Ringing the Bell to Go Out: Avoid These 4 Common Errors! - eileenanddogs (2023)

Ringing the Bell to Go Out: Avoid These 4 Common Errors!

Posted on August 8, 2014March 13, 2021 by

This post is for the people who have tried—and failed—to teach their dogs to ring a bell to go outside. I suspect there are a lot of bell ringing failures out there. Not that it’s sohard to teach a dog to poke a bell with his nose or paw. But it can be tricky to teach him when to do it, to let him know that this is a way to communicate with you about a certain thing.

Ringing the Bell to Go Out: Avoid These 4 Common Errors! - eileenanddogs (1)

I went through the top hits on a Google search on the topic before writing this post, and all but oneof the sets of instructions hadsome crucialomissions. The exception was a wonderful protocol for teaching a dog to ring a bell to go out byYvette Van Veenof Awesome Dogs. If you are new to teaching the behavior, just follow her instructions. She will help you avoid every one of these errors listed here.

How Do I Teach my Dog to Ring a Bell to go Outside?—Yvette Van Veen of Awesome Dogs

On the other hand, if you have already worked unsuccessfully on the behavior, check out the rest of this post to help you troubleshoot.There’s a good chance your problems are explained below.

The Common Errors

  1. Loud noises can scare dogs. If you obtaineda set of bells or single bell that is loud enough that you canhear it from anywhere in your house, it may be too loud for your dog’s comfort at first. So start with the bells dampened with tape or cotton, or if it is just one big bell, apply something tothe clapper. Do something to make it much, much quieter. Quieterthan you think necessary. Your dog is going to have his head right up next to the bell. Use desensitization/counterconditioning if you need to, especially if your dog is already nervous about the bell. You don’t want your dog to never get past a half-hearted little poke at the bell just because the sound makeshimnervous. First dampen the bell(s), traina hearty nose (or paw) touch, then gradually un-dampen them. Hold onto your criteria for the enthusiastic touch. There’s no point in training this behaviorif you can’t hear the bellsfrom the other end of the house when your dog rings them. And it’s no fun for your dog if he is even a little bit nervous about the bells. If you can’t get him past nervous, teach him another way to ask to go outside.
  2. Going out the door is not always rewarding. Many sets of directions skip directly from givingyour dog a treat for targeting the bell to openingthe door when he doesso (with no treat).Unless your dog LOVES going outside at any time under any conditions, you have just pulled most of the reinforcement out from under him right when he needsit the most. Not to mention that if you do time it right and require your dog to ring the bell when he is dying to pee, whatyou’ve got there is negative reinforcement. Not a great way to build enthusiastic behavior.
  3. Ringing a bell to go outside is a distance behavior. That means that the dog needs to be able to do it when their personis not close by or is even out of sight. Distance behaviors have to be specifically trained. Most of us have a huge “reinforcement zone” around our bodies. That’s where our dogs are used to getting their treats.If you were to cueyour dog to lie down when he was15 feet away from you, what wouldhe do? Unless you have specifically trained him to lie down where he already is, he would probably either 1) look at you blankly; or 2) run over and plop down right in front of you. The whole point of the bell ringing is for the dog to communicate with you, wherever you are. Every set of directions I have seen except for Yvette’s completely neglects the distance. They have you practicing time and time again with your dog at the door when you are standing right there. Some dogs will make the cognitive leap on their own. But why not include it in the training?
  4. Your dog may “abuse” his new skill. You don’t want the bell ringingall the time, nightand day, on the dog’s whim, right?I’ve written before about stimulus control, so I’mnot going to go into the full definition here. The relevant part is this: we want the cue for the bell ringing eventually to be that your dog needs to potty, and only that. Not that she wants to play ball. Not that there is a rabbit in the yard. Not that she’s bored. I’m poor at teaching stimulus control, but Yvette isn’t, and she built it right into the instructions.

