Tuesday Tricks


I have had a dog for 2 years now and through two apartments and now, a rental house, I finally have trained my dog to pee outside. Crazy, right? I think she is a little special.

I had heard of this trick before on Animal Planet and on various sites, but I hadn’t given it a try until recently. In both apartments, Mila used puppy pads. I figured the least she could do was pee in the same spot, but I hated the smell and just the all-around look of them. Every time I had people over I would have to spot clean the areas where she had missed and drown the carpet in Febreze. I knew when I moved for the third time, the two must-haves I had to have were hardwood floors and a fenced-in backyard. Luckily, I got both of those items have Mila and I have been a lot happier.

I needed a way for her to let me know she had to go outside. Sometimes she nudged me with her nose, sometimes she swatted her paw at me, and other times she would just bark – very loudly. I never knew exactly what she wanted. So, I decided to hit the Web to find a trick.

Introducing the bell method, or bells in my case.

I strung a handful of silver bells leftover from Christmas on a string and tied it to my door at a length that I knew she could reach. For weeks now, literally almost a month, every time I opened the door or mentioned the word ‘outside’ I rang the bells and praised her so she would know it was the right the thing to do. I thought she was just ignoring it or really was super dumb.

And then, one afternoon last week I was sitting in my bedroom folding laundry and I heard the bells. I didn’t think anything about it until I looked around and didn’t see Mila in the room with me.


I ran to the kitchen and praised her in the highest pitch voice I could muster. I was so proud. After her visit outside, I gave her a bunch of treats (bad mom, I know) and now she rings the bells every time she needs to go. And a little too much, too.

I highly recommend this trick. From what I read, it’s supposed to take two weeks to train a puppy, but Mila isn’t really a puppy anymore, so it took a little longer. If it can work on my dog, believe me, it can work on yours.

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