Housebreaking Your Dog

Many years ago, when we got our first puppy, Millie, a friend of mine gave me a great tip for housebreaking. I’ve used it on all our dogs, and even dogs who come to visit regularly know how to request a potty break at our house. It all starts with a set of bells on the door you plan to use to let your dog out:
These are bells my mother-in-law had hanging in a back bedroom window for years because she always feared a burglar would pick that particular window to break and climb through, but any big bells will work. We used sleigh bells bought at an after-Christmas sale for many years.

The premise is simple: hang the bells where the dog can reach them with its snout. You may need to put a nail near the bottom of the door for small dogs. Each time you take your new puppy (or even an older dog – our older dog learned even faster) out for a potty break nudge their snout against the bells gently – just enough to get the bells to ring. They’ll associate the sound of bells with going outside very quickly. And the best part is, if you travel with your dog you can take the bells with you! They will be able to alert you to their needs just as easily as at home (which will make them more welcome visitors).

The only downsides are that they scratch up your door eventually (see above) and that dog noses aren’t always clean, so the bells can start to look disgusting pretty quickly. I found this tip on Pinterest for cleaning brass (most sleigh bells are brass) and it worked great without getting my hands filthy with that pot of brass polishing goo. And it’s all-natural ingredients, so I don’t have to worry about leftover smears of polish irritating the dogs’ snouts.


I’m linking this up to The 52 Weeks of Pinterest Challenge, Oh How Pinteresting, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions, Works for Me Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, and Share Your Awesome at Momma Made It Look Easy!

Share Your Awesome

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6 thoughts on “Housebreaking Your Dog”

  1. I had a friend who used a little bell attached to the floor trim it dangled a little and her pup just pawed it, I also heard there is the old fashioned bell (like at hotels) and you teach the same way by them using there paw.

  2. I taught my puppy to do that when I would take her to the office every day! Of course, it took WEEKS for her to pick it up but once she had it… It was great! Much better than sitting at the door and crying and you pray you can hear it over the TV or telephone.

    Of course, Lily liked to ring the bells just ’cause she wanted a walk and not because she NEEDED to go out. *Sigh*

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