Our Own Experience

Ringing the Bell to Go Out: Avoid These 4 Common Errors! - eileenanddogs (2)

I’m having fun with all three of my dogs with this right now. I made my own string of bellswith a cowbell and some jingle bells from an art supply store. I dangled it in a doorframe that is close to my back door so that the bells can be hit from several directions, i.e., they are not flat against the back door itself or the wall. I trained Clara and Summer first, leaving Zani for later since she is the most sound sensitive. However, hearing the bells repeatedly, and getting treats after going through the door (I generally reinforce my dogs for reorienting to me after going out the door) apparently acted to desensitize her to the sound. Yesterday she started offering to poke the bellsherself!

However, Houston, we have a problem. I mentioned above that I am poor at stimulus control. Guess who has already put it together that ringing the bells makes me come open the door even when I’m not in the same room? And guess what motivated her to do it? Yes, Clara has rung the bells three times now directly after her supper while I was sitting in the next room. This is prime time for playing ball. And I fell for it. I did not think through the implications of reinforcing the behavior by playing ball. Headdesk! (Edit, 12/19/15: we no longer play ball right after dinner because of the risk of bloat.)

How about you? Anybody have perfect bell ringing behavior? Or not so perfect? I’d love to hear about it!

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Copyright Eileen Anderson 2014


  1. I bell trained Dexter from the get go, we rent and scratching on doors isn’t the best of habits to get into. Best part is that every time we more our situations change (doors we leave from, location of doors etc.) This time our front door is at the bottom of a set of stairs which I didn’t want the dog going down, since he’s bell trained I was able to place the bell on the gate at the top of the stairs 🙂

    Like yourself, stimulus control is minimal in my house, mostly due to the fact that behaviors he performs don’t necessarily “need” to be under stimulus control, but he does hit the bells with different emphasis depending on why he’s ringing. If it’s to go potty it’s a hard hit, it’s far weaker when he’s just bored.

    We don’t have a yard so I think that helped with what little stimulus control ringing the bells does have since the number of times we go outside means only 1 of two things, a walk, or a ride in the car, vs the multitude of reasons many people go out in their yards, play, sunbathe, potty, gardening, etc.

    1. That’s cool, Ashley! That gives me hope that I may be able to tell the difference if one of my dogs starts working me with the bells. I also like your placement of the bells idea. It had occurred to me vaguely that the bells don’t really _need_ to be next to the door. Maybe when everyone gets fluent (I can dream, right?) I could them a little closer to where the action is in my house. Thanks so much for the comment.

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    2. Bell training does save your door from scratch marks. We own our home, but we kept one bell on a shoelace with a loop in it so that we could take it to hotels, or caretakers homes and just put it on the door knob. It worked great! Our beloved boy has been gone two years as of 5 days ago, but I sure miss him. I’ll never have one that learns SO quickly. Three days ago we offered to take in an 8 yr old Yorki-Poo whose dad (a former neighbor) passed away suddenly. I know that had he know he was going to die, he would have asked us to care for her. Anyway, I’m hoping that even at 8, I can get her to ring the bell. I wish Scruffy was still here to teach her. Wish me luck!

  2. I taught one of my dogs to ring the bell to go out. But I didn’t teach any stimulus control. It didn’t seem necessary… Both my husband and I work at home, and the dogs are allowed to be inside or outside according to their own preference. So they’re allowed to go out whenever they want to. (The other 2 dogs weren’t taught to ring the bell; they just sit in front of the door until someone lets them out.)

    Except… sometimes they’re not allowed to go out, like when my husband is mowing. So when I put them inside due to mowing or some other dog-unsafe activity going on outside, my bell-ringing dog seems to think that if he whales away at the bell hard enough, that it will override my decision.

    Oh, and one of my cats has observed the dog ringing the bell and has also started ringing the bell when he wants to go out. I never taught the cat; he just learned by watching the dog.

    1. I like it that you have a casual approach to this. Sounds like the times when they can’t go out are few enough that the bell ringer’s persistence isn’t too much of a problem. That is very cool about the cat!

  3. My Akita Reggie got me out of my office, ringing the bell at the back door – but when I walked through the house and opened the door, he wouldn’t go out. He just stood there staring at me. “You rang the bell, now go out!” I told him. He just stood there staring at me. “What do you want?” I asked. He walked over and stood next to his empty water bowl.

