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Dog Doors


Guest Symphony7
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Guest Symphony7

Not sure if this goes here. I have noticed a lot of people saying that they have a dog door on this forum. We just bought a house in April and are slowly making inprovements. One of my big ones is that I wanted to install a dog door. I was going to replace the glass front back door with a half wood/half glass door with a dog door opening, and then get one of those elctric doors with the tags for the collars.

 

We have a 6 foot solid wood fence, live in a townhouse that backs up to woods so there aren't people passing behind our house and there's only one side of fence that is not ajacent to another yard (the back portion), and we have two locks on our gate. I am just worried about the idea of the dogs out during the day when we are not there but wanted to get some opinions from people who have dogs and dog doors on how well you like them?

 

Also, does anyone have those electric ones (I really want one of those because we occasionally have critters like possums in our yard) and do you have a recommendation? I'd preffer one that doesn't have a separate collar that maybe just has a tag I can attach to existing collars. How do you go about teaching a dog to use a dog door? Currently, Desmond would love to go in and out all day, and when we lived in our old house the door to the backyard was right off the living room so I had no problem letting him in and out all day when I was home...but now the backyard leads out through the basement and I am just not going to go up and down the steps as much as he wants.

Edited by Symphony7
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I'm in a subdivision and have a smallish backyard with a 6 foot wooden fence. Two sides of the fence are against other backyards. The way the house sits there is no foot traffic near the fence. I added two dog doors when I had one grey (Olive). Two doors because the only way to the backyard is through the garage, so one door goes from the house to garage, the second goes from garage to backyard. I have an X-pen around that area so a dog can't get out when I open the garage door. It also keeps them from messing around in the garage.

 

Mine is just the flap door - not electronic.

 

After installing them I worked with Olive a few minutes - I taped the flap up and tried to lure her through with a treat. She acted nervous and the most I could get was to have her stick her head through the door. I decided not to push it and just work on it a few minutes a day.

 

The next day I setup a video camera before I went to work just to see if she would go near the door. I wasn't gone 5 minutes before she went to the door, fooled with the flap a few seconds, then hopped out.

 

A few months later I got my second grey (Tip). A few minutes after we got home he, Olive, and I were in the kitchen. Olive went out the dog door. Tip followed her over the door and went out after her. He's been using it ever since.

 

I'm glad I did the doors. If I'm delayed getting home I don't have to worry about coming home to a mess. I haven't had any problems with the doors. Because of the position of my door to the backyard, someone would have to be 10-12 yards from the sidewalk, in another persons (unfenced) backyard, and looking over a 6 foot solid fence to see that I had a dog door. The only yard problem I have is the complete lack of grass from the "greyhound short track" they created in the yard.

 

What's been interesting is that they will go outside for other things beside the rest room. I've watched Tip go outside and just sit under a tree for a few minutes. I give them a Kong with frozen peanut butter sometimes. If the weather is nice Olive will take hers outside and enjoy it in (what's left of) the grass. Kong Alfresco!

Edited by BillF
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Guest Symphony7

With the flap type doors, do you notice a lot of drafts from the door in the winter? I am going to be putting up a pop-up patio tent right against the side of the house so we have a covered outdoor area, and to keep wind/water from coming in.

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We have a dog door with the rubber flap. The flap has strong magnets at the bottom of it and we have not had any trouble with it blowing open or being drafty or leaking (it didn't even blow open during Sandy). We've had it at least six years now and love it. When I was first looking I looked at the electronic doors but they were all too small. The other problem is that if the batteries die, the fob malfunctions or it falls off the collar, your dog could be stuck outside for long periods of time if you are at work. We went with the patio pacific with the endura flap in the largest size they had. As the dogs have gotten older and need to go out more, it really is a blessing. Sebau usually has to go out twice each night now and she can just let herself out.

In vino veritas
Rachael with Rook, missing Sully, Sebau, and Diesel

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It took me along time ago to get over my perceived problems with the idea of a dog door, but we have had one for 2 years now. My back yard is Fort Knox with an 8 foot fence buried 2 feet (4 of my 5 are big diggers), locks on all three gates and no neighbors behind us. I find my greys do not spend a lot of time outside when we are gone, especially if it is cold (have doggie cams). The biggest problems I have had are several rabbits and squirrels brought into the house and variably consumed (greys catch, husky eats), which is not nice to come home to. Some nights Tiger goes out and starts howling/rooing at 2am which results in a rapid trip to the back yard and shutting of the dog door for the night. I too wouldn't get an electronic one. Too easy to malfunction and trap the dog outside. I think it is HIGHLY unlikely for a wild critter to come in the dog door, unless being escorted in. Training is pretty easy. Just hold the flap out the way several times and lure with a treat. Then do the same and let the door just brush the back and finally just open a corner and tempt with a treat until they can poke their those nose through, then give decreasing help in raising the door. It will not take long.

