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TrainingPet CareHealthPlay

May 13, 2022

PetSafe® Expert

Hank Champion

How to train your dog to use a doggie door

dog and dog door

If you have a dog in your home, you know how often they like to go outside for potty breaks, fresh air or to check on the squirrels. When you install a dog door, it gives your buddy freedom to go outside while freeing you from having to open the door for them.

There are many types of dog doors to choose from, like the Extreme Weather Aluminum Pet Door™, which can prevent hot or cold air from getting into your house, and the Sliding Glass Pet Door, that’s perfect for renters because it’s portable and requires no cutting for installation. But regardless of which dog door you choose, you’ll still need to train your dog how to use it.

Start with the right size

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you choose the correct size door so that your dog feels comfortable passing through it. You can figure out the right door size in 3 easy steps:


Measure the widest part of your dog, the chest or hips. Add one or two inches.


Measure your dog from the top of the shoulders to the bottom of the chest or belly; use the tallest part. Add one or two inches.


Based on your dog’s width and height, you can find a chart to help you choose the right size door on the product packaging or on the dog door listings at the links mentioned above.

dog and dog door

Easy steps for successful dog door training

Not all dogs are the same. Some will quickly figure out their new door, while others will take some training. Don’t try to do too much, or you’ll both get frustrated. Two spaced-out 10-minute training sessions a day should be plenty. And don’t forget some tasty treats to help motivate your dog.

Start by holding the flap open all the way

Start the training with the flap open all the way to give your dog a clear view of how to go through the passage.

  • Begin by calling your dog to their new door
  • Slowly open and close the flap so that your dog understands how it works
  • While holding the flap, let your dog look through the opening so they can see that it leads outside
  • Call your dog from the opposite side of the doggie door

dog and dog door

What if my dog won’t push the doggie door?

Remember the treats I mentioned earlier? They are always a good motivator and using a favorite toy can help coax your dog through the flap. Another tip to help train your dog to use a dog door is to close your home door during training sessions.

Patience is a plus when training your dog

Not all dogs learn at the same speed, so don’t raise your voice or get upset if they don’t use their door right away. Also, don’t try and push your dog through the door. That will only lead to a negative association with it.

Some dogs need to use the door several times to get used to it. However, with a bit of practice and patience, your pup will learn how to use their door to enjoy more fresh air and potty breaks while you enjoy not having to open the door every time they want to go out.

Written by

Hank Champion

Hank Champion

PetSafe® Brand Copywriter

PetSafe® Expert

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