    1. I love that story! Love it when they can make cognitive leaps like that. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I first trained a dog to ring a string of bells 20 years ago and have had success with every dog since then. However, We got our most recent puppy a year ago, and she, too, learned to ring the bells. But she also loves to play with the cat. Sometimes, that’s okay, and sometimes the cat doesn’t want to play. About 6 months ago, when he got tired of the bouncy puppy nudging at him, he went over to the bells and rang them! I think it was his way of saying, “Take this one outside for awhile, please!” It was hilarious and it worked! I took the puppy out for a walk. The cat had time to chill out, eat something, have a drink of water than go find a place to sleep out of the puppy’s immediate reach. Problem solved. 🙂

    1. I love it! Thanks so much for sharing the story.

  5. Silas is on the Clara end of the spectrum. Ringing the bell means the humans get up to come play! And, then, to make it even worse, he came to just enjoy ringing the bell, apparently. He would ring, I would walk over, and he would just look at me like I was crazy. It was, however, a good bridge for us. Once I took the bells down he automatically picked up scratching at the door.

    1. Silas sounds like a fun guy! Thanks for sharing. I can just see it. (Hear it…)

  6. Barnum’s bell-ringing behavior has worked out very well. Mostly I let him out on my schedule and he doesn’t need to ring it. But on the rare occasion he needs to go otherwise, he lets me know by ringing the bell.

    We did, however, go through a very looooooong stage (three years?) when Barnum adapted the bell ringing to mean, “I want…” This is very much like Sue Eh describes the paw lift behavior in her dogs. He would ring if he needed to go out, but also if there was something else he desperately wanted to communicate to us, he would ring the bell. For example, if I left, and he really wanted to be with me, he would ring the bell over and over to try to get the person he was at home with (presumably saying, “I want to be with Sharon” because letting him out only led to him coming in and ringing the bell over and over). Or if I shut him out of my room accidentally, he would ring the bell to say, “Hello! I want to come into your room!” Or other things he wanted that I’m forgetting now.

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    I thought this was a very smart and flexible way to communicate, and I was fine with it. Other people in the household got annoyed with it when he rang the bell over and over because he wanted something he couldn’t have (such as me, when I was out). They would take the bell down when he did this.

    As far as I know, he is now so used to being left home when I leave that this is never a problem anymore. The bell is up all the time, and he almost never rings it except to say, “I need to go out!” But I like that is there so that, if he should want to communicate something urgent, we have a system for it.

    1. That is a smart and flexible way to communicate, and I love that you were good with it. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Think of how frustrating it must be, not to be able to talk.

  7. One of my dog’s pups came to visit and within a day he learned to ring the bell by watching my dogs. I am not sure he ‘got it’ that it was for potty but he knew it could earn a treat. He rang the bell and ran to stand and stare at the treat bag on top of the fridge

    1. That’s so cool!

  8. The potty bells are so useful. They give Matilda the ability to communicate with us, plus a lot of power, and she knows it! The best part is when she stares at us after she rings the bell.

    1. That’s great! It’s wonderful when they get it that they can communicate. Congratulations!

  9. My dog rang the bell when he needed to go out, when he wanted to go out, and when the cat wanted to come in. What a nice girl!

    1. Awww!

  10. I’m surprised you play ball right after dinner. I was taught activity after eating puts dogs at risk of bloat (when the stomach twists).

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    1. I don’t anymore, for exactly that reason. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ll put a note in the blog.

  11. Our 8mo old lab came to use already bell trained and when we are in the living room to see her ring the bell it’s not a problem. The problem is I want her to learn to come get us to alert us when she has to potty if we aren’t by the door. We have a 2 story house and if needs out in the middle of the night or when I’m upstairs and she’s downstairs. Do you have any helpful hints on how we can expand the training or should we put a bell upstairs as well or just get a louder bell for by the door!

    1. It sounds like coming to get you would be training a completely different behavior. Since she knows the bell, you might see if you can gradually move the bell away from the door, closer to where you would be able to hear it. Or get a louder one, as you said. That’s my two cents anyway!

