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How do I train a dog to use a dog door?

Most dogs are so happy to be able to go outside that training is a breeze. However, your pooch or new puppy doesn't know what a pet door flap is at first, so they will need to be shown how it works. Here are some tips on how to make sure your canine companion can go through their door quickly and safely. The first best choice is to make sure you choose the right size door. You don't want a large dog to have to squeeze through a pet door or small dog having to push a large flap.

Limit training sessions to no more than 10 minutes at a time. Every dog is different. Some learn in one session, while others take more training. Patience may be a necessity. Do not push or shove them through the door. The first step is to slowly introduce them to the pet door. Hold the flap open for them at first; then less so they gradually get the idea of pushing against it to get through. If your pet does not venture through the hole, try coaxing them through with a treat or toy at the other end.

Try not letting your pet use the real door to enforce that this is their door. Praise helps - don't forget to encourage and, when successful, reward them. Repeat as necessary.
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