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Are you in the process of potty training your dog? Or maybe your dog won’t stop scratching at the door or barking, wanting to be let out.
You need a dog doorbell! When it’s time to go potty, your dog simply rings a bell so you know it’s time to let him out.
All up, we spent over 200 hours testing 15 different dog doorbells.
We reviewed their durability, loudness, ease of installation, and their suitability for different breeds of dog. All to answer a simple question:
Which dog doorbell is best for your pup?
Want the answer? Then read on!
The best dog doorbells
In our hunt to find the best, we tested and reviewed 15 dog doorbells. It was a long journey, but eventually, we narrowed down the competition to 4 top picks, each great in their own way.
All homes are different, so not all dog doorbells will be ideal for you. Don’t worry! I have you covered. With a recommendation for doorknobs, sliding glass doors, permanently fixed ones, and even a wireless option, I’m confident you’ll find the perfect dog doorbell for your home.
|Hanging Options||Doorknobs, lever handles and hooks|
When it came to doorbells that hang from doorknobs, no other brand came close to the PoochieBells.
Simply loop this dog doorbell over your doorknob. When your dog needs to do his business, nudging or pawing at the ribbon causes the bells to ring – letting you know it’s potty time for your dog.
This is the only style of dog doorbell that isn’t permanently fixed to the wall. This makes the PoochieBells a popular option for renters and those who don’t want to damage walls.
This dog doorbell is handmade right here in the USA. As you would expect from any American made product, this door bell is of exceptional quality.
The four sleigh bells that hang from the ribbon are the perfect example of this. Free from lead, these bells chime the loudest of any hanging dog doorbell we tested. No matter where I was in the house, I could clearly hear my pup alerting me that she wanted to go outside.
The Poochie Bells are one of the only hanging doorbells available in a wide range of patterns and colors. From cute pink paw prints (my favorite!) to solid colors, you are bound to find something to match your décor!
The typical doorknob is mounted at 36 inches from the ground. At 26 inches in length, the ribbon on the PoochieBells sits 10 inches from the floor.
This was long enough that even a small puppy could reach it. Mr. Cookie, our Chihuahua tester of 8-inches tall, could easily ring the lower bells. Be mindful that if your doorknob is higher and you have a tiny pup, you might need a longer hanging dog doorbell. Measure before buying!
All our testers quickly learned how to use this hanging doggy doorbell without any issues. It didn’t matter whether our pups pawed at the bells or nudged them with their nose, the bells rang loudly throughout the house.
Now, be mindful that this dog doorbell is only suitable for doorknobs and handles that can be looped over. If you have a sliding glass door, then check out my next recommendation.
Alternatively, you can always use a temporary hook to hang the Poochie Bells alongside your door.
The advantage of using a temporary hook is that the doorbells won’t ring every time you open and close the door.
If you want the best hanging dog doorbell for your pup, you won’t do better than the PoochieBells. Loud, easy-to-use, and made in the USA, what’s not to love?
|Hanging Options||Sliding glass door handle, doorknob, door lever, hook|
During testing, we found that most hanging dog doorbells won’t work with a sliding glass door. They kept falling off.
The curved handles found on sliding glass doors made it impossible for us to hang a standard dog doorbell from.
That’s why we decided to add a top pick for those with a patio door handle. And, it doesn’t get any better than Caldwell’s Potty Bells.
At the top of this dog doorbell, you see several rivets. Simply loop the ribbon through your patio door handle and snap the rivets together. Just like that, this dog doggie doorbell isn’t going anywhere!
At 26-inches long, the Potty Bells hangs low enough for even the smallest of puppies to be able to ring. Our 8-inch tall Chihuahua tester was proof of that!
I will add that the distance the Potty Bells hangs entirely depends on your door handle. In my neighbor’s home, it fell 10 inches from the ground. However, my aunt has these weird oversized handles on her patio door, which put the distance at just 5 inches from the ground.
Fortunately, this can be customized to some degree. There are two different rivets on the ribbon, allowing you to shorten or lengthen the puppy bells by a few inches.
With two sets of bells, it doesn’t take a whole lot of motion to make them chime. While I could still hear them from any room in my home, our pups needed to nudge them more enthusiastically than my previous pick.
I liked that the Potty Bells were available in a wide range of colors. While I was a sucker for the white Potty Bells, I settled on black because it didn’t mark as easily.