  12. I taught my doodle to ring the bell, which was a great decision during potty training but has turned into such a headache. She rings the bell all the time and greatly abuses its power. She wants to go outside every 20 minutes if I’m home, but can magically hold it for 12 hours if it’s raining or cold. Also, when we go to friends houses who don’t have a bell she doesn’t ask to go outside and just goes inside since there are no bells. So we did away with the bell today. Hoping for my dog to chill out a little and ask in her own way to go out.

    1. If you travel via car a lot,would your dog relate hotel doors with bells to ask to go out or does it mainly work at your home? My friends and daughter all do the bell thing and our Wheaten Terrier comes to us and using body language lets us know,no matter where we are in the house. The ones that use the bell method don’t travel with dogs.

      1. I don’t have personal experience of that situation but I would guess that if you brought your regular bell and placed it next to the hotel door, it could work. I hope some others will chime in here about it with their experiences. When I travel with my dog I just take her out a lot.

  13. We thought our dog to bark twice when he wants to go outside. NO bells needed.
    Two barks, means go.
    Also sometimes when you just simply as “do you want to go” he will either bark or not,
    if he barks then he is desperate if not he is not interested.

    First you need to teach your dog to bark on command when you say speak, he should bark
    once and then reward him. Once he learns that you move to using this to communicate with him
    and reward.
    Do you want water? he will “bark”.
    do you want food ” Bark”
    do you want to go outside “bark bark”

    as easy as that.
    then when he wants to go out eventually he will come to you, sit by you and bark twice.
    watch his body language when you get him.. he gets all so happy that you understood.

  14. Our plott hound rescue taught himself how to ask for things. He comes to us and looks at us with ears perked when he wants something. We say, “what do you want?” and he either walks to the door and stands up with his front paws on the door, or he brings us a food or water dish. We just got a maltipom puppy and he was almost 4 months already. He understands potty outside. He will hold his bladder on furniture or in his crate, but is still having carpet accidents. He won’t ask to potty, and sometimes if he’s excited he has to go more than hourly. But he will hold it 6 hours in his crate whe we’re gone. We decided to bell train him since he’s not vocal, but he’s got the attention span of a teaspoon. It’s a work in progress. We have taught him to follow us without a leash so far. We’ve only had him a week so we cant expect the world yet! He is a smart pup so I know he’ll get it.
    My parents have 2 pomapoos and they bell trained them at 9-10 weeks. They now ask to go out to play or when they’re scared of the vaccum.

    1. I like how different dogs develop ways to ask for things. One of my dogs acts a lot like your Plott hound. (Plott hounds are so cool! I’m jealous.) Another comes where I am and sits very close to me and kind of clings. The third looks at me and backs up. That’s left over from some training we did a lot of, but it works for her!

      Good luck with your puppy. I’m sure he’ll get it!

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How do you teach a dog to ring a bell to go outside? ›

Here's how:
  1. Purchase a bell. ...
  2. Use a ribbon to hang the bell from the door that leads to your dog's outdoor restroom. ...
  3. When it's time to go outside, gently swing the bell so that it taps your dog's muzzle.
  4. Immediately praise the dog and open the door.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 every time your dog goes outside for seven days.

Is Bell training good for dogs? ›

Many dogs will naturally begin going to the door, in some cases also barking, when they need to go out. But introducing a bell or button can help your dog clearly tell you what they need and want. This skill is useful for dogs of all ages, and can be particularly helpful while potty training.

How long before a puppy asks to go outside? ›

A puppy will typically be ready to train when they are between 12 to 16 weeks old. At this point, they have enough bladder control to be trained on when to go out. Warning: In an effort to avoid parvovirus, you'll want to make sure your puppies have been given all the necessary shots before letting them wander outside.

How to train a dog to ring a bell to go outside reddit? ›

What I did, roughly in order:
  1. ring the bell myself every time I open the door for a potty break. First bell ring, then door opens. ...
  2. Teach bell ringing as a trick. ...
  3. After 1 and 2 are strong (a week maybe?) ...
  4. occasionally balance a boring treat on the bell while she's not looking.

How do I get my dog to signal to go outside? ›

Approach the door and cue your dog to touch the bell with your command word. When they do, react with excitement, open the door, and take them outside. With enough repetition, your dog will learn that you will open the door and take them out whenever they ring the bell.

