Training your dog to use a doggy door – if you’ve just installed one – shouldn’t be too difficult; in fact, it may take only a few days or even a week. Of course, there may be some dogs that’ll sniff around the door to check it out or others that’ll just look and zip through it. However, most dogs will take a little time to adapt to this new way of going in and out of the house, and will need your support if they’re found backing away from the doggy door.
A Few Training Tips
In reality, it is quite easy to train your dog to use the doggy door that has been newly installed, and if you’ve never got one installed, you can just follow the instructions given when you purchase your doggy door. Remember that a new doggy door will make some sounds that you might find funny or strange, and they might be scary for your dog.
The first thing to do with a dog that’s reluctant to go through the door is open the flap with one hand so that the dog can see the outside of the house, and gently push it with the other hand. However, it would be still better if someone stood on the other side with a dog treat or one of his favorite toys to tempt him through the doggy door.
Another way of going about it is training your dog through a game. If your dog likes to play fetch, throw a toy or a stick inside the house through the doggy door, which will be held open by another person. Your dog will go through the door to fetch the object, but it will hesitate to go out again if someone doesn’t hold it open. That’s expected, but eventually, he will go out after some time. If you find your dog still hesitating, assist him by lifting the door flap and gently stroking him to go through.
When outside, try to get him inside by repeating the same process. Never scold or punish your dog because he hesitates to use the doggy door, all you’re going to do is make it think the door is wrong or bad. Dogs are like human beings; they need attention and will learn by means of rewards.
If a friend of yours has a dog that can use a doggy door, bring your dog to your friend’s house to watch. Often, when a dog sees another dog doing something, it will tend to imitate it and you’ll finally have a trained dog.