Teaching Your Dog to Use a Dog Door: A Step-by-Step Guide


  • Achieve Canine Independence: Train Your Dog to Use a Dog Door for Freedom and Convenience.
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  • Safety First: Learn How to Secure Your Dog Door and Keep Unwanted Guests Out While Enjoying Pet Freedom.

Are you tired of being your dog’s doorman, constantly opening the door for them? Do you want to give your furry friend the freedom to go in and out as they please? Training your dog to use a dog door can be the solution to these problems. This simple device can provide your dog with the independence they crave while giving you a break from door duty. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of training your dog to use a dog door, step by step.

Preparing for Training

Before you start training your dog to use a dog door, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Choose the Right Size Door

Make sure to select a dog door that suits your dog’s size. A door that is too small may lead to your dog getting stuck, causing them to panic and potentially hurt themselves.

2. Find the Right Time

Pick a training time when you won’t be rushed. Training your dog to use a dog door requires patience, so choose a time when you can dedicate your full attention.

3. Get Some Assistance

Enlist the help of a friend or family member during the training process. Having an extra pair of hands can make the training more effective.

4. Have Treats Ready

High-value treats can be a powerful motivator for your dog during training. Make sure you have some on hand to use as rewards.

Step-by-Step Training Process

Now that you’re prepared, let’s dive into the training process:

Remove the Door Flap

Start by removing the door flap or securing the door in the open position. This step will help your dog become familiar with the opening without any obstacles.

Training Setup

Have your training partner sit on one side of the door with your dog, while you sit on the opposite side. This setup will allow you to guide your dog through the process.

Calling Your Dog

Through the doggy door opening, call your dog and offer them a treat as an incentive. Some dogs may readily go through, while others may need more coaxing.

Reward and Praise

When your dog successfully goes through the door, praise them enthusiastically and reward them with a treat. Positive reinforcement is key to reinforcing the behavior.


Repeat the previous step multiple times until your dog seems comfortable going in and out of the doggy door. If your dog appears fearful, do not force them through the opening.

Practice from Both Sides

Once your dog is confident using the door in one direction, take them to the other side and have them practice entering the house from that direction.

Reintroduce the Door Flap

Unlock or reinstall the door flap and introduce your dog to it gradually. Move the flap back and forth to familiarize your dog with the sound and movement.

Partially Open the Flap

Hold the flap partially open and encourage your dog to go through the door. Gradually lower the flap each time your dog moves through it, so they become accustomed to the sensation of pushing through the material.

Continued Rewards

Continue to reward your dog until using the door becomes second nature to them.

Be Patient and Calm

Throughout the training process, it’s essential to remain patient and calm. While many dogs will quickly learn to use a dog door, others may struggle due to various reasons, such as fear or sensitivity to the door flap.

If you find that training your dog is too challenging or your pet is having difficulty, consider seeking the help of a professional trainer like Recherche Doodles. They have the expertise to teach even skittish or frightened dogs how to use a dog door and can assist with other puppy training issues as well.

Safety Precautions

For safety reasons, it’s crucial to keep the doggy door locked or blocked off at night or when you’re not at home to prevent intruders and wild animals from entering your home.

Enjoy the Freedom

With patience, encouragement, and the steps outlined in this guide, your dog will soon be enjoying the freedom to go in and out whenever they please through their new dog door. Say goodbye to being your dog’s doorman and hello to more convenience for both you and your furry friend!