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How to train your dog to use a dog door

Need help training your dog to use a dog door? Take a look at these top tips to get them on the right track.


Before installing the dog door, allow your dog to inspect it and become familiar with it straight out of the packaging. You can then install the door once they are used to the sight and smell of it.

Installing the door

Make sure your dog is not present when you are installing the dog door. The loud noises of the installation process could make your dog wary of using it once it’s installed. Keep your dog in a different room of the house or at a friend’s house until the installation is complete.

Positive reinforcement

As with other types of training, use positive reinforcement to train your dog to use their dog door so that they associate the door with good things. Stand on the opposite side of the door and reward them with a treat, toy or cuddle when they go through it. Never force your dog to use the door or reprimand them for not using it, as this will have a negative effect on their desire to use it.

Prop the door open

If your dog is unsure about pressing the flap of the dog door open, prop it open until they get the hang of going in and out. You can use a peg or piece of tape to prop it open. Once they have got the hang of using the door in this way, you can close the flap and see how they get on. Don’t worry if you have to prop it open again for a while if they are still unsure of it. Just keep trying.


Some dogs may take to their new dog door straight away, while others may need a bit of time to become accustomed to it. Be patient and allow your dog to get used to their new door in their own time.

Benefits of a dog door

Giving your dog their own door means that they can access the garden on their terms, which is particularly useful when they need to use the toilet. This means that they don’t need to tell you when they need to go out, so a dog door can help to reduce barking amongst pets that tend to bark to be let out.

Microchip Pet Door

If you have a small dog, it’s a good idea to get a SureFlap Microchip Pet Door for your dog so that other animals can’t enter your home. It also has a curfew mode so that you can keep your dog indoors at night if you wish to. A SureFlap Microchip Pet Door Connect can help you to keep track of when your dog goes in and out of the house and sends you notifications when your dog uses the door for peace of mind.

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