Inevitably, one of the very first things you will train your dog to do is go potty. The very first thing you do when you get a new puppy is to begin potty training. Due to popular videos and poor quality information on the internet, training bells have become more and more popular to assist with potty training. Essentially, once your dog is conditioned to the use of the bells, it will help to alert you that they need to go outside.
It does not take very long to properly condition your dog to ringing bells near the door to go out, however, there are some issues with the bells in general. Keep reading along to see why we discourage the use of training bells with your new puppy!
Boy Who Cried Wolf
Everybody has heard of the boy who cried wolf. Well, there’s a similar concept to using training bells with your puppy. Dogs are smart, there’s no doubt about that. One of the biggest issues with using the training bells is that the dogs become too smart for their own good. They quickly learn that any time they ring the bells, they will get to go outside, whether they truly have to go or not.
If you decide to use the training bells, you must take your dog out every single time they ring the bell without exception. If you don’t let them out, you may regress in the training or even worse, fail to let them out when they have to go. However, if your dog gets bored or simply wants some fresh air, you may ring the bells. You will quickly become a servant to your dog which may quickly result in taking the bells down.
Many dogs struggle with confidence issues and can become extremely frightened of loud noises like the bells. If you rush the bell training or you have a naturally nervous/anxious dog, the bells could make your dog’s issues even worse. Your dog may quickly become aversive to the noises the training bells make, resulting in a waste of money. While you can certainly counter-condition your dog to make it a positive experience, you will need to ask yourself if the juice is worth the squeeze.
Bells Turn Into Toys
If your dog has unlimited access to roam the house, the bells may quickly turn into a play toy. When dogs have unlimited freedom to roam the house, they can often get bored, especially if you are not providing enough mental stimulation. If the dogs know the bells exist, they may find the rattling and jingling noises exciting and stimulating. You might notice they start playing with the bells more throughout the day, becoming quite a nuisance. If you work from home or are on a phone call, excessive noises from the bells may become frustrating and not worth having them up.
The 2 best things you can do to potty train your dog is implementing a strict schedule and utilizing a crate. When you use a crate with your young puppy, you will be able to quickly create a strict schedule that allows for consistent potty training outings. Every time your dog leaves the crate, take them straight to the door to go outside. Your dog will quickly get used to always going potty as soon as they leave the crate. This consistent routine will get your pup potty trained in no time.
You will also need to pay close attention to your dog when they are out and about in the house. They may show extremely subtle signs of having to go to the bathroom, like pawing the door, sitting near the door, or staring at you for extended periods of time. Every dog may communicate their needs differently, so make sure you’re paying attention and mark the behavior consistently! If you have any other questions about training your dog to go potty, just fill out our contact form here and we’d love to help!