When we first adopted Sophie, I had several friends suggest that we bell train our dog. I had never heard of bell training before so of course, I had a lot of questions.
What is bell training? Bell training consists of teaching your dog how to ring a bell whenever they need to go outside.
Why? Because with bell training, you will be able to hear when you dog needs to go out. I used sign language with my babies before they could talk, this seems very similar to me...the ability to communicate with your dog.
How do you do it? We started by hanging a single bell on a string by the door. Every time we would take Sophie out, we would ring the bell and head outside. During our house training phase we were going outside every hour on the hour and she was getting a treat every time she would come back in.
How long does it take? I think it depends on the dog. Within the first two days, Sophie was dinging the bell on her own. Definitely after a week, she knew that if she would ding the bell we would take her out. Sometimes she would even ding it if she knew there were kids outside that she wanted to play with!
Start with your materials:
You will need four large bells. I got mine at JoAnn's two for $1.
keychains-mine were from the dollar store-you will need four
7/8" grosgrain ribbon
The key chains came like this. I unwound the extra chains so I was left with just the ring. Then take the ring, and put one bell on each ring.
I cut about 30" of ribbon. This will all depend on how long you want it to hang. When Sophie was smaller, the string we started with was too short. So make sure it hangs down low enough for the dog to be able to nose it.
Thread through the bells and starting eying the placement. You want two hanging at the bottom and two about five inches up from the bottom.
You form a loop that the bells rest in and sew the ribbon together making sure the bells hang how you want them to.
Make sure you also form a loop for the door handle. Again, taking into consideration the height of your handle and the height of your dog.
That's it! As always with training, consistency is key. Have you bell trained your dog? I want to hear about your experience.