Most dogs will learn to use a doggy door on their own within a single training session.
Having a dog door can be great for dogs and their owners because they give the dog a bit more freedom to go in and out of the house as they please and owners won’t have to wake up early in the morning to take the dog for a morning walk.
Before you get started with training, make sure you have a few things ready to go:
Appropriate Door: You want to make sure you are using the right sized doggy door, especially when working with a small dog. The larger flaps of big doors can be difficult for your little guy to push open. If you have a multiple dog household with a larger dog, try removing the magnet clips from the flap for the first few weeks so that your smaller dog can get used to the flap.
Identify Fear: If your dog seems to have some anxiety about the door, make sure that you do not use the ‘Push’ method since it could make his fear worse. Bring plenty of patience to your training sessions and use the ‘Fearful Dog’ method for best results.
Make it Fun: Try to approach training time like it is a fun game that you and your dog are playing together. This will help keep them motivated, and remind you not to spoil the game with impatience. Keep sessions brief, and stop the game before your dog is bored or frustrated.
Make sure to have your dog’s favorite treats easily accessible as you will want to be able to give them the treat immediately after performing the correct behavior.
Limit training sessions to ten minutes at a time. This will help both you and your dog avoid becoming frustrated. You can do more than one session in a day, but be sure to have several hours “rest” in between each session, and don’t push your dog’s attention by going over ten minutes of training.