Bells on Door to Housebreak

4 replies [Last post]
Tannaidhe's picture
Joined: 2013-02-25

I've never used this 'method' to housebreaking before, but when I heard about it, it seemed like such a good idea I just had to do it with Koko!

It's been a few weeks now since we got out bells, and though he will nose them when I hold a treat by them, and will come running if I ring them, he hasn't seemed to make the leap that they can be used to 'request' to go outside.


How long does this normally take?  Is there anything else I should be doing to help him make that intuitive leap?

HarleyBear's picture
Joined: 2011-08-16

Pet Profiles

Have you've done target training? I made Harley ring them himself before I would open the door.

Teach him to touch your hand on command. Then put a post-it on your hand. Then move the post-it to the location you want him to touch (the bells).

After that you can teach him to turn the lights on and off and other fun things. Our friend taught his dog to get him a beer from the fridge AND close the door afterward!

KevinK's picture
Joined: 2010-07-15

Pet Profiles

I would just make sure you understand the concept fully, so you don't start getting "tricked".  The bell in fact has to mean "I have to go to the bathroom", not "This bell opens the door so I can go play"

DobeQuinn's picture
Joined: 2013-03-15

Pet Profiles

I taught Quinn to ring the bell at the back door to go out and she picked it up really quick, I had already taught her touch so then I put the bells on my hand and had her touch the bells there. then moved the bells to the door with my hand behind it and then to my hand away once she would touch the bell with her nose and make it ring I would open the door and let her out, then we repeated that a few times. Now the trick is to know when she really has to go out to potty or if she just wants to go out. But she is getting better at not ringing them whenever she wants cause we ignored her when we knew she was just messing with us.

Rasyte's picture
Joined: 2013-04-13

Pet Profiles

We thought about bell too, but the fact that they start ringing it just cause they want to get out - stopped us from doing it, so after lots of paper towels and wet spots we are starting to pick up the behavior and I think that's what counts, ours can hold a pee for a long time when he wants to, so we know its not a physical issue, it s a fact of teaching them to show you that they need to go out! Ours runs to the door then back to you then back to a door, simple question now that we have been repeating for a month "go potty?" and if he whines you better open that door :)