I have trained 2 dogs with a bell. It works, makes it easier to know when they want to go out. They will want to go outside just for fun sometimes. Do just as Sam wrote, they usually catch on pretty fast.
This one is pretty easy, when you go outside, ring the bell. Repeat for a day or so...you'll notice the pup will start doing the same, click and treat...then take him/her outside.
Remember to associate the " Ring the bell" with " Outside" otherwise you'll get the constant ringing of the bell as it becomes a treat dispenser.
The pup will learn rather quickly actually with positive reinforcement, longest I've seen was about a week for reliable bell ringing. Its especially convient for me as I sleep during the day at that wakes me up.
Hope this helps,
Don and Crew
We tried it with Ginger. We have a bell hanging from the back door and everytime we were getting ready to go outside we would ring the bell and say "outside". She's spotty at best using it. Her preferred method is still to come bark at us. But she figured out a new use for the bell last night. She went in the kitchen and rang the bell, even though she had been outside not 5 minutes earlier. We went in the kitchen to find her water bowl was empty. She didn't want to go outside, she watned to some water. It cracked me up! But at least she was communicating her need :)
I had to forgo the treat. Roslyn understood the bells meant "outside" but Oona used them as a "treat factory". I'm not sure which one is more Intelligent... but it's not me. :/
(two herding breeds... what was I thinking!)
I trained Luna to do with with jingle bells low enough to the door where she could nose it or paw at it. I associated it with the word "potty" because I wanted her to understand that it was a "I need to go out to pee/poo" not a "I want to go out and breathe in the air". Everytime I would take her out I would guide her nose to the bells and have her ring it, say something like "Need to go potty?" and then take her outside. When she would do her business I would overly praise her. It didn't take her too long to realize the bells' purpose, but she did already know to go to the door when she needed to go.
It's beneficial because now I can hear the bells throughout the apartment, whereas before I felt like I needed to be somewhere I could see her to make sure she didn't have an accident.