Using A Doggy Door

Doggy doors are a great convenience for both owners and dogs.  Whether you have a puppy, a dog in the prime of life or an elderly dog, a doggy door allows your dog to go in and out at will into a safe backyard.  Your dog can potty or play as he wishes.  Doggy doors are not hard to install and it’s easy to teach your dog to use one.

You can choose the right doggy door for your dog or dogs by doing a little measuring.  Measure your dog from his withers (the top of his shoulders) to the ground and measure the widest part of your dog.  This is usually across his shoulder or hips.  If you have more than one dog you should measure your largest and tallest dogs to make sure that everyone can fit through the door.

Once the door is installed you will need to show your dog how to use the doggy door.  Most doggy doors have a flap with magnets on the bottom to hold the flap secure when it’s not being used by your dog.  Your dog will need to give a little push to open the flap from either side.  The magnets can make a noise that scares some dogs so you may need to do some coaxing at first.

Some dogs may not be clear on the doggy door concept at first so you’ll need to be patient with them.

The easiest way to teach your dog how to use a doggy door is to use some clothes line pins or metal clips to hold the door flap open.  Show your dog the door.  You should go outside and encourage your dog to come through the open doggy door with some treats.  Praise and reward your dog for coming through.  Spend some time petting your dog and letting him know what a good job he did.  Once he’s enjoyed this part of using the doggy door you should go back to the other side and encourage your dog to come back through to the other side, again offering treats and praise when he comes through.  You can do this a couple of times to make sure that your dog has figured out that there is a new opening in the door and he can go through it.

Once your dog has learned this lesson it’s time to let the door flap down.  You should be on one side of the door and your dog should be on the other side.  You can open the flap slightly and call to your dog to come through.  Wave your hand at him through the flap to get his attention if necessary.  Hold out a treat for him to see.  Encourage him to push through the flap to come to you.  Once he comes through the flap you should praise him and give him some treats to reward him.  Let him know what a great job he did.

You’ll need to repeat this process to teach your dog to go back through to the other side.

If you teach your dog to use the doggy door this way it should just take him a short time to learn to use the doggy door.

He’ll quickly be going in and out the door on his own without any coaxing at all.

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Mark Mansfield
 

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