How to Train a Dog to Go to the Phone When It Rings

Your four-legged friend can alert you of a ringing phone.
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Someone who is losing his hearing, or is hearing-impaired, may not know when his phone is ringing. Train your dog to go to the phone when it rings to notify you. The dog can calmly walk to the phone and sit in front of it when it starts to ring. Non-service dogs can be taught this technique as well as service dogs. The training is simple and takes some repetition before the dog can master the task.

Step 1

Place your dog in the same room as your phone. Let it be in a natural state—free to roam around.

Step 2

Instruct your partner to call the phone in the room with the cell phone. If your dog naturally moves towards the phone, click the clicker and reward it with a treat. If your dog does not move, gently walk it over to the phone.

Step 3

Instruct the dog to sit when it reaches the phone. Praise the dog when it sits.

Step 4

Release the dog and let it go back to another spot in the room. Have your partner call the phone again.

Step 5

Click the clicker and reward the dog when it takes a step towards the phone.

Step 6

Repeat Step 4. Click the clicker and reward the dog when it takes multiple steps towards the phone.

Step 7

Build on the amount of steps the dog takes until it has reached the phone. Once it has mastered going to the phone, have it sit.

Step 8

Have the partner call the phone with you sitting down away from the dog and the phone. When the dog goes to the phone and sits, click the clicker and reward it. Repeat until you feel your dog understands.


  • Test your dog in each room that contains a phone to ensure that it will always perform the task when the phone rings.

  • Each dog learns at its own pace. Practice as needed until the task has been mastered.

Items You Will Need

  • Phone
  • Cell phone
  • Partner
  • Dog treats
  • Clicker