How to Train Your Dog to Use a Dog Door

how to train your dog to use a dog door

I decided to write a Post on this subject as only last week I was visiting my little sister and she asked me about it. She has a Westie called Poppy who is used to a Dog door, but as she is nearly 14 years old, She is now finding it difficult. Bless her.

How to train your dog to use a dog door
Little Sis and Poppy

A Dog door can be a useful tool and can be handy to have if you live in the appropriate building. For instance if you live in a block of flats then a Dog door is not going to be very appropriate. You Dog may love running up and down the corridors, but I’m pretty sure some neighbours would not be very happy. Alternatively, if you have a small garden, they can be useful but must NEVER let it be an excuse that you do not need to take your Dog for a walk. A Dog only sees a garden as an extension to its kennel. He still needs to go out and get his exercise and also to get his fix of different smells.

Size of Door

Before you can learn how to train a Dog to use a Dog door, you must choose the correct door. They come in many makes, shapes, sizes and styles, but you must choose the one that is best for your Dog.

Size – When you are choosing the size, DO NOT, choose the smallest that your Dog can get through. Make sure he has some extra room to get through. If it is too tight he may be scared to use the door. Also, as he gets older he may put on weight and struggle to get through it. A bit like us humans ha-ha.

This may seem like an obvious thing to say but ensure the Dog door is situated where your Dog can go out into a safe area. A back door into a garden is ideal. A front door onto a street is probably not a good idea.

Types of Door

There are lots of different makes and styles of door. They can be put into solid wooden doors, screen doors, plastic and metal doors and even outside walls. Despite the frame and where you choose to place the door, they all come with a choice of flaps.

  • Clear Flaps – These are the most common and are pretty fail-safe. They usually come with a locking device so you can stop your Dog going out whenever he wants. Also, you can have a switch that only ensures one way travel through the flap. This can be very handy if you want to stop your neighbours cats sneaking in and eating your Dogs food. You just have to make sure you know your Dog is outside and he cannot get back in.
  • Magnetised Flaps – These come in various designs with magnets placed on the bottom of the flap or on the sides. Sometimes they come with both. If the magnets are removable, then remove them to start with so that your Dog gets the hang of it. if not, give the flap some gentle persuasion initially so your Dog is not frightened to push it.
  • Electronic Flaps – These can be set to fully electronic or partially. This helps for when you are training your Dog to use the Dog door. It can be operated by a chip or collar key. They tend to make a clicking noise when in use which can take some time for your pet to get used to. A good idea is to give him lots of encouragement when he initially starts using the door.

Dog Door Training

You must remember that in every type of training you must remain consistent and never give up. Training your dog to use a Dog door should only take a couple of days and a big bag of treats.

  • Timings – Patience is a virtue or so they say. Some Dogs take longer than others to learn, so a bit of patience might be needed. The first time you start to teach your Dog make sure it is a bright day with plenty of light and not too many surrounding sounds if possible. If it is pouring with rain and dark the other side of the door, he will not want to go through. He will do the same as I would want to do and go and cuddle up somewhere nice warm and dry.
  • The Flap – If the flap can be removed then remove it to start with. If not then you can always tape it up out of the way. Start with your Dog inside and put a treat in your hand. Let him smell it and then toss it through the flap to the outside. With a bit of luck he will peer through the gap and step outside to retrieve his treat. This may take a couple of goes for him to get the hang of it. If he isn’t too keen to go through, then you can leave him where he is and go outside. You can then see him through the flap, whereupon, you can coax him through with a treat or just call him to come to you. If this still does not work, then wait until it is his feeding time. Instead of using a treat put his bowl the other side of the door. Hopefully this will work. If the bowl is outside he may not want to eat outside so try switching. Once you have succeeded in any way to get him through make sure you lay on him lots of praise. With just a little more practice it will become a normal event.
  • Replacing the Flap – When you get to the stage he is happy going back and forth it is time to replace the flap. He may be very wary to start with. Therefore, you can hold it up slightly for him to push onto to come through. Once again the use of treats will probably work very well. Keep giving him praise when he uses it and gradually let the flap come down on his back so he gets used to how it feels. You are aiming for him to gain confidence so he pushes it himself and is not scared of it on his back. This whole process could take a couple of days and for the more timid it could take up to a week.


