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Having a dog door in your home gives your pet the freedom to independently enter and exit without the assistance of a human. They add convenience to your life and help with the dog’s behavior.
Puppies as young as 4–6 months old can use a dog door. But naturally, unfamiliar things for pets can confuse and scare them. They may be hesitant to use it at first and avoid using it altogether. If you are one of the pet owners with this problem, keep reading as we list out three steps to help your dog go through a dog door.
Step 1: Set-Up
It can be difficult to find the proper size for your dog door if you have dogs of various sizes in your home. But as a general rule, you need one that can fit your largest dog safely. They can get stuck on a small door and cause fear, which can slow down the process of training them. Giving them access to the door also requires you to have a dog-friendly yard. Unsupervised dogs going in and out of the dog door are vulnerable to anything in your yard. Securely enclose your yard with a fence that he can’t jump or dig through.
Step 2: Lure Them Through
Begin by removing the door flap. This will encourage your dog to go through the opening. Close the door and call your dog in through the doggy door while he is on the other side. Then you can lure him in with a treat. When your dog puts his head through the door, start handing out the treats for him. After repeating this step a few more times, try to entice your dog to walk through the door. Give him a treat every time this happens. Repeat this action 5–10 times.
Step 3: Explore The Door Flap
Once familiar with the door opening, install the dog flap back. At this point, we want to make sure your dog isn’t afraid of the flap and that he understands its movement. You may need to partially or entirely open the flap at first to let her know it’s alright to breach it. Once your dog is comfortable walking through the flap, start lowering it until it is fully closed.
And there you have it! Continue practicing walking through the dog door, and in a few weeks, your dog will get used to it.