If you have a sliding glass door and want to hang a dog doorbell from it, then the Potty Bells are as good as it gets. Highly recommended.
|Mounting||Permanently fixed to the wall or door|
|Dimensions||2 x 6 x 7 inches|
I’m going to level with you. Most of the fixed dog doorbells we tested were junk. The weak spot appeared to be where the bell connected to the metal strap by a pop rivet. During our testing, all bells in this style broke. Well, all except one…
The GoGo Bell Deluxe hits the sweet spot between affordability and durability. No matter how hard our Pit Bull tester pawed, the bell held strong.
Warning: This bell is loud. The brass bell chimes with a loud, clear “clang” and can easily be heard from four rooms away. I could even hear it with the TV on! If your hearing isn’t the best, then this is the dog doorbell for you!
If you are sensitive to noise or have a smaller home, you may find this bell too loud.
But what we really love is the size of the bell. At 2-inches wide, the bell is significantly larger than the competition. I noticed this made it easy for our uncoordinated pups to paw while trying to control their bladder.
And because this bell sits 6 inches away from the wall, our pups were less likely to mark the wall behind it. I also noticed fewer nose prints. Best of all, because you decide how high to mount it, you can easily position it at the perfect height for your pup.
Now, you may be wondering how high you should mount this bell. We installed it just high enough for our pups to reach the bell with their nose.
My only complaint is that the screws included in the packaging were a little on the short side. To mount the bell as securely as possible, I suggest going to Home Depot or a local hardware store to pick up some longer screws.
If you want a heavy-duty dog doorbell for years to come, then this is as good as it gets. Highly recommended!
When it came to wireless dog doorbells, nothing came close to the Mighty Paw Smart Bell.
The Mighty Paw Smart Bell comes in two pieces – doorbell and receiver.
The setup is simple. Plug the receiver into your power outlet, stick the activator button by your door, and you’re set. As soon your pup pushes the activator, the receiver chimes – no wires!
What I particularly love about this wireless dog doorbell is that it doesn’t need batteries. If you are like me, you’ll find that batteries run down at the most important time – it’s better if you don’t need to replace them at all.
I was amused that I could choose from 38 different ring tones, from a traditional ding-dong to the music from the Nut Cracker. So many options! To be honest, I decided just to stick with the ding-dong because the longer chimes took way too long to finish.
But the customization doesn’t end there. There are also four volume levels to choose from. In all the houses we tested, I found the medium volume to work the best – moving the receiver to the base of the stairs meant I could easily hear it in a two-story home.
Have a larger home or less than stellar hearing? If you can’t hear the Smart Bell on the loudest setting, then you have the option of buying additional receivers. This way you can have one by your bed, in your kitchen, or anywhere else you have electricity. Wherever you are in your home, you won’t miss your dog alerting you that he wants to go out.
The receiver also lights up when the button is pushed. I personally didn’t find this feature particularly useful since I plugged it in behind my couch. However, my elderly neighbor appreciated the visual reminder to let the dog out.
To prevent accidentally chiming, the Smart Bell requires 0.75 pounds of pressure before it activates. But that’s not a problem. Even Mr. Cookie triggered the bell, although it took a bit of effort.
All our larger testers could push the button without any problems.
After experimenting, I found that the perfect mounting height is slightly higher than your dog’s nose. This stops your dog from pawing at it and possibly marking the wall.
In the same way that you can add more receivers, you can also add more activators. I personally advise buying the two activator kit. This allows you to place a button on the outside so that your dog can let you know when it’s time to come in.
Speaking of which, the Smart Bell activator is weatherproof. During our testing, this hardwearing button survived everything Mother Nature threw at it – even after heavy rains and harsh sunlight.
Installing the activator was a piece of cake. Located on the rear of the activator was double-sided 3M tape. Simply peel off the sticker, and attach it to your drywall or glass. You can even stick it on your wooden floor for your pup to step on!
You also have the option to install the activator permanently. The faceplate is removable, and from there, you can drill through the rear of the base. Then simply screw it to your drywall or brickwork.
My only complaint is the color. White just isn’t a good color for dogs, and marks easily show up on the surface of the doorbell button. Fortunately, a quick wipe down gets rid of most of the gunk.
If you need a wireless dog doorbell, then the Mighty Paw Smart Bell is the perfect dog doorbell for you. Highly recommended.
The dog doorbells that didn’t make the cut
While our top picks outperformed, the following dog doorbells fell short in one way or another.
Don’t get me wrong… This doesn’t necessarily mean that these are bad dog doorbells. After all, each rings if your dog paws or nudges it.
However, based on our testing, we see little reason to choose these dog doorbells over our recommendations above.
