How do I teach my dog to tell me when he needs to go out? Get Your Pet Thinking


The goal of this next phase of house breaking puppies is to promote the idea of your pup letting you know that they need to go out. We’re pausing at a partially open door in this phase to motivate your puppy to “ask” to go outside. We’re using a partially open door to create the realization with the pup that they need your help in getting the door all the way open to get outside.

#1 – Shaping the behavior

To teach your dog to use the bells, you are going to use something called shaping. This means you will gradually get to the end behavior by rewarding your dog for anything that is close to what you want.

Hang the bells on the door you want your dog to use.

  • Bring your dog to the door and wait for him to do anything with the bells. Most dog will as least look at the new object on the door – some may even sniff them.
  • As soon as your dog looks at, sniffs, whatever, the bells, mark the behavior with your clicker or a word like “yes” or “good” and then reward him by opening the door and letting him outside. (Note: if going outside is not a reward for your dog, you will have to open the door, lead your dog outside and then reward him with something like food or a toy).
  • After a few minutes of sniffing the yard, take your dog back inside and reset.
  • The rest will depend on how quickly your dog learns. Some may immediately go to the bells this time, if they have done a lot of shaping work, others, it may take ten repetitions before they do something more than look.

    TIP: If your dog is more “paw oriented” you may end up marking him for pawing the bells than touching with his nose. Whichever your dog seems to prefer, use that, because it will make training easier.

    How do I teach my dog to tell me when he needs to go out?


    First, of course, you will need a set of bells. You can go and buy bells from anywhere and tie them to your door, but if you would like a cute stylish set that is made for dogs, then I recommend the PoochieBells. They have many adorable designs in several lengths to work with any size dog.

    This is where the schedule come in! Since your dog is already used to going out at the same time each day, he may already be going to the door on his own – yay! If not, that’s okay too.

    Here is what you are going to do:

    How To Teach Your Dog To Ask To Go Outside – Puppy Potty Training – Professional Dog Training Tips