Potty bell training seems so simple, but it actually isn’t. Your dog may not only ring the bell when he needs to go out for toilet. Many people complain that their bell trained dog starts to ring the bell to go outside all the time.
In this article, I will discuss the reasons why a dog might not use the potty bell properly and how to fix it.
Why would a dog ring the bell all the time to go outside?
Here are the common reasons your dog is ringing the bell to go outside all the time.
1- Improper potty bell training:
Improper bell training is the number one reason behind this problem. You should train your dog to only ring the bell when he needs to go to the toilet.
When you bell train your puppy, you must:
- Ensure that you ring the bell while going out for potty breaks only
- Potty breaks should be strictly business
- If you are giving treats to your dog for using the bell, only give them when you are making him comfortable with the bell. By the end of the bell training, you must stop giving the treats for ringing the bell. Instead, treat him for doing business outside after ringing the potty bell.
2- The dog tries to trick you and wants to go outside:
Sometimes, even after the proper bell training, your dog will act smarter. Some dog breeds are very clever. Once they know that the door opens when they ring the bell, they will ring it all the time to let them be outside.
In this case, you should be with your dog during every potty visit. Whenever he rings the bell, pick up his leash, take him outside, stand bored, say the potty command, and if he doesn’t do it and wants to play, do not let him do anything else and bring him back.
3- The dog needs more treats:
This can happen if you treat your dog for ringing the bell. Your dog might be demanding more treats by ringing the potty bells all the time.
4- The dog enjoys ringing the bell:
Your dog might not be asking you to open the door to go outside. Instead, he might be enjoying the sound of the bell. This is also because of improper bell training.
How do you know if your dog is ringing the bell to go potty or not?
Here’s how to know whether your dog is ringing the bell to go to the toilet or not.
1- Check when his last potty break was.
Did you put your dog on a schedule? If not, you must. I always recommend my followers to put the dogs on a strict schedule. This way, you will easily learn their toilet-going patterns.
Every dog has a specific pattern.
Consider when was his last potty break. If he went some time ago, chances are he doesn’t have to actually go.
However, dogs sometimes do not completely empty their bladder and might want to go again.
Read more: How to get a male dog to pee all at once?
So should you ignore the bells or not? I will explain it later in this article.
2- Did he eat or drink recently?
Did your dog eat or drink recently? Or is he sick? If so, he might want to go outside to use the toilet.
3- Did he see something outside and become excited before ringing the bell?
Did your dog encounter something outside and become excited? For example, did he see a squirrel through the window?
Your dog will look really eager to go outside; he will wag his tail or jump and bark to ask you to open the door.
4- What’s the pattern of ringing the bell?
Notice the pattern of ringing the bell? Does he really do it all the time, or does he start ringing after something specific?
Was he bored (not engaged) before ringing the bell?
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How to stop a dog from ringing the bell to go outside all the time?
Now, what should you do when your dog is ringing the potty bells all the time? Should you ignore it or not? Let’s read.
First of all, I suggest reading the article about potty bell training. You might get an idea why your dog is not only ringing the bell to go potty.
Step 1- Put your dog on a specific schedule and write it down:
Again, I ask you to put your dog on a schedule. It’s the key to successful dog training. At least fix his time to eat, sleep and walk.
Then write down the schedule. By putting your dog on a regular eating and sleeping schedule, he will have a fixed toilet time.
It will be easier for you and your dog to understand the training.
You can download a FREE printable dog potty schedule tracker by signing up:
Just fill in the form below.
Step 2- Do not ignore the rings:
I will not say that you should ignore the rings because your dog might actually have to go. If you don’t open the door, he may eliminate inside, which is not a good direction.
Every accident in the wrong place is bad for your dog’s potty training.
Step 3- Take your dog outside on a leash and make the trip strictly business:
When your dog is ringing the bell, take him outside on a leash. Do not pay attention to him, do not talk, take him to the potty spot, stand bored and say the potty command.
If your dog wants to play or become distracted, gently pull his leash and say the potty command.
Whether he does the business or not, do not play with him.
If he does the business, it means that he has to actually go. If he doesn’t, it was his attempt to play outside; take him inside the house after 1-2 minutes.
In short, take him outside whenever he rings the bell but make the visit strictly business. He should not get playtime or walk time.
Step 4- Stop treating for ringing the bell; treat for doing business outside:
If you are treating him to ring the bell, stop it. Only treat him when he does business outside. He might be tricking you to get the treats by always ringing the bell.
Step 5- change the bell if necessary:
If you are using jingle bells, you can try the buzzer bell. You can adjust its loudness, and it won’t ring just by moving it a little.
Try Mighty Paw Smart Bell 2.0. It’s my favorite.