So we have learnt that it is not a five-minute job teaching your Dog how to use a Dog door. You must never expect to fit a door and for your Dog to just look at it and start using it straight away. A little bit of patience and some of the tips above will ensure your best friend is using your house like a hotel ha-ha.

Please see below a selection of Dog doors available from amazon.

As always if you have any comments please feel free to drop me a line.

All the Best


How to Choose the Right Dog Breed for You

Choosing the right dog for you

Choosing the right breed for you and your family is as important as making the decision to have a Dog. There are lots of decisions to be made apart from the obvious ones. It is not just a case of “do I buy a pure breed?” or “do I rescue one from a shelter?”. You also need to know if YOU are ready to own a Dog. Below is lots of information on how to choose the right dog breed for you.

Questions You Will Need to Ask Yourself

  • Have you made a choice of pet that will fit in with your lifestyle?- When you become a Dog owner there are many adjustments you may need to make in your life. For instance do you have children? Do you have other pets? Does anyone in the family suffer from allergies? How much time have you to walk your Dog? All the questions need to be answered before making the decision.
  • Do I have the finances required to look after a Dog?-There are many financial decisions to make. For example if you buy a pure breed from a Reputable Breeder it can cost between £500 – £2000 for your pet. Never buy from a back street breeder. A cheaper option is to buy from a Shelter or Resue Centre. There, you will pay a low fee which usually includes vaccinations and having him chipped. You are also likely to receive a Dog that is mixed with many breeds. This is very advantageous for health reasons. On a personal front we had a beautiful Miniature Schnauzer called Nessa that was a pure breed. She suffered from skin conditions most of her adult life bless her. Both the Dogs we have now were rescued from a shelter and they are healthy and fantastic Dogs.Choosing the right dog for you
  • Other expenses – Medications, Microchipping, Vaccinations, Grooming, Teeth Cleaning, Flea Treatment, Leads and Collars and a massive expense is food bowls and FOOD.

One Size Does Not Fit All

You may have a good idea of the kind of Dog you want. However, will that size of Dog fit into your lifestyle? Will it fit into your home?

If you live in a Flat it’s probably not the best idea to bring home a huge Dog. Large Dogs need more space to move around. If they are happy then they wag their tails like mad. Not so good if it’s in a small area as furniture, belongings, and even children can get damaged in the excitement. One advantage of a larger Dog is that they don’t normally need as much exercise as small hyper Dogs, that need to be worn out. However, they do need more attention and the food bill will be considerably greater than a small one.

Small Dogs are more vulnerable and delicate. They can be stepped on or mishandled. Be Always careful around small children as they can think your Dog is a toy. I have seen it with my own eyes, small Dogs getting very stressed due to manhandling by children. Smaller Dogs can be much more sensitive than larger ones. They get cold quicker in colder climates, so be ready to wrap them up or have your room temperature set to warm. Training is an important factor as the smaller ones can get a “Tough Dog” attitude to compensate for their small size. I must say my Nelly, the Miniature Poodle, believes she is a Great Dane ha-ha.

If you live in the countryside think about where your Dog will be spending most of its time. A small Pomeranian covered in dirt, bugs, bits of tree and shrubs is going to be a nightmare to groom.

Choosing the right dog for you

Activities and Training

It is quite obvious that different breeds require different amounts of exercise. It does not matter which breed you have, ALL Dogs require routine exercise. You must be able to commit to this. If this is difficult then choose a Dog with a lower exercise threshold like a French Bulldog. If you are looking for a running companion with lots of agility, then you will be more suited to a Border Collie. Our Hudson is a cross between all sorts of breeds and I have never known him to tire.

You must be able to adjust the amount of exercise your Dog is getting. It is far too easy, to fall into the trap of having lots of enthusiasm for exercise throughout long summer days. However, when the winter comes, do not start to neglect the amount of exercise your Dog is getting. If for instance, your Dog starts to bark constantly and starts destroying you home or garden, then there is a high possibility he or she needs more exercise.