How do I train my dog not to go crazy when the doorbell rings? ›

Associate the Doorbell with Treats

Start by getting another family member or friend to ring the doorbell or knock on the door and immediately feed your furry friend a treat. If your dog starts to bark, simply ignore your pup. Once your pup is quiet, try again. Treat your dog for not barking.

What is the hardest thing to train a dog to do? ›

The “Winner” is

The hardest part of dog training is doing nothing. It's standing like a statue, not saying anything, not doing anything, while your dog acts a fool. She's barking, jumping, biting at the leash. If you're in public, it's embarrassing and you want to make her stop.

What are the 7 basic dog commands? ›

More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No.

How do I get my dog to tell me he has to pee? ›

To potty train your puppy, establish a routine
  1. Take your puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—and immediately after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking.
  2. Pick a bathroom spot outside, and always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot.

Which dog breed is easiest to potty train? ›

15 Easiest Dog Breeds to Potty Train
  1. Border Collie. Border Collies are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds, making it easier for them to understand instructions and training. ...
  2. German Shepherd. ...
  3. Labrador Retriever. ...
  4. Australian Shepherd. ...
  5. Maltese. ...
  6. Shiba Inu. ...
  7. Standard Poodle. ...
  8. Miniature Schnauzer.

Can you teach an older dog to ring a bell to go outside? ›

Bell in hand

Start with your dog in front of you near the door with the bell in your open hand. Offer your hand to the dog to encourage them to investigate the bell. Click/reward when your dog moves their nose to the touch the bell. Repeat 10 times.

How do I train my dog to come when called outside? ›

How to train your dog to come when called
  1. You need an incentive to encourage your dog to come back - a really tasty treat or a fun game with a toy. ...
  2. Run away a couple of paces then call your dog's name and say "come" in a friendly, exciting tone - getting down low can also encourage them to come back.

How do I get my stubborn dog to go outside? ›

The quickest and most effective way to help a dog that doesn't want to leave the house is with counter-conditioning. This takes the negative experience of leaving the house and turns it into a positive one, so your pet is willing and excited rather than fearful and reluctant. Lure your pet outside with treats.

How do you train an anxious dog to go outside? ›

Choose a route that avoids their triggers as much as possible, then walk the same route every time. Keep walks brief at first. Until your dog feels more comfortable, don't overstress him. Treats are a great distraction, so buy some small treats for positive reinforcement.

What are good hand signals for dogs? ›

To teach your dog a signal, you can hold your index finger out in front of your chest horizontally. To start, have a treat in your closed fist. You can flick your hand in a downward motion, with your finger pointing to the floor to help show your dog what you want.

How do I condition my dog to a doorbell? ›

Steps to getting your dog used to the doorbell
  1. Get your dog to associate good things with the sound of the bell. ...
  2. Sound the bell with your bell push and reward your dog.
  3. Sound the bell with your bell push and then with your dog, move towards the safe area and feed your dog there.

Should I let my dog bark at the doorbell? ›

Dogs barking at the doorbell isn't necessarily a sign of fear but some dogs learn that the sound of a doorbell means a person is arriving and may be excited to greet whoever's at the door. If your dog barks whenever the doorbell rings but doesn't seem to be afraid, it may only be doing it out of excitement.

Why do dogs go crazy when the doorbell rings? ›

Why does this happen? Dogs are great at making quick associations; so, every time the bell rings or they hear a knock, it means someone is coming to visit them. This can be pretty exciting stuff!

What is the number 1 easiest dog to train? ›

Top 9 easiest dogs to train
  • #1: Border collie. No couch potatoes, border collies are athletes bred to work. ...
  • #2: German shepherd. ...
  • #3: Labrador retriever. ...
  • #4: Golden retriever. ...
  • #5: Australian shepherd. ...
  • #6: Standard poodle. ...
  • #7: Doberman pinscher. ...
  • #8: Papillon.

At what age is it harder to train a dog? ›

At what age is it too late to train a dog? Of course, you know the answer by now: It is not ever too late. Training works at any point in a dog's life. Whether you start the day you bring your puppy home, or when your 10 year old dog finally needs to stop his leash pulling habit.

