A bell clanking against the door notifies shop owners that someone has entered. This same concept can be used to help your dog notify you when she has to go out. Some dogs are very boisterous and will bark loudly while doing a dance. Others may sit at the door quietly, hoping you notice their distress before it is too late.

Teaching your dog the “ring the bell” concept to be let out will alert you to their needs even when you are in another room, or are busy concentrating on something else. By teaching your dog to alert you when he has to go potty may save you both from a mishap. The concept is easily teachable.

You may even have a string of bells left over from Christmas decorations that will work. Just loop them over the door handle of the door the dog uses the most. If he is used to the command word “go out” or “potty” all you have to do is teach the bell ringing trick.

Ring the bell just before you take the dog out, right after you tell him “outside” or “potty.” He learned that the word “outside” or “potty” meant getting to go out to do his business, so he will quickly learn that ringing the bell will mean the same thing and that you may even tend to his needs faster.

Encourage her to nudge the bell to get it to ring and then praise her and take her out. It may take a few attempts of you ringing the bell, but once she has the idea, you will soon here that bell ringing no matter what part of the house you are in. Stop whatever you are doing and go take the dog out. If you ignore him when he rings the bell, the dog may stop even trying.

If you use ready- made bells from door handle decorations check to make sure nothing is loose. If a small bell drops off, the dog could choke on it. Be sure whatever you are using will be safe, or you can find bell hangers on line that are made specifically for dog training.

A small wind chime that the dog can nudge will also serve the purpose so long as it makes enough noise for you to hear it everywhere in the house. Let’s face it, we all get busy and sometimes miss our dogs sitting quietly at the door waiting for you to notice them. Teaching them to ring a bell will get your attention quickly.

Lisa Mason is a dog owner and writer for Doggie Clothesline. She loves helping others by writing about dog topics on a regular basis.