You will need to take into account whether your new best friend will require Training. This can be a great benefit yo yourself, your neighbours and the local Dog Community. You can take your Dog to obedience classes and socialisation training. We used to take our Nessa to agility classes which was so much fun for us and for her.

Dog Training is also available through lots of online forums and there are many books dedicated to this.

Physical Appearance

The way your Dog looks has a lot to do with his Grooming needs. All Dogs need basic grooming, but some a lot more than others. If you have a long haired Dog then this will require more daily maintenance and a trip to the Groomer’s more often. Short haired smooth coated Dogs tend to be shredders which will mean you will have to clean up more often. Remember, if they are shredders then they will not be accepted very well by those people with allergies. It is always a good idea to buy some basic grooming tools to help reduce shredding, and for keeping your loved one looking great.

Choosing the right dog for you

Something else to think about, Dogs with long ears tend to get infections easier. They require frequent cleaning so it’s a good idea to choose a Groomer that does this every time they groom your Dog. In addition, some types of Dogs constantly drool. If you own a Bloodhound, Mastiff or similar Dog, then it’s a good idea to carry a “slobber cloth” around with you.



If you decide on a Puppy then for the first six months you will need to dedicate a lot of time to training. There will be accidents in the house and there is a possibility items will get chewed. Patience is a must, and given time the problems will become ironed out and your Pup should become house-trained.

An Adult Dog can be an excellent choice. Once you meet him you will be able to judge his temperament and possibly his energy levels. You know he will not grow anymore, so that get’s rid of some uncertainty. Just because he is an adult it doesn’t mean he is properly trained. He maybe partly trained, so will just need a little bit of further training on getting home. Our Hudson was three when we got him. Although shy at first, it didn’t take him very long to settle into our home life. He was fully house-trained so that was a blessing.

Older Dogs should not be forgotten. These can make amazing friends and companions. They are less likely to need lots of exercise but may need attention in other ways. You must remember they might not last many years and are more likely to develop health problems. However, they still need a home like every other Dog. If you can accept this, then adopting an older Dog is a wonderful compassionate thing to do.Rescue Dog


As you can tell there are lots of things to take into consideration when getting a Dog. Making the right choice is crucial. There are far too many Dog Shelters with thousands of Dogs needing a good home. You must make sure that you and your family are ready for the commitment and that it is not just a stage you are going through because your young son or daughter wants a puppy.

Reading up on different characteristics of different breeds is a must when understanding what you are likely to go through when choosing that breed. Please see below my top five books available on

If you have any questions or tips you would like to share, please do not hesitate in dropping me a line.


Basics of Dog Grooming – A Great Looking Dog is a Happy Dog

How Well Is Your Dog Groomed?


The reason one should groom his/her Dog is simple – your dog’s physical state influences the way he feels and the way you look at your dog. Extreme cases, where lack of proper care, cleaning and grooming can directly affect the behavior of your Dog, are not rare.

Proper grooming not only infuses a healthy glow to your dog’s appearance, but also helps develop his self-esteem; while it makes you a very proud parent, when you show off your Dog to others.



The first step involved in dog grooming is: Brushing!

Brushing has been universally acknowledged by expert dog groomers as the single most important step in grooming.

The benefits of brushing are many. To name a few:

  • Better blood circulation
  • Shinier and healthier coat
  • Better bonding

Subscribe to this FREE dog grooming mini course and learn more about brushing and combing and other grooming tools and their applications.

Even if you know how crucial brushing is for your Dog’s health and well-being, we all know that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing anything. And without doubt, you would like to do everything the RIGHT way when it comes to your Dog.

Yes, there’s a method to follow while brushing your Dog.

Here are FIVE steps to successfully brushing your Dog that will prove to be extremely useful:

  • Brush against the growth of the hair first with a slicker brush and then with a medium or wide-toothed comb.
  • The slicker brush removes all the loose hair and the comb takes care of the tangles.
  • Brush your Dog along the hair growth and make sure you reach the skin as you brush his way
  • If your Dog’s paw pads are hairy, then clip them using electric clippers. Do not clip the hair in between the pads. Clip only the excess hair.

