Why You Should Invest in a Dog Doorbell for You and Your Pet
Have you ever been engrossed in a film and then turned away from the screen to realize that your poor dog has been standing at the door for who knows how long, legs crossed and desperate to go out? Or worse, you have found a big puddle underneath them because your dog just could not hold on any longer?
A dog doorbell lets your dog tell you when they need to go outside to relieve themselves. In a time when we are trying to listen to our pet’s needs more effectively, this is an excellent example of how we can offer our dogs more ways to communicate with us and it is a great chance to train.
Types of Dog Doorbells
As more people begin to realize the benefits of having a dog doorbell, manufacturers have been more inventive in coming up with new designs.
One of the most popular models has bells attached to a nylon strap, which then hooks over the door handle, making it quick and easy to put in place. This style is perfect for rental accommodations. A variation for this comes from the shop keepers style bell, which comes attached to a metal arm that is screwed into the wall. Because the bell is placed well away from the wall, this is a great choice for dogs who may accidentally scratch the door with enthusiastic pawing.
There are also wireless versions. These usually come with adhesive stickers so that you can place them at any height, depending on your dog’s size. If you find the sound of bells annoying, these versions often have a whole range of programmable tunes and volume control.
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How to Train Your Dog to Use a Dog Doorbell
Now, if you knew that every time you pressed a bell you got the freedom to go outside and play, you might be tempted to keep on pushing that bell too. To avoid this, when training your dog to use the bell, we need to ensure that they learn that the ring means to go outside to go to the bathroom.
Setting up for Success
Schedule your training for a weekend or when you can commit to practicing two days in a row.
You are going to have your dog on a leash. For some dogs, the door opening is the best thing ever because it means playtime. We do not want your dog to learn to ring the bell as playtime, or it may be rung all the time. Have some tasty treats on hand to reward your dog.
- With your dog on a leash, encourage them to investigate the doorbell.
- The moment their nose or paw touches it, praise them by telling them what a good dog they are.
- Immediately open the door and give them a treat.
- Aim for ten repetitions in each training session and plan three training sessions.
- Schedule your training for times in the day when you think it is likely that your dog may need to go out; we want to make a connection between the bell ringing and the door opening so the dog knows this is when they can relieve themselves.
- Again, with your dog on leash repeat the steps above and then take your dog to where they usually go to the bathroom.
- Now, stand quietly and let your pet do their business.
- If they do go, then reward them with a treat.
Things to Think About When Training
If your dog is very reluctant to interact with the bell, you can reward them each time they make contact with it. You can then progress to ring the bell, open the door and reward them when they finally ring the bell.
You may need to extend the training to include your dog touching the bell when you are not in the room.
Pros of the Dog Doorbell
It is a great method of communication between you and your dog. They will no longer have to wait for you to check in with them or come from another room. They can immediately let you know when they need to relieve themselves.
A dog doorbell can also build a stronger relationship between your pet through the training process. Training also helps to stimulate and tire your dog’s brain, so they are more likely to settle quietly once the session has finished.
Cons of the Dog Doorbell
Think about what happens when you are not at home. If the bell is fixed to the wall, your dog may keep pressing it to be let out. This will probably mean that the sound will lose its meaning to your dog pretty quickly.
Do consider how enthusiastic your dog is and whether they use their paw or their nose. Some dogs can get their claws stuck in the small bells which are attached to the nylon strap that hangs from the door handle. There is also the risk of enthusiastic paws scratching walls or doors, depending on the style of the bell chosen.
If your dog is sensitive to new or loud sounds, then some dog doorbells may cause them to startle and become fearful. In this situation, pick one of the electronic bells which has adjustable volume. Then, start the training with the sound on low and gradually increase the volume as they become more accustomed to it, ensuring that your dog is relaxed and enjoying the training.