Your home is a place for all your loved ones to relax and enjoy. Since your furry friends are just as much a part of your family, it's important to make sure they are just as comfortable. A pet door is an integral part of this comfort, as it allows your dog or cat to roam.
To assist you in helping your furry family get settled in with a new pet door we've provided tips on how to train your dog to use a dog door and how to train your cat to use a cat door.
Use The Right Size Pet Flap
You don't want your pet to get stuck, so before installing your pet door it's a good idea to make sure that your furry friend will fit through it. With Pet Door Products DIY guide to measuring your pet door you can learn how to properly and easily install our technologically advanced doors and flaps.
Introduce the Pet Door to Your Dog or Cat
To help your pet learn to use their new door, it's important to stay consistent with your training. Start by gently introducing your pet to the flap of the door. Then hold the door open all the way, and call your pet’s name. If your pet is successful, be sure to shower them with praise. As you practice, gradually hold the door open less and less until they go through without any help. If all else fails, use some treats to lure them through the door. Once they understand how to get out, repeat the process to teach them to go back in.
Stick to A Time Limit
Stick to a 10-minute time limit for training your pet with the new door. If you’re spending too long trying to train your pet, they can get fatigued and frustrated.
Avoid Using Force
Never use force or shove your pet through the door for the following reasons:
- Using force unexpectedly will frighten your pet
- Your pet may understandably associate that fear with the door itself
- Once fear and the door are linked, your pet will be terrified to go near it ever again
Reinforcement works wonders during training. Whether you use treats, ear scratches, verbal praise or some other form of affection, it will pay off so long as you don’t commit the cardinal sin of using force while training.
Remaining patient is another crucial component of how to train a dog or cat to use a pet door. Every pet is different and your dog or cat may need some extra time getting comfortable with his or her new door. Rushing through the process can confuse or upset them, so be sure not to push or shove them through the door.
Training Dog to Use Dog Door FAQ
If your dog doesn't want to use the pet door, check to make sure the opening is adequate. If it's big enough, don't try to force the issue. Then, make the pet door the only available way to go outside without you. And reward them when they go through the pet door with treats and lots of kudos. Once your dog gets over their fear, they'll have the freedom to go in and out, and they'll get more exercise too.
Train dog to use dog door by making it accessible. The easier you make it for them to use the dog door, the easier it will be to train your dog. It's also easier to train an old dog to use the dog door if you install a doggie sliding glass door. Not only that but a sliding door is an energy-efficient option that keeps heat in and eliminates most of the drafts that are common with doggie flap designs.
The age a puppy can use a doggie door varies according to breed and size. However, you can train them to go through the doggie door even before they're potty trained. Keep the training sessions short. You can build a barricade around the opening inside so the puppy is in a kennel of sorts. Then go to the outside of the door, open it, and call them through. Once they get the hang of it, close the flap, and call them through. Always reward a good job.
Don't try to use force, or raise your voice, as it will only frighten them more. Ensure the opening is adequate so they can fit through comfortably. Then hold the flap open until they get used to going through the opening. Doggy doors with a flap that snaps back make a fearful dog even more skittish. Use positive reinforcement with treats and lots of love. Alternatively, a set up with sliding doors pet door installation helps a fearful dog. If you can't get them through the flap doggy doors, consider sliding doors pet door installation.
Installing a doggie door is one of the best ways to train your dog to stop scratching on the door. If they're scratching on the doggie door, then you need to train them on how to go in and our. Go to the outside, lift the flap, and call them through. The close the flap and call them through again.
Dog doors have magnets that seal the flaps, making it more difficult for some dogs to get through. You can remove magnets with a screwdriver to make it easier to open.