What age dog is easier to train? ›

According to experts, the ideal time to train a dog is when they are around 7 to 8 weeks old. This is a great time as they are still new to the world to start to understand commands and what is expected of them.

Which dog breed is the smartest? ›

  • Border collie. According to The Intelligence of Dogs, which ranks 131 dog breeds in terms of their relative intelligence, the border collie is the smartest dog breed known to man. ...
  • Poodle. ...
  • German shepherd. ...
  • Golden retriever. ...
  • Doberman pinscher. ...
  • Shetland sheepdog. ...
  • Labrador retriever. ...
  • Papillon.
Feb 23, 2023

What age is a dog considered full grown? ›

Although all puppies are officially considered adult dogs once they reach one year old, puppies continue to grow in height and size while their bones are still developing, which takes anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

Are male or female dogs better for families? ›

This depends very much on the breed or mix of your dog. But some people choose a she-dog if they have children, as many females are naturally more protective of young ones and will come to look upon your young kids as oversized pups.

What not to do with a new dog? ›

  • Mistreat your puppy by shouting, hitting, or jerking on your puppy's leash.
  • Call your puppy to you to reprimand it.
  • Allow your puppy to chase objects like cars, bikes, or skateboards.
  • Allow your puppy to chase other dogs, cats, or other animals.
  • Confine your puppy for long periods of time during the day.

Is it never too late to train a dog? ›

There's no such thing as a dog too old to train and with reward based training methods, you can really enrich their life. It's a common misconception that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Modern dog training methods are suitable for canine companions at any stage of their life.

Can you over train a dog? ›

The fast answer is "Yes! Of course!" But let's delve deeper and understand why over-training is a thing, and how you can avoid it. What is overtraining? Dog brains aren't significantly different from human brains in the way they learn skills and format memories.

What is the no command for dogs? ›

Essentially, your dog wants your approval. So, rather than yelling or constantly saying “No”, quicker progress can be made by teaching your dog a 'no' signal – one that tells him to stop whatever he is doing whenever he hears it. A suitable command can be “Leave”.

Do dogs remember commands? ›

The researchers concluded that the dogs were using episodic-like memory to repeat their owner's actions, even an hour after they first observed them. This suggests that dogs are doing way more than living in the moment. They are forming memories all the time and are able to recall them when needed.

How to teach a dog to speak? ›

Use a verbal “Speak” cue or hand signal (such as pointing to your mouth, making a “quacking duck” gesture with your hand, or cupping your ear). Use the cue, then trigger the bark. When your dog barks, mark and reward with a tasty treat. Repeat this sequence (cue, trigger, bark, mark, reward) at least a dozen times.

What can I give my dog naturally for a UTI? ›

Home Remedies for UTI In Dogs
  • D-Mannose. One of the most common bacteria causing urinary tract infections in dogs is E coli. ...
  • Cranberry. Cranberries are a well-known natural remedy for UTIs in humans, and they can work for your dog too. ...
  • Methionine. ...
  • Couch Grass. ...
  • Parsley Leaf. ...
  • Marshmallow Root. ...
  • Horsetail.
Feb 15, 2022

Does rubbing a dog's nose in pee help? ›

Never rub a dog's nose in urine or feces, or punish a dog for an “accident.” This will teach your dog to fear you, and he may hide when he has to “go.” It is not instinctive for dogs to relieve themselves outside; it is only natural for them to not go where they sleep.

Do dogs have a favorite person? ›

Just like their human pals, dogs are likely to choose a favorite person based on a number of factors. Some of these include the person's demeanor, interactions with the dog, and how well the person helps meet their basic needs.

How do you teach an old dog to respect an older dog? ›

Seperate. If the puppy is demanding attention that the older dog doesn't want to, or is not able to, provide, step in between your older dog and your puppy. Direct your older dog to his quiet place and distract your puppy by taking him to another part of the house and providing him with a toy.

At what age can I let my dog roam the house? ›

Your puppy can explore the house when he's fully house trained, and your home is puppy proofed. House training will help your pup stick to acceptable potty habits and chewing behaviors as they roam the house. This might be around the age of 12 months old once they reach physical maturity.

