the training process. You should never underestimate your pup’s ability to learn, but rather allow it to develop these habits at its own pace.

Note: If you feel that you need additional help, you can opt for an online dog training program. It will take less of your time, all while providing exceptional service. 

Different Types of Bells 

Another great thing is that you can choose which type of bell you want to use for teaching your pup potty basics. Whether you’re more modern or old-fashioned, it really just boils down to preferences. So let’s see which bell works best for you! 

  • Hanging bells – A line fabric with several small bells is a great option for owners whose dogs love to pull and tug on things with their mouth. 
  • Arm-mounted bells – You attach this tiny piece of bent metal on one side of your door or wall and then add the hanging bell to the other side. These bells are most suited for small breeds, since you can mount them at any height. 
  • Digital push-button systems – This modern alternative allows you to take the receiver anywhere you want, so when your pup touches the button with its paw or nose, you’ll be able to hear it no matter where you are. Additionally, you can set up different tones at a variety of volumes. 
  • Mat-style digital bells – Similar to the push-button systems, these mat-style digital bells give you the option to move the receiver throughout the whole house. The difference is that this device is activated when your pup steps onto a flat mat that’s placed by the door. 

There you have it! Now you can choose whichever system works best for your home and your pup. Remember to follow the three step rule on how to potty train a dog with bells on the door and you’ll be able to say goodbye to potty break accidents forever!


What age to bell train a puppy?

You might expect that young pups are easier to potty train, however experts show that there’s no difference. In fact, any age is okay to start bell training a puppy, both young and old dogs have the same capacity and willingness to learn!

How to train dog to ring bell to go outside?

Bell training a dog requires patience and commitment. It’s not an easy task, but with the help of AKC experts’ three step training program, you’ll be able to teach your dog to go potty outside without the need to bark and whine in no time!

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