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We had TWO flap doors in our old house, side by side. Nothing ever came in except the dogs. Course had it, I'm sure they would have done something about it!

 

We had a security system in the entire house, so when we were not home, the dogs were enclosed in the mud room/laundry room area so they didn't set off the alarm. Had a person come in through the door and tried to go into the bulk of the house, they would have been in for a very loud suprise!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Have a dog door. Love it. Do not and would not want an automatic door.

:nod Ditto both of the above. After about 13 years we're on our 3rd door the current one only because Buddy is such a horse. Best invention EVER. The only things other than my dogs that have come in through mine were two different thunderphobic chow mixes - Blackie from across the alley and Angel from about 6 doors down. They'd climb their chain link fences, chimb mine and come in when it stormed. I started putting a quilt down in the kitchen for Blackie and he'd just go home after the storm passed.

 

The first time I worke up at 4 a.m. with a soaking wet dog on top of me I grumbled "Blackie - get down"! Then I heard tags jingle...oops...Blackie didn't have tags. Eep :eek. That was Angels first visit of many - I'd just take her home the next morning. To this day I don't know how she knew to come here and go inside. Blackie could see my dogs go in and out but Angel couldn't see my yard from her yard. Sort of makes one believe in twilight barking from 101 Dalmations. :blush

 

As far as training start by taping the flap up with duct tape and going outside with treats. Buddy took the longest of any dog I've had to learn - maybe 3 weeks - though I didn't push him too much. My spoiled self was ready to :riphair by the time he got it down.

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Have a dog door. Love it. Do not and would not want an automatic door.

 

This. I researched the automatic dog doors and there were way too many problems with them. I was worried that something would malfunction and our dogs would be stranded outside. We have a plain old flap door, and it's wonderful. Like others have said, it has strong magnets and it automatically "clicks" closed after the dogs go in or out. I don't notice any problems with it being drafty. We have an alarm on the basement door, so if the entire door would open, that would trip the alarm. And the dog door isn't really large enough for a regular-sized person to fit through. Even if an intruder could get through it, I feel like the dogs would scare them off before that would happen. Training them to use the dog door is pretty easy. The only issue we had is that one of our guys was reluctant to go outside unsupervised (it was almost like he thought he was doing something wrong). But once I stop opening the door, he got to the point where he couldn't hold it anymore and went out on his own. The entire process took maybe a week, tops.

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Guest Symphony7

Okay, good to know about the auto ones. They were pretty pricey anyways, and since I have to replace the door anyways to get one that will accomodate a dog door, I can just buy a door with the dog door already installed. One more question, what size door would work for an 80 lb male?

 

ETA: Although now that I am looking I can't find that door with the dog door already installed again. I should have bookmarked it. :/

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Not sure I'd want to buy one with the door already installed unless it was for a sliding glass door then that is your only option.

 

Rex and Buck were well over 80# and went through a Petsafe or Ideal large with a 10.5 X 15 flap with no problems, but the key is the rise off the floor. You want the top of the door to be an inch or so above your dogs height at the shoulder. In our case with the big boys the bottom of the dog door was 11 or so inches high. When I only had elderly Bella and the littles I had the next door installed with a 9 inch rise. Then came Buddy the pony so now we have a 15 X 20 flap door which I really don't like as well. A person really could pop right in through it as opposed to having to slither in like the grinch on one elbow. But between a 90something pound dog, a terrier and the nosiest neighbors on the planet I'm not too worried.

 

Trudy will tell you from personal experience not to get a hard flap. Not sure where you are but if money isn't an object people in the Northern climes see to give Hale a thumbs up. I have a 10.5 X 15 Ideal here that was only used for 2 months. As far as installing my handyman bundled dog door #2 into a bunch of other work including installing the door it was in. When I replaced it with the pony door he charged me $60. Around here $60 - $80 will get a dog door put in a solid door.

Edited by Hubcitypam
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A person really could pop right in through it as opposed to having to slither in like the grinch on one elbow.