Brush your Dog’s hairs to prevent it from matting. Matting can be a very painful experience.

Regular brushing untangles the matted hairs on your Dog’s coat. Since this is a risky job to do, the best way out is to prevent them from forming in the first place. And doing this is simple: just brush and comb your Dog regularly. If and when you see any mats or tangles, use a detangle solution and a medium-toothed comb.

Don’t wait until your Dog is dirty or matted to introduce him to grooming. That would make him associate the experience with unpleasantness. Moreover, many dogs learn to see their routine brushing as an alternate form of petting, i.e. another source of affection and attention.

Subscribe to this FREE dog grooming mini course and start Grooming your Dog all by yourself right from the comfort of your home Today.

Copyright (c) 2018


Basic Dog Grooming skills are a must. My wife is a Dog Groomer and she advises everyone of the basic skills needed.

It is also worthwhile taking your loved one for a proper grooming every so often, just like we do when we go to a hairdresser. A good groomer will check your Dog for fleas, clean their teeth, check their ears and clip their claws if necessary.

If you have any feedback please drop me a line.


How to Toilet Train your Dog – Basic Easy to Follow Principles

Is Your Dog Toilet Trained Enough?

House Training a puppy or adult Dog is such an essential issue for its owner that even a single exclusive tip turns out to be extremely helpful.

The first step in how to toilet train your Dog is making your Dog fit for company. Basically you need to potty train him. Some see this training as a hassle and some as a challenge.

For me, it is part of bringing up a pet.

Click here to subscribe to a FREE course on housetraining puppies and dogs.

There are a few things you need to know before you actually start potty training a puppy or adult Dog.

  • You need to understand your dog’s body language. Watch for signs that will indicate to you when your pet wants to go to the toilet.
  • If you own puppies, remember that they need to go potty at fairly frequent intervals – as soon as they wake up, after short naps, after play-time, after meals, and finally, before going to bed.
  • Take your Dog for walks at the time that he usually does his potty. Take him out to the garden, or wherever you can take him, and then to the same place there every time he needs to answer nature’s call.
  • Praise your Dog after he goes to the toilet at the right place. Some Dog owners even give treats to their dogs. But remember to do this every time he does it right. He will relate the rewards to his having “done it right” and zero in on the spot where you want him to defecate regularly.
  • With time, you can try signal training. This is so that you know when your doggie wants to go. You can hang a bell at his level near the door and teach him to push it with his nose or pat it with his paw on his way out. I think my Nelly would use a bell just to keep us awake at night ha ha.
  • Until your Dog has been fully potty trained keep him under strict vigilance. Do not let him roam around the house freely.
  • Use a crate. A crate-trained Dog is usually very happy to get his own den. The advantage of crating is that dogs do not soil the place where they sleep. So, he will naturally not go to the toilet inside the crate.
  • If you have a small dog and if you live in a block of flats or in a place that does not have a garden, you can try litter tray training. What you do is create a space for your pet to go to the toilet in your house itself.
  • Use positive reinforcements while housebreaking puppies or adult dogs. Do not scold or hit him as you will gain nothing by doing that. He will only associate punishment with your return from outside. If you catch him in the act, a stern ‘NO’ or ‘FREEZE’ will do. It will startle the Dog enough for him to stop pooping.
  • Be prepared to return to a soiled home if you are keeping your Dog home alone for more than 4 hours as separation anxiety is quite common among home – alone dogs.
  • Accidents will happen. It is unusual for a trained adult Dog to work against its house training. But medical problems or health disorders may lead to sudden accidents.
  • Many dogs mark their territory. These can be a leg of a table or a particular wall. Intact male and female dogs mark their territories by urinating. Use deodorizers to spray on the places where your Dog has marked.
  • If you are patient and are ready to accept that house training a dog takes time, even months sometimes, you will end up having a good housetrained Dog.

Click here to subscribe to a FREE course on house training puppies and dogs.

