Let’s talk about puppy training— shall we? So this puppy thing— it was kind of a big shock for the people who know me well. I’m not really a puppy kind of gal. I mean, dogs are cool (obviously)– but Jerry for instance, was 7 years old when I got him. He might as well of been a puppy though– because the dog was not house trained in any way. Jerry was actually kind of a nightmare. When I wold move him to try to train him to sleep next to my bed, instead of on my bed, he would just poop! Right there ON my bed! Nightmare. He’s crate trained now, but man it was rough. And well, puppies? They can be pretty tough too. Turns out puppies are actually a wonderful cure for baby fever too haha. SO I’ve already talked about this— but Waylon was sort of a last minute “oh man, I need this pup-face in my life” decision— I had planned to get an older dog for the longest time, but things happen and puppy faces can get you! Well, I knew what the reality would be (loss of sleep, extra expenses, and puppy messes everywhere) and I knew the basics of house training a dog (I had been through it with jerry before), and I went for it. Some days have been tough– but many have been good and definitely getting better! The puppy training, well it’s finally starting to come together. Sure, there are still messes occasionally (and the jerkstore dug up part of our garden this week), but he’s finally understanding that my rugs and floors are not his toilet. Hooray, Waylon!
Besides the basic “pick up the dog up and take him outside when he goes potty” training, we’ve been doing the bell trick. Have you heard of the bell trick? I hadn’t until Waylon. My friend Halle actually mentioned it to me a few weeks ago— and well, it works, our dum dum get’s it!

Basically, all you need to do is have a bell hanging from the door and every single time you open the door to let the dog out, you ring it first. Eventually the pup learns to ring the bell as he needs to go outside.  It works— and as long as you remember to keep up with it, the pup will too. Now I can be in any room of the house and here a little “jingle jingle” and know to expect a puppy by the door, eagerly waiting to go out. Sure, he’s a pup with a tiny pup bladder and still has accidents, but even after the accidents, he runs to the door in an “oh crap” moment, and rings the bells to go out.

All you really need is a bell on a string, but I thought it would be cute to put together a nicer, more colorful (of course) bell to hang on the door. And the way this string is wrapped and tied, it’s easy to loop and un-loop on any door (knob or slider) at any time without tying and untying knots. 

You’ll need:
three pieces of string (yarn, hemp, whatever) each approximately five feet long.
optional, not pictured: mini wooden rings

how to: 
-loop each string through bell(s) and line up strings so that bell sits in the very middle of all strings.
-optional: match up ends up string and pull through wooden ring, wrap over and pull back through, pull tightly. divide the strings onto two sides (three and three) once again and wrap around hoop until each side reaches the top.

-bring all six strings together and twist, twist, twist until the whole length of the string is tightly twisted. For this, the best way to do this is loop the ring on a hook, your toe, or have a happy friend or child hold the hoop.
-once you’ve reached the end of string (careful not to let go!), fold the strings in half so that the top meets back to the ring, carefully tie a knot at top of ring, and let go so that strings twist together!
-thats it! From here you can pull the top of string open to place over door knob or loop through sliding door handle.
-hang on doors you’d like your puppy to use, and ring every time you open the door!
-when the puppy uses the bell praise his greatly and praise him again (or reward with treat) when he goes potty outside and not on rugs 🙂
ps: if you’re not using the wooden ring, just loop bells on string place in middle of strings, match up ends and twist and continue as you would with ring.

Tada! Puppy training and happy family! Super no fuss and easy, right?

Have any tricks you use or have used on your pups? Please share!
PS. How BIG is he getting? Sheesh, puppies grow fast!


  1. Yeah, I tried this with my border collie. I don't recommend it with high energy dogs who don't have constant access to the outdoors… or be prepared to hear jingling aaalllllll day long.

  2. We have a set of blinds by the door and we used to hit those whenever we took Mason out, along with saying "outside." We adopted him when he was 4 mos old and it was a huge help. Now he runs over and hits it whenever he wants to go out or sits right in front of the door. Though sometimes he wants to go out just to play…like when he saw that it was snowing this morning. Still, he got the point.

  3. What a great idea! Dogs are so smart, he's already caught on. We didn't use this for potty training but we did use the clicker for tricks. It worked great and we can still use it. ps he's adorable!

  4. What a clever idea, I love the idea of him ringing his little bells. The short legs/long ears combo is utterly adorable. CJ xx

  5. I love it. LOVE it. Plus he's really cute… and now I want a puppy.

  6. This is SO clever! We're just considering adding a puppy to the family so I will definitely keep it in mind. x