If you are looking for an upgrade pick, the Warner Sporting Leather Sleigh Bells performed remarkably well. Made right here in the USA, it produced a loud, pleasant jingling sound. With 10 bells, we found it was a touch too sensitive, jingling at the slightest movement. But we loved that the strap was made from leather instead of canvas.
The BlueTree Dog Doorbells was yet another hanging doorbell. We were under the impression that we would receive two dog doorbells but only received one. While it’s perfectly functional, it is only available in limited colors, and the smaller bells didn’t ring as loudly as the sleigh bells found on other dog doorbells. One of the similarly designed bells Coastal Pet Potty Training Bells broke during testing.
The Pebble Smart Doggie Doorbell was another strong contender for the best wireless dog doorbell. However, since it needed batteries and didn’t come with options for individual receivers and buttons, we passed on it.
The Pet Chime wireless doorbell has been around forever. I bought one waaaaaaay back in 2006 for my mom’s new Golden Retriever puppy. Unfortunately, it just isn’t reliable. The chime didn’t trigger every time our dogs pressed the button. This was consistent across all breeds and even when I pushed it.
I really wanted to love the Li’l Pals Dog Potty Training Bells. With an extra inch of length and an adorable flower design, this was one of the few hanging dog doorbells that looked unique. Unfortunately, the bells were not as loud as the others.
As for the Tell Bell by Kelston Products, it’s basically a call bell that you see on desks in hotel lobbies. The only difference is that this one comes with a larger button that is easier to press with a paw. The Tell Bell sits on the floor and was easily carried by larger dogs and pushed by playful puppies. If you want a good dog doorbell that you can permanently attach to the floor, Grab the Mighty Paw Smart Bell I recommended earlier instead.
We recommend staying away from the barkOutfitters Dog Doorbell. Its bell fell off during testing. The metal strip on the similarly designed Mighty Paw Metal Potty Bell bent out of shape in just a few days, making it unsuitable for large dogs.
What is a dog doorbell and does your pup need one?
Imagine you are a dog, bursting to go to the toilet. You run to your backdoor only to discover it’s shut.
Just one problem…
You can’t talk. And your paws certainly can’t open that doorknob.
With no other option, you do your business on the floor.
This situation is all too common. Especially during potty training.
Sure, your dog might whimper or paw at the door to let you know he wants to go outside. But if you are in another room or have a silent breed, you might not hear your pup…
That’s where a dog doorbell comes in…
Place a dog doorbell by your door. When your dog nudges the doorbell, it makes a sound alerting you that your dog wants to go outside. It’s the easiest way to get your attention.
Typically, dogs use the doorbells when they want to leave the house, go into the yard, or on the balcony. However, dog doorbells can be installed on the outside of your home for when your pup wants to come inside.
Dog doorbells come in 3 styles:
1. Hanging dog doorbells
This is basically a dog leash with bells on it. Simply hang this dog doorbell over your doorknob, and you’re good to go. It’s a great temporary option for those renting or if you don’t want to damage your walls.
2. Shop doorbells
These are similar to those old-style bells that rang when you entered a door. My Mom-and-Pop hardware store still has one. The only difference is that you mount this bell at your dog’s height. They are permanently attached to your door or wall.
3. Wireless dog doorbells
Similar to those doorbells from ring.com. When your pup presses the button at the door, the receiver chimes. Wireless dog doorbells are often weatherproof and can be mounted on the outside of your home.
Choose a suitable doorbell for your dog. For example, if your dog is an aggressive chewer, you probably don’t want to choose a hanging doorbell. An all-metal design would be more appropriate.
As always, if ever you see your dog using a product in an unintended way, remove it immediately. This includes doggy doorbells.
Dog doorbells are not for everyone. If you already have a dog door, then you probably don’t need a dog doorbell. A dog door allows your pup to come and go as he pleases, with no effort from you!
But if you…
- Are tired of your dog scratching and marking doors,
- Are potty training your dog,
- Can’t hear your dog asking to go out,
- Have a quiet dog, or
- Live in a large house
Then a dog doorbell is the perfect product for you!
How we tested
At DogLab, we don’t recommend any product we wouldn’t happily give our own pups.
So, we vigorously tested, compared and reviewed each dog doorbell featured in this guide. All up, we spent over 200 hours testing the various dog doorbells.
The first thing we had to do was narrow down which dog doorbells to review. We interviewed dog owners who use dog doorbells, pet store owners as well as sifting through thousands of reviews online.
