Remember when you were in grade school and you had to raise your hand and ask the teacher to go to the bathroom? Well, your dog is essentially stuck living like that for her entire life – except that dogs aren’t very good at raising their hand.
This means that your precious pooch has to sit cross-legged until you figure out that she needs to tinkle. But fortunately, there is a solution: You can install a doggie doorbell to give her an easy way to tell you when she has to go.
Check out our quick picks below, or read on for more detailed info and reviews.
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Different Types of Doggie Doorbells
There are essentially four different types of doorbells designed for dogs. Each of the different designs can be effective, but some will work better for some dogs and their humans than others. Just try to keep your dog’s aptitudes and abilities in mind when selecting one.
Hanging bells are constructed from a length of fabric, to which a few small bells are attached. Dogs – particularly those who like to pull and tug on things with their mouth – often learn to use these potty bells very quickly. However, you’ll have to put up with the sound of jingling bells every time the door is opened.
Arm-mounted bells consist of a small piece of bent metal that attaches to a door or wall on one side and a hanging bell on the other. These bells can be mounted on the door or on the nearby wall, and they can be mounted at any height. This is especially helpful for owners of small dogs, who may not be able to reach some hanging potty bells.
Digital push-button systems allow your dog to activate the bell by pushing a button with her paw or nose. The button and receiver are usually separate components, which can be placed in separate places. This allows you to take the receiver throughout the house so that you can be alerted to your pooch’s need to tinkle even when you’re upstairs in the bedroom. Many of the best digital push-button systems can be programmed to produce different tones at a variety of volumes.
Mat-style digital bells are triggered when your dog steps onto a flat mat placed by the door. Aside from the way in which your dog activates the device, these units are very similar to digital push-button systems and typically allow you to select from a variety of sounds and sound levels. They too allow the alert receiver to be moved throughout the home for the owner’s convenience.
Things to Look for in a Doggie Doorbell
There’s not a whole lot to many potty bells – they are a pretty elegant solution to the puppy pee pee problem. But that doesn’t mean they are all effective. Think about the following considerations when trying to find a good potty bell for your dog.
Some poor-quality potty bells – particularly those of the hanging variety – have several different parts that could catch your dog’s skin or toenail and lead to serious injuries.
You can avoid many of these types of problems by simply sticking to high-end products, but always inspect potty bells (or anything else you buy for your dog) carefully before putting it to use.
Ease of Use
Some potty bells are easier for dogs to use than others, but this often varies from one dog to the next. You’ll need to consider your dog’s personality and skills, and then consider the experiences of previous users.
Typically, dogs who are “mouthy” or use their muzzle to manipulate objects will learn to use potty bells the quickest. Dogs who are very paw-oriented (we’re looking at you Boxers) can catch on to push-button and mat-push systems quite easily.
Insufficient volume is surely the most common complaint from dissatisfied owners who’ve used potty bells. This isn’t as big a problem for those living in quiet homes of modest size, but those who have big, loud homes will need to prioritize volume when shopping for potty bells.
You can usually place the receiver and the activation switch very far apart for most digital units – including both push-button and mat-style options. This gives you the chance to experiment with different placements until you find the best arrangement for your circumstances.
5 Best Dog Doorbells For Bathroom Breaks
There is no shortage of potty dog doorbells on the market, but there is a big difference in the best and worst versions of each type. The following five products are among the best in their respective categories.
1. Caldwell’s Pet Supply Co. Potty Bells
About: Caldwell’s Potty Bells are hanging fabric straps that have two sets of bells attached to them. Designed to hang on your door knob, they are easy for pets to jingle when they need to tinkle.
- The Original: Caldwell’s Potty Bells are THE original dog training bells. Follow our easy 3 step...
- Ultra Durable: This dog bell for door is the best option for strength & durability to make puppy...
- Easily Adjustable: These dog bells for door knob allow you to customize the length, making it ideal...
- Pleasant Ring: Our six shiny bells are the very best quality, with a loud and clear chime that’s...
- Snap closure makes it easy to use the bells on virtually any door knob or handle
- Available in six colors (black, brown, blue, red, green and yellow)
- Loudest bells on the market, according to the manufacturer
- Lifetime 100% money-back guarantee from the manufacturer
The vast majority of owners who tried Caldwell’s Potty Bells loved them. Most found them simple to use and reported that it was easy to train their dog to use them. Several owners noted that the potty bells were well made and the straps featured very strong stitching.
There weren’t many complaints about Caldwell’s Potty Bells, but a few owners reported that the bells were not loud enough to be heard throughout the house – although this will likely only be an issue for huge homes.
2. BarkOutfitters GoGo Bell
About: BarkOutfitters GoGo Bell is an arm-mounted bell, designed to be installed on or near your door at a height appropriate for your pup. Because of the design, your dog can sound the bell by bumping it with either her nose or her paw.
- 95% SUCCESS RATE ? Easily and Quickly Train Your Dog To Ring the Bell When Nature Calls....
- SAFER ? Your Dog's Claws Can Easily Get Caught in Jingle Type Bells. Our Bell Has No Dangerous Slots...
- NO DOOR SCRATCHING ? Other Dog Doorbells Encourage Dogs To Scratch the Bell Right Next to the Door....
- EASY TO INSTALL ? Our Bells come with two screws for easy installation. You can Mount the The Bell...
- Solid metal construction will last for years
- Safer than strap-style potty bells, which can snag your pet’s toenails
- Works for dogs of all sizes
- Backed by the manufacturer’s lifetime, money-back guarantee
Most owners who purchased the GoGo Bell were very pleased with it. Many were happy with the bell’s volume and a number of owners noted that, unlike hanging potty bells, this version was easy to mount low enough for their small dog to use.
