Teach your dog to ring a bell to let you know she wants out!

This post brought to you by Sponsored by Purina. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Surf and Sunshine.

Zoey Dog

I remember the first time we went to see our puppy, Zoey. She was just a few weeks old when we went to our breeders house to meet and choose the newest addition to our family. As I sat on the floor amid a pile of a puppies, I suddenly heard the tinkle of a bell. Frowning, I looked around – everyone was centered in the living room. Cindy, our breeder, explained that her dog was letting her know that he wanted out by ringing the bell attached to the door. What kind of genius sorcery was this?! No scratching, no barking, no whining and pacing around the living room? I HAD to the know the secret. It turns out it wasn’t as magical as it seemed, just the effort of a two part trick. 

Purina 3

The first thing you’re going to want to do is zip over to your local Dollar General for treats. They have convenient parking right up front and an entire aisle dedicated to pets food, treats and toys for both cats and dogs. They carry more than a few varities of Purina Brand treats including the famous Beggin’ Strips, Waggin’ Train, Baked Delights, T Bonz and more. Like me, my dog loves Bacon. Which is why she enjoys Beggin’ Strips so much, so of course those were a great training aid. It’s important to use a treat your pet enjoys! 

Might as well pick up some Dollar General Alpo Products like Purina Dog chow and toys for your new pet while you’re there too, right? One of the great things about Purina Dog chow is that is grows with your pet. We all know how rough it can be on your pets digestive system to switch their food. It’s great that Purina allows you to start with their Puppy Chow, then Dog Chow and eventually to their Senior Feed.

Okay, once you have those and you’re back home in a quiet, distraction free area, it’s time to work on the first trick: touch. 

Trick #1 Touch

Step 1: Sandwich a small treat between your thumb and palm, hand outstretched.
Step 2: You pet is going to smell the treat and of course, come looking. As soon as your dog touches your hand with his nose or mouth reward with the treat and some loving.
Step 3: Next time she touches your hand, reward her and give the command “touch” at the same time.
Step 4: Once your dog can touch on command, you’re ready for the next trick. 

Trick #2 Ring The Bell 

Step 1: Place your hand behind the bell and command touch.  
Step 2: When she touches the bell, treat.
Step 3: When she touches the bell on her own, make a big deal and reward.
Step 4: Now, whenever you take your pet outside, have her touch the bell first. Instead of treating, the reward is to open the door (but of course you can treat as well).
Step 5: Within a few days your dog will learn that she will be let out whenever she rings the bell.


Enter the #DGPetDash Contest on Instagram to win $100 worth of free pet food/treats from Purina. Entering is easy, fill 1 Dollar General shopping bag with pet items from Dollar General and upload a photo of their haul to Instagram with the #DGPetDash hashtag. The photo with the most likes will receive $100 worth of free pet food/treats from Purina (in the form of 5 $20 Purina manufacturer coupons). 

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19 thoughts on “Teach your dog to ring a bell to let you know she wants out!”

  1. That’s cool! Our dog just scratches the front door. Not exactly good for our door. I’m sure she’d use a bell if we taught her.

  2. Zoey is gorgeous! I am also a fan of big breeds, I have owned Sheps, Rotties and other big dogs, funny I start them all with Purina as puppies, and then tend to switch to Eukanuba.

  3. It’s funny because our German Shepard will ring the bell but our small dog won’t. Maybe he can’t reach it or he’s just not smart enough. HA! Great tips!

  4. That’s a great idea. We have smaller dogs, and in our last house they would go out of the “Hefty Cat” door. The name always cracked me up. Now that we don’t have a doggie (or hefty cat) door, I need to work with them on ringing the bell.

  5. Boxers are seriously the smartest dogs and your girl is gorgeous! Our dog is a pitbull/boxer mix and lets us know he has to go outside (or wants to come inside) with a single bark. It works well for us.

  6. I have the most stubborn dog of all time, but I would love to try to teach him some new tricks.

  7. That’s such a great idea! We’re talking about getting a dog now, and this is definitely something we’ll teach her.

  8. We tried to do this with our dog, but it didn’t work. =( I don’t know why, but that one just didn’t stick.

  9. This process sounds so simple now! It would be really nice to have a signal they can activate when they want to go outside.

  10. Wow–wish I had thought of that one back when I had dogs! Dogs are extremely intelligent and they pick up really quickly when treats or going out is involved!!

  11. Treats were the only way we could train our dog when we first got her. She learned several tricks but never caught on to ringing a bell.

  12. Our dog rings the bell to go out, too. We were able to teach her by ringing the bell each time before we opened the door and let her out. She soon started ringing it on her own. But every now and then she’ll ring the bell because she wants us to come play with her and she knows the bell will get us to her :)


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