Here are some training tips I’ve pawed up to help your canine get through the flap.
- Remove the door!
Take the flap out of the door, or hold it back with packing tape. This removes the fear of the hard door and the snapping and popping sounds it makes when it closes. Sit on the opposite side of the door and call your canine to entice them outside (treats and toys are a must!). If your dog goes through the open door praise them with affection and play and go to step number 2! If they don’t, keep trying. It may take a few days.
- Create a Soft & Silent Partial Door
Hang a light hand towel on top of the open doggy door so it covers ¼ of the door. Again try to entice your dog using the methods mentioned above. If your dog goes through praise and lower the towel until he or she enters and exits the door with the towel completely covering the door.
- Use a cardboard flap
This still creates a “silent” door but has a similar weight to the actual flap that the dog must push through. Cut the cardboard to size so that the covering can swing back and forth through the door. Use the same method as above and cover ¼ of the door and increase after each successful attempt. Remember to praise!
- Reattach the doggie door!
Last but not least, reattach the dog door flap and entice your pooch through. If you are still having problems, tape the flap so it is half open and they need to push the door to get through completely.
If these steps didn’t help your canine, try bringing a friend or neighbours dog over that knows how to use the doggy door! It is a great reassuring tool for your pooch to see that using the door is ok; your dog may copy their behaviour. Soon enough you will have a mutt that masters the doggie door and will be in and out non-stop!
How did you get your dog to use the doggy door?