How to Teach Your Dog to Ask to Go Out

It is hard to know when the pet needs to go out to pee or poop, in other words, to eliminate. It is the most frustrating part of training and dog ownership. However, some show visible signs, but others are incapable of telling their master when they require to go out. They get abandoned from shelters due to pooping issues. The best way is to take early measures that will help the master to know when it wants to go out or a bathroom break.


Symptoms if it Already Asks

It might ask for a bathroom break in its language, but one doesn’t understand. There are some standard hints it might drop when it wants a break.

  • Whining
  • Circling
  • Sniffing
  • Standing by the door
  • Pacing
  • Approaching owner
  • Wagging or staring
  • Moving behind furniture or to a corner of the room
  • Scratching the door
  • Approaching objects like legs of the furniture, walls

If it gives any of these signs, parents should immediately take it outside the house to eliminate. If it eliminates, praise them and offer treats after returning. Keep an eye especially after it gets up in the morning for particular behaviors. But if it doesn’t show any actions it will require some instructions.

Ideas to teach “How to ask to go out”


Put them in a schedule, like feed or walk them in the same time. They are animals of habit, with a proper timetable one can avoid elimination inside house premises. Therefore, teach them to go out in a specific time every day to make it a habit and prevent accidents.

Choose a Cue

How will it inform if it has to go out or need a bathroom break? Some choices are as follows:

  • Ring a bell
  • Bark standing in front of the door
  • Bark at their master (after finding them)
  • Lie/sit at the door (it can be problematic as it is not possible all the time to keep an eye)

It is essential to choose a cue before starting with the training. Always remember it is hard for them to adapt these conditions and select signal wisely and do not change them again and again.

Sitting or lying down quietly as discussed can be a terrible option. But on the other hand, it is a “barker” it will be hard to understand whether it is barking to go out or want to play or require something or it has seen something suspicious. Hence, one will not want to opt for this behavior. Choosing the first option will be ideal as it doesn’t involve any other signs and its a separate response, a bell will be taken merely as it wants to go out. It is one of the most comfortable actions as one can hear it from any part of the house and it will not confuse its owner and won’t miss its request.


Firstly, one will require a set of bells, one can buy it from any store. But can choose the ideal ones that are made especially for pets with various lengths for different size and dog breeds.

Behavior Improvement

To teach them to use bells, one needs to shape their behavior. In other words, show them how to use them when they require a bathroom break. Firstly hang bells on the door then follow these steps.

  • Bring them near the door or the bell and wait for their activity, they will notice it or sniff it.
  • After it licks or sniffs, praise its behavior by using commands like “good,” “yes.” Reward or offer a treat after opening the door and let it come outside the house. ( if going outside does not make it happy, rewards with food or toy)
  • Let it sniff or play for some time, then take it back again
  • Repetitions will depend on how quickly they learn, few will start sniffing the bell as soon as it gets inside, others might require more rehearsals

If it uses its paw more or it is “paw oriented,” teach them to ring the bell with their paws rather than their nose. Let them use whatever is convenient, it will make training more comfortable and quicker.

Once it knows how to ring the bells, it can take advantage of doing it again and again in minutes or hours, but it’s ok as it requires understanding that using signals means going outside. Therefore, praise every time it uses the sign and let it go out.

When to go out

Bell is a new object and might not know what it is getting used for. After teaching them, that bell serves the purpose of going out. It might use the sound whenever it wishes to go out without any reason. Hence, one needs to train them when to use, if it uses some symptoms before going out to a bathroom, make sure to take it near the bells so that it can use it.

To troubleshoot the difference between bathroom break and playtime, take them out on a leash whenever it rings the sound, but take them directly to the place where it eliminates. Do not play wait for few minutes, if it doesn’t eliminate bring them back. Repeat this process again and again unless it masters it. This is why scheduling is essential. After few repetitions take them near bells, wait for some time, if it uses it reward them.

If it Still Eliminates Inside

If it still eliminates inside after teaching them to go outside. It can have a different problem, it knows how to use the bell, but it might not completely understand that one needs to go out to eliminate or might have another health issue. If it soils inside the house at inappropriate times, it might be crucial to visit the veterinarian, to check out medical problems. Owners can seek medical help from CPDT(Certified Professional Dog Trainer) for advice.

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