Doggone it, you’ve got to love a dog door. And the good news is, our furry friends can easily be trained to use one. After all, what dog wouldn’t want to go in and out, in and out, in and out, as much as they’d like?
Of course, your pooch won’t know what a dog door flap is, at first, so you’ll want to show him how it works. One of the best ways to begin is to keep your dog relaxed, and not frightening it with, say, that rubber Joker mask you love so much. Or worse, by pushing him through the door opening. If your companion associates stress or fear with the dog door, he may not want to go near it again. So, just be patient – he’ll get there.
Other doggy door training tips:
- Coax Fido through with a favourite treat. Once he’s through, give the good boy a bit of praise and reward.
- Hold the door flap open all the way, at first. Then, gradually open it less and less, so he gets the idea of pushing against the door, to get to the treat.
- Try removing the magnet for a while, so the flap is easier for your dog to push.
- Removing the door flap altogether – just temporarily – while your pooch gets used to the idea of coming and going in that particular location. Or, try taping the flap up and out of the way.
- Doggy doors often make a sound when the flap opens, which can spook your little Spaniel. If this happens, try disabling the electronics for a week or so. That way, he can get used to the flap before you reinstate the electronic function.
- When you first use a locking cover or lock the flap shut, slowly introduce it to your dog. Better this than letting him learn ‘the hard way’ by running into it.