Wouldn’t it be convenient if your dog could tell you when he needs to go outside? If your dog can learn to sit and stay, he can learn this simple trick that will make your life a lot easier. Here’s how to teach your dog to ring a bell to let you know he needs to go out:
- Purchase a cluster of sleigh bells from your local craft store. Attach the cluster to a heavy cord.
- Hook the cord with the cluster of hanging bells to the door knob of the door your dog uses to go outside in the morning. The bells should be eye level to your dog and securely attached to the door knob.
- When you next let your dog outside, ring the cluster of bells before opening the back door. You want your dog to associate the ringing of the bells with the door opening to go out. Be sure to do this every time you let your dog outside. If your dog sniffs the bells or otherwise acknowledges them, give him praise and a treat if you have one handy.
- Within a week or two, your dog will attempt to ring the bell if you’ve been consistent with his training. If he rings the bell, praise him profusely and immediately let me outside.
- Continue the routine of praising your dog and letting him out each time he rings the bell successfully. You could further reinforce this behavior by using a dog cookie or other treat.
Most dogs will be able to successfully master this trick if they’re trained consistently and given positive reinforcement during the training process.
Pretty soon the process of ringing the bell and being let outside will become second nature to your dog and you’ll never have to wonder when he needs to go out. He’ll be able to tell you with the sound of ringing bells. Once you’ve mastered this trick, you’ll see how easy it is to teach your dog new, more complicated tricks by using this same incremental learning technique along with positive reinforcement.