If you have a dog, then you may want to consider investing in a dog door, which is beneficial for both you and your furry one! You give them access to the garden at all times, so you won’t have to hassle yourself in waiting for your dog’s signal to go out. They can use the toilet on their own without depending on you to get up and hold the door open for them.
What’s great is that there are many kinds of pet doors to choose from, but once you do invest in the most suitable one, the next question is: How can you train them to know what the pet door is and how to use it? Read on to know more tips on how to properly train your dog to use dog doors.
How to Train Your Dog to Use Dog Doors
While some dogs understand the concept of dog doors right away, not all dogs are able to figure out how to use it on their own. Or sometimes, they might feel afraid! Whether you bought the patio dog door model or any other kind of pet door for your home, be sure to take the proper steps in training your dog to use it:
1. Familiarize Them
Before you even install the dog door, allow your dog to inspect it, letting the feel familiar with the door right after getting it out of the package. This will lessen their fear and hesitation in using the door once installed, as they are used to its sight and smell.
Once they feel confident around the door (no jumping or running away from it), that’s when you can start the next step.
2. Install the Door
When installing the door, make sure that your dog isn’t present. You might make loud noises or use tools that would scare them, or have them feel wary of using it when it’s set up.
Instead, make sure your dog is in a different room until you have successfully set up the door. Test its security to prevent accidents or broken doors!
3. Give Positive Reinforcement
Treats and verbal encouragement is a great way to have them used to the dog door, so they won’t feel afraid.
When doing this, make sure that you schedule training sessions properly, having sessions of ten minutes a day. When training them, stand on the opposite side of your door as your pet, making sure that they know you’re on the other side. Then, lift the door dog flap fully, avoiding hitting your dog so they won’t get scared.
Call your dog with a happy and excited voice so they will want to come to you, and when they do, reward them! Use their favorite treats and give them a lot of positive reinforcement verbally. Now, repeat this on the other side of the door, lowering the flap little by little until they are comfortable with going through the door while the flap is completely closed.
4. Pushing Your Dog Towards the Door
This method does NOT mean you’ll be forcing them out the door, but to gently push them when they feel comfortable. Select the right time to train your pet, usually when they are most active and alert so there won’t be any distractions.
Pick up your dog, using a soft and soothing voice as you hold them securely. Now, place them gently through the door, pressing their face very slowly and gently as you push him through to avoid scaring or even injuring them.
Once they are through the dog, be excited and happy, praising them with treats and positive verbal encouragement. Repeat this ten minutes a day until your dog is comfortable in going through the door on their own.
5. Be Patient
Besides the proper training methods, you also have to learn about patience. Remember, just like humans, dogs have their own timeline when it comes to learning. Some may pick it up right away, while others take time.
Because of this, be patient, allowing your dog to get used to the new dog door in their own time. Continue with consistent training, and they’ll start to understand and use it the way you want them to in no time!
Wrapping It Up
Dog doors are an excellent way to give more freedom for your furry pet, though it does take time for them to get used to the change. With proper training and knowledge to introduce the door to your dogs, you won’t have to worry about them trying to go out for their toilet breaks or to just play outside. No more barking and scratching doors trying to go out, nor do you have to deal with accidents!
So use these tips to train your dog now with pet doors. Good luck!