I had to train my lab to use his new dog door after installing a door mount dog door into my exterior door last Sunday. My lab learned how to use his dog door in less than ten minutes. Training him to use his dog door was simple and this is how he learned to use his dog door, step by step.
1. I let my dog investigate the new dog door that I just installed into my exterior door. I let him sniff the new door both inside and out until he becomes comfortable with the dog door.
2. The Freedom Pet Pass dog door has a both a pet flap and U shaped bridge. The U shaped bridge seals to the pet flap and seals itself to the frame creating the airtight seal. I wrapped a plastic shopping bag around the bottom of the bridge flap and wrapped the plastic bag around the door handle to suspend the bridge flap in the air. This allows the canvas coated pet flap to swing freely.
3. I grabbed his favorite squeaky toy which happens to be a football and went outside leaving him inside. I called him then squeezed his toy. He didn’t know what to do other than bark. That is normal. I then lifted the pet flap so he could see me and the toy and he walked right through. I held the pet flap up and did not allow the pet flap to hit his backside as he passed through. I will do that shortly. I praised him for a job well done and repeated this from the inside of my home. I did this two times outside and two times inside.
4. I repeated step three twice this time allowing the flap to drag across his back so he could feel the pet flap and become comfortable feeling the pet flap drag along his back as he passed through. Again, I praised him every time he passed through the pet flap.
5. Now he is ready to use the pet door with the U shaped bridge in place. I untied the plastic bag holding the U shaped bridge in place and let the pet door seal. I went outside and basically repeated steps 3 and 4 coaxing him to come through and praising him when he did. The first time he came through I crack open the pet flap help him. After one time in and out he knew what to do.
This method to train my dog to use his new dog door took less than ten minutes and it was fun. Remember to praise your pet and be patient. I hope this helps you train your dog to use their new dog door.
Did you use a different method to train your dog to use their dog door? What did you do different?