Ours does. Amazing, right? Before we got our dog, I had never even heard of such a thing. I knew about doggy doors that you install on your door so that your dog can come and go as they please. That was something we didn’t want to do just for security reasons. In my mind, the answer was just that we let them out when needed until a neighbor of ours told us how their dog rings bells to be let outside. What? I was simply amazed. How did they possibly train their dog to do that?
Fast forward to a few years after that talk with our neighbor and our decision to adopt a dog. We knew that we wanted to train her to ring bells to go outside. But how? We adopted her when she was two months old and the first year was really more of us taking her out when needed just to train her to potty outside. However, near the end of that first year, we bought these. The one in the picture below is ours and you can see it’s pretty similar.
This is how we trained our dog. Choose a door that you want to use to let your dog in and out and hang the bells on the doorknob. EVERY time your dog needs to go outside and approaches the door, ring the bell first. Then, say to them “Ring the bell” while ringing them. It’s crucial that you demonstrate that every time. You want to form that connection of ringing the bells and going outside. You may even want to lightly bump the bells on their nose to show how they can make them ring.
At some point, the dog will make that connection. You may see them approach the door and sit or look at you waiting for you to let them out but just wait. They will ring those bells and when that happens, praise, praise, praise them! Make a big deal out of ringing those bells. From that point forward, they will continue to ring them.
Now you may have a smarty pants like us that has learned to ring them just to get us into the room with her. She will ring them sometimes if no one is in the room with her. When we walk in, she will walk away from the door and is just happy to see us. Smart little thing. 🙂
It’s such a helpful thing to have. Sometimes we can’t see them at the door to let them out. This allows them to notify us that they are waiting. If you are thinking about getting a dog or already have one, give it a try. Remember that you can teach old dogs new tricks, too. 😉