Dogs can be independent whenever they are in the mood and familiar with their surroundings. It’s convenient if you’re a busy person, but it can be quite disappointing if you love being clingy with your pooch.
One thing a dog owner is familiar with, and is responsible for, is to ensure that your dog gets sufficient exercise for them to be healthy and mentally stimulated.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in a safe neighborhood or have a big yard where your pets can enjoy themselves and play safely, having a dog door is an amazing way to give your pets the option to come and go as they please, whether to play outside or just do their business by themselves.
If you’re new pet parents or if you have a new furry addition to the family, here are some steps on how to train your dog to walk through a dog door.
1. The Set-Up
Before anything else, ensure that the size of the dog door is the proper size for your pet. If you have multiple dogs of varying sizes, make sure that the largest one can fit through the dog door safely. And as mentioned above, have a yard. You’ll need a space with proper fencing, sufficient shade to protect the fur baby/ies, and a drinking area in order to be considered a dog-friendly yard.
2. Train With Treats
Remove the door flaps first. Removing the flaps will ensure that they can see the other side of the door, and this can reduce a dog’s anxiety when you start training them. Lure them with treats to encourage them to go through the small opening. Each time your dog successfully puts their head through the opening, give them a treat. Do this repeatedly until they can confidently pass through the dog door.
3. Install The Door Flap
Now that your pet is confident with walking through their little opening, it’s time to put back the door flap. Try to familiarize the dog with the flap at first, let them know how it works. Maybe try flapping it with your hands a bit to let them know that it does just that – flap. Go through the process of luring your dog to go through the dog door again now that it has its flap back.
Et voilà! With these three simple steps, your dog will start using the dog door, and, soon enough, they’ll know how to go through the dog door even when they’re alone.
Or, if you have one, just have your older dog teach the young’un how to use the door like this cute duo.