You know what they say, teaching an old dog new tricks (or a new puppy for that matter) is never easy. So if you are planning on getting a dog door, or a doggy door replacement, you will want to read this! We have gathered some doggy door tips from across the internet to help you and your pooch get used to the door.
1: Let Your Dog Explore the New Dog Door
The first thing to do, once you’ve installed your doggy door or dog door alternative, is to let your puppy explore and sniff both sides of the door to get your pet familiar and comfortable with the new pet access. Encourage your furry friend to explore through the pet door by placing his favorite toy outside the door, and calling him through the opening.
2: Why Not Start Off With a Pet Door Alternative?
Before spending a fortune on dog door installations, try a quick and easy alternative like PetLatch. This is a great way for your puppy, or small to medium dogs, to get comfortable with the pet access before laying out a big expense. It means virtually no training at all and it also gives you a lot more time and flexibility as well, to ensure the doggy door is in the right place.
3: Give Your Dog a Lot of Praise
When introducing your pooch to a new dog door, praise and congratulate them every time they make it through from one side to the other. You may want to reward your pet with a tasty treat on those initial occasions, for extra encouragement.
4: Never Force It
One of the worst things you can do is force your puppy or dog through the new pet door. The idea is to ensure that your pet has a positive association with using the doggie door, whether it’s a dog door alternative such as the PetLatch, or a traditional doggy door.
5: Hide the Flap
If you’ve decided on a traditional doggy door with a flap. Start by taping the flap up until your puppy is used to the door. A dog flap can be a little tricky to master, especially for the older dogs, and it could scare them off before they have even tried it. Once they have mastered going in and out without the flap, lower it so your pet learns to push through the flap on its own.
6: Mastering the Dog Door Flap
To teach your pet to push the pet door on their own, start by getting a family member to sit on the other side of the flap as you show your pooch how it pushes open, letting your dog run through. Do this by helping to push less and less each time, until they’re comfortable doing it on their own. Encourage your pet further by leaving his food bowl on the other side of the flap.
7: Let Your Dog Pick the Pace
When it comes to learning to use new pet doors and their alternatives, every dog learns at their own speed. It will take some a bit longer than others to learn how to push the flap open – especially your older pets. Be patient and give your pooches time to figure it out. For smaller, older dogs or dogs not easily trainable, you may want to try a dog door replacement such as PetLatch which requires a lot less training.
Whichever ideal pet door you choose, we hope these training tips for doggy doors helps make your pooch as comfortable as possible.
For more on pet doors: