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Training a Dog to Use a Dog Door

A dog using a dog door.
Having a dog door can be convenient for both you and your pet. However, not all dogs will feel safe using it right away. This is a guide about training a dog to use a dog door.
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By 0 found this helpful
December 4, 2011

We taught ours by simply pushing them through it. They got the idea quickly and were happy with it. When other dogs came into our household, they got the idea from watching our dogs do it.

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By Pat from Phoenix, AZ

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
October 18, 2009

Help. Why is my dog peeing in the house and how do I make him stop? I have a doggy door, and he is walked once or twice a day. It rained 7 days ago, but he still won't go to the bathroom outside in our backyard. Maybe he doesn't want to get his paws cold, but it's too bad. What do I do? Thanks.

By Sammy from San Jose, ca

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 18, 20090 found this helpful

I'm not sure I can help with the dog door part, but regulating his water intake should help somewhat. One tv trainer suggested ice cubes instead of filling a bowl. In addition to make it clear that peeing in the house is bad, you should definitely let/take him out every 2-3 hours until he learns not to pee in the house.

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October 20, 20090 found this helpful

Depends on the age of the dog too, if he's older he might have a medical problem.

Remember that storm we had last week was a DOOZY, it freaked my cats out a day before it happened. I would also give him incentive to go through the door, say a treat on the other side of the door?

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October 20, 20090 found this helpful

I have a huge German shepherd/rottie/dobbie cross who hates getting her feet wet or cold; dances around on three legs, won't go to the bathroom, runs back into the house and "goes" on the floor! I got her some doggie boots. She looks absolutely ridiculous, but it solved the problem!

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January 24, 20120 found this helpful

We have a 2 and half year old Lab. She has been house trained for a good year and half. She has her own doggy door which she comes in and out of when she pleases. She is suddenly acting like she can't remember how to get out of the house. When we direct her to her door, she goes out and then stands at another door and cries for us to let her in. We have no clue what is going on with her.

By Lori

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January 25, 20120 found this helpful

I wonder if she got hurt (or frightened) going through the doggy door. Could it have made her afraid of it now?

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January 26, 20120 found this helpful

Maybe something happened to her out in the yard (kids throwing rocks or teasing, etc.). Also dogs can have strokes - maybe this is the cause of her change in behavior. May be time for a trip to the vet for a check-up.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 4, 2016

My dog Sheba is 3 years old. We have a doggy door, but when it rains she prefers to not go outside and pees just before the door to go out. What can we do to stop this problem?

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February 5, 20161 found this helpful

I have four doggies and one hates the rain as well! She is just stubborn! So... I decided to just leash her and take her where she needs to go whether she likes it or not! No more pee in the house! Also, I do it way before the " regular" time she's used to going out and I use the front door, that way it doesn't cue her to pee! Since I. Only have to do it when it rains its no big deal and it's better than cleaning up pee! By the way....I put several throw rugs by my door and when my dogs come in wet I wait for them and they are trained to walk back and forth on the rugs to wipe their feet. Then they wait for me to wipe them down with a towel so no smelly wet dog smell in my house! They love it and they all wait their turn! Ha ha!

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October 18, 20090 found this helpful

I have a 12 year old poodle we just put in a doggy door and she will not use it. If I raise the flap she will come in or go out but will not push it open herself. I have tried pulling her with a leash and also coaching her with food. Please, any suggestions?

Vicki from Lubbock, TX

Answers:

Training a Dog To Use a Dog Door

We put in a doggy door a few years ago. Two of us stood on either side of the door and held bologna for her. She'd come through to get it. She still didn't want to go through without us standing there. So then after she knew she could go through, we'd all play outside and then she'd come out to spend time with us. It still took a while for her to use it without coaxing, but now, she's fine. (03/20/2007)

By Mary Ellen

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March 19, 20070 found this helpful

I've got 2 great dogs, and 1 is terrified of the new doggie door that we just installed. His brother runs in and out of the pet door with no problem, but the other guy just sits and shakes, staring at the door knowing that the grass is greener on the other side, but afraid to get there. I've tried bribing him with treats and toys, but all he does is whine. I've stuck my head through the door, praised him with every step forward he's made, but still nothing. It's doubly frustrating because usually he's the bold one in a house (I hear he even tried to attack a cow once!) What else can I do?

Kathy from Oak Harbor, WA

Answers:

Training a Dog To Use a Dog Door

Does the flap for your doggie door have a metal strip at the bottom? If so, you may be able to slide it off. Our poodle was also scared of the doggie door and we found that it was actually the soud and the weight of the metal strip that bothered him. As long as we have it removed, he's fine.

I hope this helps. (02/21/2007)

By Yoda' mom

Training a Dog To Use a Dog Door

If there's a way to prop the door up/open for awhile to see if that is enticement enough, I would suggest that if you can stand to have the house open to the elements for short periods of time. You should continue to coax with praise and treats as well. (02/22/2007)

By

Training a Dog To Use a Dog Door

Try using duct tape to tape the flap up. Then place his food on the far side so he has to walk thru to eat. Do this a few times/days. Then try letting the flap down with food on the far side. Call him, hold the flap up if you need to. If his food is on the other side he WILL use the dog door. (02/22/2007)

By

Training a Dog To Use a Dog Door

He is obviously afraid of the door.
I don't think that opening the door and showing him the other side will work. Because it is the door he is afraid of.

I would put a leash on him.
Have someone on the other side of the door and literally pull him through the door. This may sound mean but it is not, you are teaching him not to be afraid.You may have to drag him the first couple of times or maybe a lot of times but he will eventually conquer his fears.
You don't have to yank on the leash just a steady pull enough to get him through the door. You may have to physically pick him up and put him through the door. He will catch on and find that the door means him no harm. (02/22/2007)

By PICO

Training a Dog To Use a Dog Door

Now raising flap works but still will not come if flap is down, now what? (03/14/2007)

By Vicki

Training a Dog To Use a Dog Door

Thank you for the suggestions I will try them (03/17/2007)

By VickiM

Training a Dog To Use a Dog Door

poor Brutis, he just never learned....I couldn't remove the metal strip on the bottom of the flap, so that didn't work. He would come through if I held the flap open a little ways for him, but obviously I can't always be there to do that. I nudged him through a couple of times, but he just never got over his fear. I ended up removing the flap and taping a dish towel over the opening instead. He has no problems with going through that! I even tried both the flap and the towel, but once the flap was in place, he'd refuse to go through again! Thankfully the doggie door is installed on the porch, so the lack of flap isn't causing the cold air to waft into the house!

Thank you for all your suggestions! (03/19/2007)

By cracklintulip

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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