During our research, we noticed that while there are hundreds of different dog doorbells on the market, most of them are simply slight variations of a core design. This made narrowing down which dog doorbells to review a significantly easier task.
We purchased over 15 different dog doorbells from Amazon and Chewy. Yep, at DogLab, we pay full retail price, just like you.
Next, we enlisted the help of our dog testers. The following pups were more than happy to assist us with reviewing dog doorbells:
- Mr. Cookie – Toy Chihuahua
- Jack – Labrador
- Olivia – Jack Russell Terrier
- Havoc – Pit Bull Terrier
- Norris – Miniature Australian Shepherd
- Holly – Boxer Foxhound
In addition to the usual gang of testers, I enlisted the help of dog owners in my neighborhood. This added a Great Dane, a Golden Retriever and another Labrador to the test. This also allowed me to test the dog doorbells on a broader range of doors, including sliding glass patio doors.
I’ll admit, the testing process for this review took considerably longer than expected. This was largely because we had to train each dog to use the doorbell. Only two dogs were familiar with them, so the rest had to be trained.
We used Mr. Cookie, a Toy Chihuahua, to test if each dog doorbell was suitable for small puppies. At 8-inches tall, this tiny pup needed to be retrained to use the different types of doorbells.
Each dog doorbell was then graded on how well it performed. We considered the following when choosing the winners:
- Was the dog doorbell easy to install?
- Was it easy for dogs of different breeds and sizes to use?
- Was it loud enough to be heard from three rooms away?
- Did the dog doorbells show signs of wear after the review period?
After a whopping 200 hours of reviewing, I can confidently say that our top picks excel in each of these areas.
While testing each dog doorbell for the above qualities, we made some observations that are worth mentioning:
1. You need to train your dog to use a doorbell.
Once you decide which dog doorbell is best for your pup, you need to train him to use it!
Don’t worry… Training your pup is easier than you think. We simply followed the instructions found in this excellent training video:
We were even able to teach our elderly Labrador to use a dog doorbell. To be honest, it took a lot of treats, use of a good dog clicker, and a few weeks. But even this stubborn pup eventually figured out how to use a doggie doorbell.
Fortunately, it was much easier to train our other pooches. Training time varied from a couple of days to a week. Those who were familiar with “treat training” learned how to use a dog doorbell the quickest.
2. Don’t paw, nudge. It will save your walls.
When training your pup to use a dog doorbell, encourage him to nudge it with his nose.
We noticed that dogs that preferred to paw at the doggie doorbells tended to also paw the wall behind it, leaving marks behind. You don’t want scuff marks on your painted wall or scratches on your wooden door, right?
Even if you keep your dog’s nails neatly trimmed, your pawing dog can still cause damage. In one instance, our pawing pup knocked down a wireless dog doorbell that was held up with tape.
We did not experience the same problems with dogs who nudged. At worst, we had to wipe away a nose print or two – but there was no permanent damage.
If your dog prefers to paw, protect your wall by using something like this. It’s essentially a clear sticker that you place behind your dog doorbell, protecting your wall. Best of all, it’s easily removable from painted drywall.
3. Hanging doggie doorbells can snag nails.
One of the most popular types of dog doorbells we reviewed was hanging doorbells. And it’s easy to see why – installation takes seconds. Simply loop the strap over your doorknob.
This is the only type of dog doorbell that isn’t permanently fixed to the wall. This makes hanging dog doorbells a popular option for renters and those who don’t want to damage the walls.
However, hanging dog doorbells have a downside – they use sleigh bells. Sometimes called jingle bells, these bells have a small hole next to the cutout.
If your dog paws at the bell, a slight chance exists that your dog’s nails could catch in this hole.
Now, I must stress that the chances of your pup getting his nail caught is highly unlikely. Over the testing period, we didn’t have a single dog get their nail stuck, large or small. But we came across a few reviews (out of thousands) from dog owners who experienced this uncomfortable situation. To be on the safe side, we have to mention it!
This is another reason to train your dog to nudge the dog doorbell with his snout instead.
Phew, if you made it this far, congratulations! You now know which doggie doorbell is perfect for your dog.
A recap of our results…
The best dog doorbells we tested:
- PoochieBells – Best dog doorell for doorknobs
- Potty Bells – Best dog doorbell for sliding glass doors
- GoGo Bell Deluxe – Best fixed dog doorbell
- Mighty Paw Smart Bell – Best wireless dog doorbell
Which doggie doorbell do you use? Let me know in the comments below!Tagged With: home