Now we will move on to how to potty train puppies and adult dogs.

Potty Training A Puppy:

Irrespective of breeds, housetraining a puppy is considered to be one of the biggest challenges by dog owners. If you think housetraining your puppy simply involves a steady supply of old newspapers, then think again.

A puppy does not develop full control over his bladder until it is over 4 or 5 months old. Since they are growing and developing rapidly at this time, puppies eat more, burn more calories and need to toilet more frequently than an adult Dog.

After each nap, meal, drink or play, take your puppy to his designated area (indoors or outdoors, wherever you have decided) and stay there until it eliminates. Then bring him to his crate.

Repeat this situation everyday until he has developed a habit out of it.

Click here to subscribe to a FREE course on housebreaking a puppy.

Potty Training An Adult Dog:

The best way to housetrain an adult Dog is to begin all over again.

Observe him very closely. Maybe even maintain a diary of where he goes and when. Whether he is pooping when you are home or only when you are outside; whether you can time yourself to be home when he feels the need to go outside.

You can try dog crates, but be careful to introduce him gradually to them.

Click here to subscribe to a FREE course on potty training a dog.

Remember, commitment, consistency and intelligent use of positive reinforcement will make you the owner of a perfectly housetrained Dog. Don’t expect miracles. You will only be disappointed.

Get this FREE course on potty training a dog.

Get this unique Housetraining guide and start Housebreaking Your Dog Today.

Copyright (c) 2018


From day one of owning your new best friend you must start to train him or her in basic toilet skills. If you ignore this, the more time that goes by, the harder it will be for you to train him.

As usual, if you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Training Your Dog to Listen to You


Training Your Dog to Listen to You

Why Won’t My Dog Listen To Me?

This is a question that many friends have asked me. Also, I have been stopped in the street by Dog owners Who have also asked this question. However, before I attempt to answer your question, let me ask you a few instead:

  • Do you use collars, head halters or clickers to make your Dog listen to your commands?
  • Do you have to raise your voice every time you want your Dog to listen to you?
  • Does your Dog always come or sit on command – anytime and anywhere you want him to?

If your answers are mostly in the negative, its time you seriously reconsider your role as a sincere Dog trainer and an ideal pet parent.

Learn how to bond with your Dog with this free mini course.

Get Your Dog To Listen To You

Before you begin any training, you must first establish yourself as the “ALPHA dog” of your family. Your Dog must know that you’re the leader of the pack and it is YOU who is in charge.

Here is a list of simple DO’s and DONT’s that you must follow if you want to be the Alpha:

  • Always go out or come in through the door first – remember you are the leader;
  • Always eat first – give your Dog something to eat only after you’ve finished your meal;
  • Don’t circle around your Dog when he is lying on the floor – make your Dog move out of your way instead;
  • Don’t let your Dog set the rules – pay attention to him when you think fit, and not whenever he demands;
  • Don’t let your Dog sleep with you in your bed – make sure you mark out his sleeping area clearly.

Once you have successfully established yourself as the Alpha, training your Dog and making him listen will be a lot easier than you can imagine. Remember, if your Dog does not learn to “listen”, all your training efforts will be in vain!

Does your Dog know his name? Does your Dog look at you whenever you call him by his name? This is the first and the most critical step involved in Dog Training. If your Dog doesn’t respond to his name, you cannot have his attention for teaching him any other commands.

To make sure that your Dog recognizes his name, take a treat in your hand and hold it away from your body. Call your Dog’s name. He is most likely to look at the treat in your hand. Continue calling his name until he turns and looks at your eyes. Give him the treat immediately. Repeat this exercise by holding the treat in the other hand. Once you’re sure that your Dog has learnt to recognize his name, just call his name and reward him for looking at you with a pat or a hug.

You must understand that Dogs respond far better to positive reinforcement than they do to coercion or force.

Learn how to train your Dog better with this free mini course.


These are the very basic ways to start training your dog. The pillars to which you can build on if you like. Once you have mastered these you can then go onto further educating your loved ones.

If you have any comments or feedback please feel free to drop me a line.