By Jess Rollins
The best way to teach your dog to tell you when she needs to go out by teaching her to ring a bell. This is best taught after your dog seems to prefer to go outside to potty and you would like to give her a good way to communicate that to you. This works especially well for dogs who only have a few accidents or have accidents by the door. Teaching your dog to ring a bell prevents her from needing to resort to such uncivilized behavior as scratching on the door or barking to tell you to let her out.
Show your dog the bell. If she touches it with her nose give her a treat. Once she is touching her nose to the bell every time you show it to her go on to the next step. Put the bell away when you are not practicing with it.
Show her the bell and only feed her a treat when she rings the bell by touching it. Once she is ringing it every time you show it to her go on to the next step. Put the bell away when you are not practicing with it.
Hang the bell by the door that you want your dog to use to go out and show her the bell. Give her a treat when she rings it. Once she is ringing the bell by the door each time you point to it, go on to the next step. Put the bell away when you are not practicing with it.
Put your bell up by the door. Let her watch you as you place a treat outside the door. Close the door and then point to the bell. When she rings the bell, open the door and let her get the treat. Once she rings the bell right away when you place a treat outside go on to the next step. Leave the bell in place by the door.
Next time you think she has to potty, go with her to the door and point to the bell. When she rings it, open the door and let her potty. Reward her with a treat when she finishes. Each time you let her out to potty, ask her to ring the bell first and feed her a treat when she finishes.
Leave the bell on the door and when she rings it let her out to potty. If she starts to play or dawdle outside, bring her in. This will prevent her from ringing the bell when she sees a squirrel (or at least prevent her from learning that she can get you to let her out to play instead of just to potty)
Basic Housetraining Article
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