Can older dogs be trained not to bark? ›

So gradually decrease your use of 'speak' and instead only command them to be 'quiet'. It may take weeks of practice, but your old dog will eventually get the message and bark less and less, until he's so quiet you actually miss the odd bark!

How do I train my dog to pee outside with a bell? ›

Here's how:
  1. Purchase a bell. ...
  2. Use a ribbon to hang the bell from the door that leads to your dog's outdoor restroom. ...
  3. When it's time to go outside, gently swing the bell so that it taps your dog's muzzle.
  4. Immediately praise the dog and open the door.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 every time your dog goes outside for seven days.

Do talking buttons work for dogs? ›

Using recordable dog training buttons is a fun way to increase the communication that you already have with your dog. It's also something that, with a little bit of practice, every dog can use to communicate at least basic things like wanting a walk or to play.

Can you train a dog not to wander off? ›

The bottom line. Every dog owner should invest some time into teaching their dog to not run off and to come when called. This process is not instant – it takes time and consistent practice. Make coming when called a rewarding and fun experience for your dog and he will be much less likely to take off on you!

Will a dog come back after they run away? ›

The good news is, when a pet runs away, they seldom go very far – which makes it more likely to reunite with them. According to a 2012 study, 59% of lost cats and 20% of lost dogs return home on their own after being lost. But there are always additional steps you can take to help ensure a happy reunion.

What to do when dog ignores command? ›

Start by making sure your dog can follow a command with no distractions. Then, work on the command with people in the environment talking, eating, engaging with each other. Then, work on the command out in the yard and start with minimal distractions and work up to more significant distractions.

What to do when your pet dog growls at you? ›

If his growl doesn't mean a bite is imminent, stop what you're doing but stay where you are. Wait until he relaxes, then move away, so you're rewarding the relaxed behavior rather than the growl.

Why doesn't my dog let me know he has go outside? ›

In my experience, there are usually two possible reasons for this behavior. The first is that the dog asks, but the person doesn't notice, misreads the communication or doesn't act quickly enough. The second may be that the dog has unintentionally been allowed to have accidents in the house.

How my dog acts when the doorbell rings? ›

Dogs barking at the doorbell isn't necessarily a sign of fear but some dogs learn that the sound of a doorbell means a person is arriving and may be excited to greet whoever's at the door. If your dog barks whenever the doorbell rings but doesn't seem to be afraid, it may only be doing it out of excitement.

Is it true you can't train an old dog? ›

There's no such thing as a dog too old to train and with reward based training methods, you can really enrich their life. It's a common misconception that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Modern dog training methods are suitable for canine companions at any stage of their life.

How do I get my stubborn dog to pee outside? ›

9 Tips for Potty Training a Stubborn Dog
  1. Limit Your Dog's Home Access. ...
  2. Potty Training Pads Are Lifesavers. ...
  3. Devise a Feeding and Napping Schedule. ...
  4. Potty Break Immediately After Nap & Mealtime. ...
  5. Reward with a Tasty Treat. ...
  6. Crate Your Dog Until They Learn to Go in the Correct Spot. ...
  7. Stay Consistent.

How do you know if your dog doesn't want you to leave? ›

Some dogs even try to prevent you from leaving. Dogs with separation anxiety will sometimes start barking, pacing or exhibiting other distressing behaviors after a short time after being left alone. Then when you return home, your dog jumps up and down, and acts as though he hasn't seen you in years.

How do I train my dog to calm down when visitors come? ›

Tips for keeping your dog calm around holiday visitors
  1. Lots of daily exercise. ...
  2. Come up with a game plan and practice. ...
  3. Leash your dog at the door. ...
  4. You could put your dog in a kennel or in another room. ...
  5. Head out for a walk together. ...
  6. Use highly valued treats to reward calm behavior. ...
  7. Ask visitors to ignore your dog.
Nov 10, 2022

Can dogs sense their way home? ›

Dogs are well known for their ability to backtrack to a beloved home — or person. Most animal behavior experts attribute their navigating ability largely to a hypersensitive sense of smell.


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