Okay here it is, the article that you’ve been waiting for. Learn how to teach your Pomeranian to use the Potty Bells to go outside and go potty! Jennifer, Pommy Mommy of Prada and Lucia is back to give us a tutorial to teach us how to use the potty bells. This is the article that I read and I used to train Mika how to ring the bell. Mika is 10 years old and learned how to ring the bell in less than a week! This article is amazing and it really works! I encourage you to give it a try if you’re looking for a good way for you Pommy to let you know they need to go!
I taught Prada to ring bell from the first day she was home at 7 weeks old but any dog can learn it at any age you just have to be consistent! Get a bell and hang it from the door handle that you want your dog to use to potty outside. We have one on the front door AND the back door depending where we are in our shotgun house. Make sure the ribbon or string is long enough that your pup can get up on their back legs and touch it with their front paws or even touch it with their nose.
When you go to let your pup out, say “Outside” or “potty outside” (or whatever you say to your dog for outside!) and show them the bell & them ring it for them. Don’t get all crazy Salvation Army Santa-at-Christmas ringing, but a quick ring that gets their attention where they can hear you saying “outside.” With a pup as little as Prada, I went to the pet store and got one of those green rubber “balls” with the holes in them for birds where the birds can peck into the openings and ring the bell. It worked out great because the bell was the perfect size AND she loved the ball to play with after! The second bell I got from a wedding I went to where we rang the tiny little bell for the bride & groom instead of throwing rice, so you don’t need to spend a lot of money. We’ve actually “lost” our bells and now I have Mardi Gras beads hanging on one door and a piece of a belt from my luggage with the buckle part down at the bottom that makes a “bell-like” noise when she rings it. The tiny bell can work for any dog — Prada used to have a 95lb Boxer friend that learned from Prada about the bell and he just walks up to the bell and touches it with his nose. Prada has to get on her back legs to reach it. When she REALLY has to go outside she will get a head start from across the room & haul tail at the door, ninja herself at the door & hit the bell with all four paws! THEN I KNOW she has to go NOW!
After a couple of days of doing that EVERY TIME YOU LET THEM OUT, start taking the pup’s paw & gently make their paw touch the
bell & ring it & say “Good girl! (boy!) Potty OUTSIDE!” and then open the door and let them potty outside.. Do this with their paw EVERY TIME YOU LET THEM OUT. Occasionally walk over to the door yourself and shake on the ribbon to ring the bell, look at your dog and say “Potty outside? Come on!” and MAKE them go outside and if you can make them potty that’s even better. The key is consistency and just repeating the action over and over and not giving up or letting one potty break go by without ringing the bell.
Just keep at it and before you know it, one day you’ll be sitting on the couch watching TV & you’ll hear the bell ring & see your pup standing by the door!!! For the first couple of months she was ringing the bell LIKE CRAZY because she wanted to go play outside and associated the bell with OUTSIDE — not that it was ONLY to go outside to potty, NOT to play!!! That was pretty frustrating and while we were THRILLED she was using the bell it was difficult to break her of that habit. Inevitably if she rang the bell and we DIDN’T let her out because we thought she just wanted to play she would pee on the floor! And then if we’d let her out she’d stand there and eat stuff, chase birds or lay down in the sun. We ended up letting her out every time and if she didn’t potty or look like she was sniffing around and wanting to potty within a minute or so we’d bring her back inside and not give her a treat. Also, make sure that when they are going potty outside you are telling them “Potty OUTSIDE! Good girl/boy!” and keep a treat on you so as soon as they’re done going immediately give them the treat in the yard and say “Potty outside! Yes!! Good!!” that way they associate their “going” with the words “potty outside” and you’re reinforcing that with an immediate treat.
We thought about litter box training her but decided to use the bell that way when we go places we bring the bell and we put the bell on the door knob & bring her to the door, ring the bell & say, “Prada, potty outside!” and she’s been doing it for so many years she know what it means. Once she learned it it translated to other locations pretty fluidly. If you’re still starting out the training, you might want to ring the bell, say “potty outside” and then let your pup out to make sure they know what door to go. Poms are kinda “vocal” too which is another reason I chose this way so that’s one less thing she has to bark about!!! Hahaha! 😀
I’m so glad I trained her with the bell and since then Prada has “taught” a half dozen or so dogs to ring the bell. Usually the pup will stay with us any time from a couple of days to about two weeks and their success rate at their home always relies on the consistency and positive reinforcement of their owners. It’s a full-time thing for a few days or a few weeks but I PROMISE IT IS WORTH IT!!! When you
consider how many years you will have your dog, a couple of weeks or a month is NOTHING in time when you know that for 10-15 years your dog will be ringing the bell to go outside. Prada has gotten to a point that if we go somewhere and if we get there and I forget to immediately hang the bell, she will go to the door and jump on the door even with no bell there. She doesn’t bark or growl, she knows that’s what she’s supposed to do.
Good luck with it! Be consistent & be patient too! ♥
Written by Prada and Lucia’s Mamma
Find Prada on Instagram @prada_puppy