19 Oct Doggie Doors are Great, Right?
Your dog can come and go when he or she pleases, your dog can instantly “check out” any strange noise they hear, you never have to get off of the couch to let them out, and they don’t have to feel trapped inside while you are at work – sounds great!! Although most people may view a doggie door as a convenient aid to dog ownership, we often see the downsides of allowing your dog to freely use a doggie door.
Giving your dog free access to everything (in this case we are mainly talking about space) often contributes to a large list of behavior problems. Issues like fence fighting, digging, territorial issues, unwanted chewing, inability to be confined in a crate, and increased prey drive are just a few issues can be fueled by a doggie door. Really, who the heck knows what else your dog is practicing when they are outside unattended? Besides behavior issues, a dog door lessens your role in your dog’s world because you become less and less significant as they need you for fewer things.
Don’t get me wrong, some dogs can handle the freedom of coming and going through a dog door just fine, and they never develop issues. Unfortunately, due to our line of work, we more commonly deal with the dogs that can’t handle the freedom. Instead of just giving your dog everything, teach them to look to you for the things they need; it directly puts you in a leadership role and increases the connection that you are looking for. Create some boundaries and structure for your dog and teach them how you want them to behave inside the home and yard. Controlling your dog’s life and actions is not cruel, it’s not mean – it’s called being a good dog owner and having the proper relationship with your companion.
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