Get the scoop (hehehe…) on our DIY doggy doorbells. These are Humphrey’s easy inexpensive (and stylish) homemade puppy potty training bells. Depending on your dog, bells may also be useful to reduce scratching or unwanted barking with older dogs, too. Pawfect!
Tricky Toilet Training and Home Renovations
When Humphrey was a wee puppy-training lad, making the race to open the back door for toilet emergencies required cat-like reflexes. Not only was he puppy training, but we were working through some transitional food sensitivities. Poor Humphrey sometimes needed to go urgently, and often had little control for sounding a warning. Not ideal. We eventually got things sorted in the poo department, fortunately!
Whilst at home, skeleton keys for the old doors of our renovation in-progress were often left dangling for emergency openings. Humphrey took to jingling the skeleton keys to call for door service. Clever little pup! As the reno progressed and Humphrey matured, we graduated into a make-shift set of doggy doorbells to replace the keys. A few simple bells were sewn to a strip of binding material and looped over the door handle. Both Oli and Humphrey happily rang for door service, but the bells were annoying. Jingling whenever you opened the door (dogs or no dogs) and often getting in the way of doors closing. As a result, they ended up kind of crushed. It was time for an upgrade!
DIY Doggy Doorbells
Recycled Materials and Alternative Options
My homemade doggy doorbells were made using a recycled strap from a damaged satchel. It looks absolutely fantastic, suits our home, and saved buying webbing and fittings. However, these kinds of extra materials are relatively inexpensive if you need to buy them instead. The supplies can be bought in most craft stores if you don’t have a strap or belt for use, or if you want to customise your doorbells to your home décor. If you are using a recycled strap, remove any shoulder padding and adjust length to size before starting your project.
Finishing the Strap End for Hanging
I used my strap straight off the satchel, taking advantage of the existing fittings to adjust the length and reusing the end fittings as the hanging attachments. Super simple. And free! If you are starting from scratch, durable webbing or strapping can be bought from craft store or online, as noted above. You can adapt this DIY as needed to finish your ends for hanging. You can use a simple loop of the strap to hang the top; however, I prefer the flatter hang of sewing through a metal loop.
Attaching Bells to make a Doggy Doorbell Strap
Attach bells using one or both ringing styles:
- Ringing style one: Securely sew bells to the length of your strap, spacing evenly. This old-fashioned jingle-bell look is optional; however, it adds to the ringing but also the style of your finished piece.
- Ringing style two: Thread several bells onto the binder loop. Attach the bell loop to the bottom of your strap, using a hook (as shown) or you can attach the ring direct through a loop sewn in the bottom of your strapping.
Ready to Hang and Ring!
Done! It really is that simple to make your own cute and functional DIY doggy doorbells. Not feeling very crafty? You can buy various styles of pre-fab doggy doorbells (affiliate link), but none of those products were readily available where we live during Humphrey’s puppy years. I have to add that it’s been many years now since this post was first shared, and if there had been wireless doggy doorbells (affiliate link) around at the time, my gadget loving husband would probably have wanted some. Haha! But for the ultimate bonus, this DIY was incredibly easy and almost free! With upcycling, the total cost of supplies for my doggy doorbells was almost nothing. Just an inexpensive binder ring, a few bells, and some coordinating thread. All in, it required less than a dollar’s worth of supplies used, excluding some damage-free hanging hooks (affiliate link) that we already had on hand.
Using Doggy Doorbells with Your Dogs
Safety and Security
My bells were created on a long strap for added safety and security. That way, the dogs couldn’t nudge the bells off the hook and steal them for play, but could easily ring with their noses.
Hanging the Doggy Doorbells
For hanging, if you don’t already hang a suitable hanging point, I recommend using a sturdy but releasable wall hook. At least until you have trained your dogs to the bells and are comfortable making things a little more permanent. Depending on your dog, you may need to start near the doorknob (sooooo annoying…don’t stop there!) and incrementally relocate, but it’s worth the effort.
People sometimes hang their doggy doorbells on the knob, but then they ring and jingle everytime anyone uses the door, which isn’t ideal. As I noted in the intro, we tried this method with a little bell loop before upgrading to these full doorbells. The ringing was a pain, but also the swinging loop was in the way for opening and closing the door. Exposure to the weather and crushing in the door will shorten the life of yoru doorbells, in the jingling doesn’t get to you first! Near but not on the door works much better for us.
Training Dogs to Use Doggy Doorbells
Our dogs were naturals, but there are training sites and videos on-line if you need them. Here are a few potentially helpful links: