How To Know When Your Dog Has To Go

It is embarrassing, messy and leads to many domestic arguments. "I cleaned it up last time, it's your turn!"

Yes, the displeasures of housetraining your dog can be one of the most miserable parts of owning a dog, especially if you have carpet. Younger dogs and puppies are some of the most adorable creatures ever, but they can quickly feel like your nemesis when they use your favorite room as a toilet.

According to experts, it is safe (and even recommended) to bring puppies outdoors at an early age. By associating the outdoors with a bathroom break and a chance to exercise, you embrace good habits in your dog. Unfortunately, it can be tough to tell when your dog really needs to go outside.

Watching for Signs Or Training With a Bell

Just like people, all dogs have different personalities. So, some pooches will be shy or quiet about letting you know when they have to go potty. Yet, others will whimper, paw at the door and circle your legs until you finally open up the backdoor. If you occasionally miss your dogs "sign language" and they have an accident inside the house, don't worry, there is still hope. Many dogs don't have a habit of scratching doors or whining, so you have to implore a training technique to get them to be noticed.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), one of the most popular ways to train your dog to get your attention is the Bell Technique. Just like the name infers, the bell technique uses the jingle of a bell (try a craft or hobby store) to tell you when they need to go.

The best way to teach your pooch the bell technique is by positive reinforcement. First you need to teach them to ring the bell with their nose:

  • Hang your bell from the doorknob so your dog associates it with outside.
  • Use a yummy treat to lure their noses close to the bell, when their nose touches it and the bell rings be sure to reward him. Repeat this many times.
  • Now, use a command to teach them when to ring the bell. Use any term you want such as "ring."

Second - now your dog should be able to ring the bell on command. Once you have done this, you want to implore that same "ring" command EVERY time before you go outside to use the bathroom.

  • Be sure to repeat the "Ring" command until they touch the bell before going outside.
  • Praise and reward your dog for a properly executed command.
  • Make sure that when your dog rings the bell that you are only rewarding them for bathroom breaks. If your dog associates the bell ringing with going outside for playtime then your front door will sound like Santa's sleigh.

Exploring Other Options

The one downfall of using the bell technique is that dogs can abuse the power. Just like any clever creature, a dog will push the boundaries on their new knowledge and see how often they can be brought outside. However, if you don't let them outside when they ring the bell, then the whole training process has been a waste of time.

Because training some stubborn dogs can be difficult, pet owners prefer to use a simpler method. For years, canines have appreciated the usefulness of dog doors. Without ever having to bother their owner, a dog has the freedom of going into the backyard to do its business.

Many dog owners have long avoided the use of dog doors because of drawbacks from the original designs. Opening your home to stray animals, having your dog in the backyard at night and vulnerability to bad weather has steered many dog owners away from dog doors. Luckily, there have been advancements that have solved all of these problems.

One of the most popular pet doors on the market, the PetSafe SmartDoor, uses a clever magnetized collar that opens the door only for your dog. If any squirrel, cat or stray dog tries to get in, they will find a locked flap. Plus, the SmartDoor has three easy-to-set entry modes: locked, unlocked and auto access. This allows you to lock the door at night to keep your pooch safe. Furthermore, the Smartdoor has a tapered seal and a weather-proof seal that keeps added insulation to your backdoor.

So, if you are having problems housetraining your dog, relax. There are many solutions to getting your dog outside before they make a mess in your home. Whether you plan on training your dog with a bell technique or using one of the latest doggie doors, there is hope for your dog and your carpets.

If you're looking for dog doors or potty training supplies, be sure to ask the pet experts at by calling 800-957-5753. The dog lovers are more than happy to answer any questions about any of the products that we carry in our catalogue.

By Sean Bowes
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