Dog Door Training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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IloveGSDs's Avatar
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Location: Shreveport, LA
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Dog Door Training

I recently put in a dog door to my back yard. Cody, of course, learned how to use it in one day! Love those smart shepherds. My other 2 are not learning so quickly. My question is: How do I get Cody to use the door whenever he wants to? He only goes out when I tell him it is time to go outside. I guess he has been conditioned to only go out when I say it is time to go out or sometimes he will whine at me when he really needs to go out. I actually put the door in so my Yorkie could go out more often without me having to let him out (yeah, I'm lazy). My yorkie actually has figured out the door but the flaps are pretty heavy and he has a hard time pushing them open unless he is really excited. Anyway, do you think it is just a matter of time before Cody will go out whenever he wants to?

I do live in a safe neighborhood and will keep the doggie door closed when not at home. My neighbors have 8 dogs and nothing goes on around my neighborhood without them barking like crazy!

Any words of advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Mom to:
Cody, 8 y.o. GSD
Honey 9 y.o. GSD/Husky rescue
Thelma & Louise Calico rescues &
Zeke, 3 y.o. Yorkie
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 02:35 PM
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Location: St. Louis, MO
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Yeah, if Cody understands how to use the door, it's just a matter of time before it occurs to him "huh, I don't have to ask mom, I can just go out! cool!" Keep doing reminders at routine times (e.g. when you get home from work, etc.). Slowly start to phase those out, make him have to wait longer and longer like housebreaking him. He'll quickly figure out that he's uncomfortable, but he can fix that!

My aunt and uncle have dog doors, and I was living with them when I got Sprocket. He quickly figured it out - I did it as part of housebreaking. He was 12 weeks old when I got him. It took him a week to get comfortable running through the door at top speed with the other dogs. At 13 weeks 2 days, he brought in a 12" plastic flower pot, WITH the dirt still in it! He was very proud of himself, even as my aunt and I took it away, he was strutting around all smug - he had to navigate through TWO dog doors to do that. Little did I know that was a predictor of things to come - we hit a point where I ended up closing the door much of the time, because I was tired of taking away giant sticks and pieces of garden hose and other large, random things that he had to work hard to maneuver through the doors).

Sprocket and I have been living in an apartment since November. He hates having to ask to go out. We visit my aunt and uncle's house regularly (couple times a month) and he's always quick to show that there he can go out without asking, rather than quick potty break on leash and then back inside.

The other two will figure it out as they watch Cody do it. Sometimes they clue in if they're playing "chase" and the lead dog goes through the door - the others follow without realising it, as the flap is already pushed up.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 02:41 PM
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He is also used to you telling him to go out. I would "hang out" in the area of the dog door. Not really paying attention to it. Do this when he 'needs' to go out. He will take it upon himself to start using it without the command to do it.

Dawn Brogan

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-03-2012, 05:38 PM
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Location: Moore, Oklahoma
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My father's dog Mercer still waits every morning for my father to tell him to go outside. Once he gets the go-ahead, he blasts through the dog door, and then he'll let himself in and out all day long.

Next morning, he starts all over again, and waits for my father to tell him it's okay to go outside. He's pretty funny!

~ Diane ~

CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
SCARLET ..... Lauremi's Almost Wasn't (AKC pointed)
and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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