More than one owner found that the screws that came with the bell were too short, which allowed enthusiastic dogs to rip the bell off of the wall. Because of this, we recommend supplying your own screws when installing. Interestingly, while many owners praised the volume of the bells, a few complained that the bells were too loud.
3. Kytely Dog Doorbells
About: Kytely Dog Doorbells are hanging bells, which your dog can sound by simply bumping them with his paw or snout. They are sold as a two-pack (and they even come with a free training clicker), so you can put one on your front door and the other on the back door.
- ★【EXCELLENT TRAINING DEVICE】2 pack potty training dog doorbells are the perfect choice for you...
- ★【3 LEVEL ADJUSTABLE LENGTHEN】Our premium quality dog doorbell comes with snaps, easily...
- ★【DURABLE MATERIAL】Durable quality nylon material and 6pcs 1.4" extra loud stainless steel...
- ★【PACKAGE INCLUDED】Comes with 2 pack dog doorbells, 1 dog poop waste bag holder and 2 rolls...
- Adjustable straps can be set to hang 12 or 15 inches high
- Each strap features seven 1.4-inch, extra-loud, stainless steel bells
- Straps are durable and made from high-quality nylon webbing
- Backed by the manufacturer’s money-back guarantee
Most owners who tried the Kytely Dog Doorbells were very happy with their selection. The bells are easy to install, most owners reported that they were very well made, and the bells appear easy for dogs to learn to use. Several owners managed to teach their dog to use them in a matter of minutes.
There weren’t really any negative reviews of these bells. A few owners had trouble teaching their pooch to use them, but this can be an issue with any doggie doorbells.
4. Mighty Paw Smart Bell 2.0
About: The Mighty Paw Smart Bells 2.0 is an electronic doorbell that dogs press to operate. When your dog presses on one of these wireless, bells, a customizable ring tone sounds, thereby notifying you that your pooch needs to pee.
- Join the Potty Training Revolution: The Smart Bell is a game-changing way to turn dog training into...
- No More Scratching, Whining, or Barking: The Smart Bell gives your pup an easy way to communicate...
- Set Up Takes Seconds, No Tools Needed: Installation requires no special skills or tools, and comes...
- Indoor and Outdoor Use: Our Smart Bell is design to be used both indoors and outdoors! Its water...
- You can select from several different tones and adjust the volume level
- Completely wireless — no cables to connect or external power source needed
- Button is easy to activate and requires only 0.75 pounds of pressure
- Works anywhere and installs with an included adhesive strip
- Included receiver/speaker can be positioned anywhere within 1,000 feet of the button
The majority of owners seemed very happy with the Mighty Paw Smart Bell. It appears easy to install and use, the adjustable tone settings were very popular with owners, and the button is easy for dogs to activate. Several owners also mentioned that this bell is louder than many others they’d tried.
There weren’t any common or serious complaints about the Mighty Paw Smart Bell, but a few owners didn’t like the tones available to choose from. A few owners were also disappointed to find that, while designed in the USA, this product is made in China. But, this is pretty common for electronic products.
5. Pebble Smart Doggy Doorbell
About: The Pebble Smart Doggy Doorbell is an electronic, battery-based system that allows your pet to tap a button to signal the need to go out or come in, alerting you via a toned receiver.
- Transforms dog's door-scratching problem to a fun and positive activity.
- Super easy installation, no wiring or tools required. One year manufacturer warranty.
- Built-in treat holder for easy and fun training. Positive owner and pet interactions.
- Detailed instructions included. Contact us if you need help. We strive to provide the best customer...
- Easy installation – no wires or tools, plus a 1 year manufacturer warranty
- Built-in treat holder makes it easier to train dog to use the doggy doorbell
- Range goes up to 250 feet, and unit is rain and snow proof
- 36 selectable tunes for bell
- Additional option for 2 pack, which lets dog signal from inside the home or outside
Owners love the tone customization options and the hidden treats, noting that the treat set up made it much easier to teach dogs how to use the doorbell.
Might be problematic for paw-y dogs, as one owners notes his dog would get their paw nails stuck in the device trying to get the treats (although owner observes that his other more nose-y dog managed just fine). Others also had some trouble with the durability of the unit.
Training Your Pooch to Use a Dog Doorbell
Most dogs can be trained to use a potty bell fairly quickly (most manufacturers claim that around 95% of dogs learn to use them), but a bit of training is usually required.
Most potty dog doorbells come with training instructions from the manufacturer, but the basic procedure is similar for most.
- Teach your dog to jingle the bell, push the button, or step on the mat by encouraging them to paw, nose, or mouth the right part and then providing positive feedback once they do.
- Once your dog starts manipulating the bells, start saying “outside” and opening the door slightly when she does.
- Open the door slightly a few more times and then go ahead and go outside after she rings the bell. Give copious amounts of praise and treats, and then go to her potty spot outside. Praise her after she goes.
- Lather, rinse, and repeat until your dog gets the hang of it.
You’ll have to adjust your training method to suit your circumstances, but the important things is to help your dog connect the idea of the bell with getting to go outside to relieve herself.
Don’t Be Manipulated By Your Mutt
It’s important to be mindful that you don’t allow your dog to use the mat as a way of entertaining herself.
Sharp pups may quickly learn that the bell doesn’t just work when they want to go pee, it works anytime they want to go outside. For that matter, it gets you to come to them – it is their version of the “come!” command.
There’s probably not a great way of preventing this problem from happening, but avoid taking your dog out to play or go for a long walk when she activates the bell. Make such trips short and make sure she gets down to business and does her business quickly.
Have you installed a doggie doorbell in your home? How has it worked out for you and your pooch? Was it difficult to teach her how to use it?
We’d love to hear about your experiences. Tell us all about them in the comments below.