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You know what they say, teaching an old dog (or a new puppy for that matter)  new tricks 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 dog door tips from across the internet, to help you and your pooch get used to the door.

doggy door alternative with PetLatch

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 door alternative or flap by placing his favourite toy outside the door, and calling him through the opening.


2: Why Not Start Off With a Dog Door Alternative?

Before spending a fortune on dog door installations, try a quick and easy dog door alternative. This is a great way for your puppy or small to medium dogs to get comfortable with that 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 would be in the right place.


3: Give Your Dog a Lot of  Praise

When introducing your puppy to a new dog door or dog door replacement, 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 to force your puppy or dog through the new pet access. The idea is to ensure that your pet has a positive association with using the pet access, whether it’s a dog door alternative such as LockLatch’s PetLatch, or a traditional doggy door.


5: Hide the Flap of the Dog Door

If you’ve decided on a traditional doggy door with a flap. Start by taping the flap up until 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. 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 Flap

To teach your pet to push the pet access flap 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 access or doggy doors and their alternatives, every dog learns at it’s 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 pets 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 doggy door you choose, we hope these training tips for doggy doors helps make your pooch as comfortable as possible. If you have some pet access tips of your own, we would love to hear them. Comment below or email us at [email protected]


Further reading:

Cat Flap Buying Guide

The Best Doggy Door Replacement

Wikihow – Train Your Dog To Use a Dog Door

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