 

HA! We got a handyman from Craigslist to install ours into a solid wood door. He also replaced the window on that door, so it was maybe $100 total. Shop around, and you should be able to find someone to do it on the cheap. I also agree that the rise is the most important part. Ours fits Truman nicely, but he's quite a bit taller than Henry. Poor Henry has to really do some high-stepping to get through.

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Poor Henry has to really do some high-stepping to get through.

Bella solved that by putting her back paw on the bottom of the frame and pushing out. Poodle places both fronts on the bottom and hops through like a circus dog. Barkly, in typical terrier fashion starts at a run and barrels through in flight like a canine cannonball. Not for the faint of heart to be standing nearby when he explodes through!

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I have a dog door--well, two actually--and love them. One dog door leads from the house to the garage. The other leads from the garage to a dog run that is separately fenced from the rest of the yard so the hounds can't get too crazy when I'm not there to supervise. I did that on the cheap using T-posts, hog panels, fence clips and zip ties. Surprisingly, it doesn't look bad. The back of the garage is snow fenced to keep the hounds from running out when the garage door opens. Yes, I am the queen of redneck improvisation. :lol

 

The power dog doors have the potential to leave your dog stranded outside if the battery in the transmitter fails. If you live in a very cold climate that can be a life-threatening hazard. The thought of my hounds stuck outside in subzero weather eliminated the temptation for me to get one, though I also had concerns about critters coming in. So far none have. I got cheap dog doors with the intention of upgrading and the one from the garage to the run does blow open in rough weather. If you spring for a quality door like an Patio Pacific Endura Flap or Hale Security door you shouldn't have that problem.

 

Training them to use the door is easiest if you can tape the flap up for the first few days while they get used to it. Then you leave the flap down and entice them through with some yummy treats until they learn to push the flap out of the way. Some learn the ropes right away just by watching other dogs do it. If you can borrow a friend's dog that knows how to use a dog door to demonstrate, that will speed things along.

Kristen with

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Costarring The Fabulous Felines: Squeak, Merlin, Bailey & Mystic

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I have the patio pacific door for a slider. Love the door, hate losing half my slider. Hard to carry a good sized tray outside for the grill. Makes sure you keep your weight down, too! My xDH can hardly squeeze through! I have, however, locked myself out and had to scale the fence and climb in through the door. Dogs never even got off the couch, until I unlocked the slider so I could get my coat.

 

Best invention ever. Just don't let my group know that I have one! But, the kids are away at school and I am gone at least 10 hours a day.

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Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
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Barkly, in typical terrier fashion starts at a run and barrels through in flight like a canine cannonball. Not for the faint of heart to be standing nearby when he explodes through!

 

LOL, my cat used to do the cat flap this way when she was young. She learned about the cat flap by watching her older "sister", and in true kitten fashion she'd race down the stairs (for extra gravity assist) and slam through the flap at top speed. It was hysterical.

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

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You could put up a smaller pen ( use two x pens) around your door so the dogs can go potty, but not have access to the entire yard or the outside fence. You can leave it open when you are home. That will also train the dogs to potty in one small area, close to the house, making it easier to find the poop. If that works for you, you can always add a real fence later.

I wouldn't use the electronic one.

I live in the woods and have never had a critter come in. Had the door over ten years. I did find a large dead groundhog in my couch, but I'm sure the dogs dragged it in after it was dead.

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Guest snoopycomehome

I have the patio pacific door for a slider. Love the door, hate losing half my slider. Hard to carry a good sized tray outside for the grill. Makes sure you keep your weight down, too! My xDH can hardly squeeze through! I have, however, locked myself out and had to scale the fence and climb in through the door. Dogs never even got off the couch, until I unlocked the slider so I could get my coat.

 

Best invention ever. Just don't let my group know that I have one! But, the kids are away at school and I am gone at least 10 hours a day.

 

We have the same one. The dogs have a step down to get out and step up to get in, but it hasn't ever been a problem. Only took them a few trys to learn it!

 

It does leak on one side where the plastic warped (and it's only 2 years old!). Our A/C gets sucked out and in the winter the cool air comes in. (Our AC bill pushes $400/mo in the summer here in AZ, but would probably be less with a quality door. But we are renting our house and the owners wouldn't let us install a nice one even if we paid for it.

 

We also have a hard time getting thru...we have to turn sideways...and forget about it with a platter of burgers. We walk those out the front door, around the side of the house, thru the gate, and across the backyard. :headwall

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