House training a dog is never a fun process. Luckily, dogs are smart and I’ve found if you can show them ways of doing things on their own, they take to these ways very quickly.
So I bring you a great potty-training tool: The doggy doorbell. It’s worked extremely well on my last two dogs, and Cali took to it right away. The premise is just giving them something to make a noise when they need to go outside to use the bathroom. It’s really most effective in apartments, but really can be used anywhere. We have a setup on both our back and front doors, and whenever Cali needs to go outside, she paws at her doggy doorbell to let us know it’s time.
You can probably set it up in a number of ways, but the cheapest and most effective tools we’ve found are:
1 twisty tie (we use the thin color pipe cleaner thingies you can get almost anywhere)
A shoelace or about 3-4 feet of string.
Simply run the twisty thing through all the bells, then wrap that around the old shoe lace and tie a small knot to keep in place. Then tie the other end of the shoelace around the door knob and make sure the bells hang about eye-level to your dog. If you have a sliding-glass door with no knob, you can also buy a small suction cup to hang the bells from.
Once it’s set up, you have to get the dog to ring the bell. I suggest using the typical potty-training methods (newspapers, puppy pads, etc.), but whenever they go in the house, tell them “no,” then lead your dog to the door and take their paw and hit the bells, and then put them outside.
Obviously, it works best to get them in the habit when they are puppies and you can still pick them up, but you get the general idea. Anytime they want out, just make sure they ring the bell or make them ring the bell before you open the door. Eventually, it will click and like magic, you now have a doggy doorbell.
The great thing about the tools we use is we can quickly untie it and take it with us when we travel. We take it with us and use it for hotel doors, or if we bring Cali over to a friend’s house, we bring the bells and ring them once when we get there to show them where they are–after that, she’s the perfect houseguest.