Doggie doors -- pros and cons


#1

DH has announced that we can get a puppy. :smiley: I’m so excited because we both grew up with dogs, but we haven’t been able to have one of our own since getting married. I can’t wait to have a dog in the house again. We’re looking at a medium sized dog, probably a golden retriever.

Anyways, my question is regarding doggie doors. What do you all see as the pros and cons to having one? I guess the convenience of not having to let the dog in and out all the time could be nice, but I just can’t get past the thought of having a hole in my back door that’s potentially large enough for a human to crawl through. Not to mention how much cold air they must let in during the cold times of the year. But I’ve never actually had a doggie door before. DH has, and says it really wasn’t a problem. (He doesn’t want to let the dog in and out all the time.)

So what do you guys think? Would you ever have a doggie door in your house? Would the size of dog make a difference? If you have one (or did in the past) is the convenience worth it? I’m just trying to gather up a bit more information.

Edit: I forgot to add that we have two small children–a 2 and 4 year old.


#2

The convenience outweighs all else (two golden retrievers here). You can and probably should weatherstrip the door and there's the possibility that the flap will not lay flat against the magnets that hold it down, so cold air might still come in. All things considered, its worth it.


#3

I LOVE mine. My dog is worse than a kid -- in or out, dog. Make your decision :D

I also like the idea of her having a way to get out of the house in case of an emergency like fire. I have never had a problem or concern with anyone crawling through mine -- of course, I have a smaller dog. I do know they have them with sensors that you can attach to the dog's collar so it'll only open when that sensor is present -- also helps to keep out wildlife. I lock mine at night.


#4

My concern would be that all the possums, stray cats, foxes, snakes, lizards, and other critters I see roaming the neighborhood would be able to come into my house just as easily as my dog! I also have indoor cats that I would not want to let out either.

As for security, there might be a way to latch the doggie door shut at night.


#5

Human home invaders can also get thru the door.

Our cats used the dog door to bring home their catches and let them go in the confines of our house.

Additionally, the door will make your heat and electricity bill increase.

There is a door that has an electronic lock, your dog wears the unlocking mechanism on the collar.


#6

I don't have a dog...but Cesar Milan on his show had one that "locks"

Doggie wears the sensor on his collar and only he can get it open. So no unwanted pests or intruders.


#7

We used to have one for our cat. Mostly it worked well but occasionally a stray would come in and once a skunk came in. :eek: Fortunately, the door was between the screened in porch where the cat slept and the outdoors so we didn't have the skunk in the house proper.


#8

youtube.com/watch?v=rVr-l2plai8

:D


#9

youtube.com/watch?v=S6u7ylr0zIg&feature=related


#10

Thanks for all the replies.

I hadn’t thought of the wildlife getting in, but I suppose that’s something to consider. My main concern is people. At first, I did like the idea of having another way to get in if we locked ourselves out… it’s happened in the past. :stuck_out_tongue: My BIL has a chihuahua with a doggie door, and I’ve been able to unlock the door with it when he accidentally locked me and DH out. But on the more serious side of things, we’ve had some issues with vandalism in the neighborhood. No break-ins, but people have had houses egged, car tires slashed, ketchup sprayed on painted surfaces, etc. I didn’t know they made “locked” doors with the little sensor on the collar, I might look into that.


#11

Security system for your doggie door :blush:

youtube.com/watch?v=_xSWwHLBR-4&feature=related


#12

[quote="Barbkw, post:9, topic:227326"]
youtube.com/watch?v=S6u7ylr0zIg&feature=related

[/quote]

:rotfl::rotfl: Too funny!


#13

When "The Osbourns" was on television, they had an episode where Kelly and Jack locked themselves out of the house.

They went around to the dog door and Kelly crawled through the opening and unlocked the back door.


#14

My reasons for not using one are the same reasons I don’t just open the door and let my dog do his business.

First, you don’t know where he’s gonna go in order to clean it up. everyone I know that just lets their dog out to do its business does not clean up after it. they say they will later, but by the time later comes around they’ve forgotten where it was or can’t find it. i’ve petsat for people and seen both old and fresh poo in their yard. I have friends who admit to not picking it up. I’ve had neighbors where you could see turds on their deck. and forget about anyone who lives in an apartment complex or goes to the park - I actually thank people when I see them picking up because it’s so rare, even in locations where bags and cans are provided. i’ve worked around lots of dogs at one time, and even picking up twice a workday in an area with very little grass, poo is very good at being camouflaged by grass and dirt, mushed up by rain and covered by snow and ice. you would think that people would be more likely to pick up when it’s their own yard, as opposed to the park or an apt complex, but it’s just not the case. besides, going outside to pick up poo totally negates the “not going outside” part of just letting the dog out. also, maybe he’s stepping in it and tracking it through your kitchen :eek:, or peeing on your flowers while you’re not looking! :stuck_out_tongue:

Second, you don’t know if maybe there’s something or someone in your yard that could be injured/cause your dog to be injured. Maybe the gate latch got unlocked overnight or an animal dug a hole under the fence. maybe there’s a skunk or your neighbor’s cat hiding under the deck. Maybe someone tossed some garbage or glass in or an animal died or some of those pretty flowers are actually poisonous when munched on. Maybe something really interesting will be on the other side of the fence one time and your dog will learn to jump it (I’ve known dogs much smaller than a golden able to jump 6 ft fences, and dogs break out of electric fences for a chase but obviously unwilling to break back in). You won’t know any of that until the dog doesn’t come back in one morning and by then it might be too late. :frowning:

You should always have your dog supervised - free reign of the yard is fine as long as you’re out there. and even if your dog is trained, he’s still an animal, and you never know what he will do in all situations*. *I can’t stress that enough. I worked in the animal care field for years and I can’t even begin to count how many people would talk about something their dog did with genuine astonishment, saying, “but he’s never done that before!!”

also, the fact that your husband doesn’t want to take the dog out throws up a HUGE red flag for me!! especially if you want a puppy that you will need to train - they need to be taken out every hour at first and shown where to go and praised when they succeed! dog doors are not for puppies and I would say not even for adolescents (for a golden, that could be until he’s a year and a half) as they may still not come when called. a puppy is a lot of work and a golden puppy even more so as they have significantly higher energy and mischief causing abilities than many other breeds - but right on par with labs, in case anyone was wondering - and if you or your husband are not willing to deal with this, get another breed. once a dog is full grown, they should be able to hold it for a full 8 - 12 hours when left alone, and if people are around potty times should be every 4 - 6 hours. this isn’t exactly “all the time” and if your husband wouldn’t want to take a dog out maybe four times a day, only twice which would involve poop, and less if you’re helping, I would really really have you reconsider if you guys are ready for a dog.

I hope this doesn’t sound all high and mighty, or too negative nelly, but I learned that people didn’t know nearly as much about having a dog, especially a puppy, as I had assumed, and I don’t want you to end up having fights over the dog, or having a nasty ill trained one, or even having to get rid of it, because you didn’t know how much work it was beforehand. hope this helped a little, and good luck! :slight_smile:


#15

My daughter’s friend has one that talks. They have 2 Yorkys (Lexus and Bentley), when she dog sits, sometimes she startled when the system announces, “Bentley is going outside.”


#16

I completely disagree with insideit all. They are just another person who has succombed to the over indulgent world of bubble-wrap everything and the emotinal plea of "what if, what if, what if????"

Quite frankly it's rediciulious. I can seen some what if's applied to children, but to a dog? It's dehumanizing humans by it's very nature.

Dogs lived for centuries as shepards and guard dogs and rescuers and transportation. These dogs slept outside 24/7 and learned to deal with it.

Many breeds now adays are bread until stupidity (pugs with short noses, spaniels with long ears) and couldn't handle a mouse that came there way.

Don't buy into that. Get a dog and train it to be a dog. It is not a baby. It's a dog. Dogs survived thousands of years so far sleeping on cold, hard floors, eating scraps or dry dog food...chewing on real bones and dealing with nature.

I have the luxary of living on a 1/2 acre of land. My dog is a shepard who likes to poo in the same spot. She's pretty easy becuase I've trained her. I let her out unleashed in an unfenced yard (boarderd by a deep but lazy river) BECAUSE she's a dog. I don't worry about her even with the squirrels, racoons, skunks and even cyotes. I do not supervise her beucase she knows the boundaries and I know that she is obedient. It IS possible to train a dog to do such. Those who say "any dog can be unpredictible" does not truly know dogs. Every action a dog does is predictable--you just need to know how to predict it's actions. You must train to it's strengths and know the dog you want. If you have a hound it will hunt. If you have a shepard it will try to heard. Terriers will dig. Spaniels swim and point. Labs chase tennis balls.

I wouldn't let a terrier or hound do that. Their "prey drive" is too strong.

I trained my dog (for hours) to make sure that I can take ANYTHING out of her mouth, no matter how much she wants it. She will not growl and she will give it. She knows to be careful around children and is very gentle with smaller dogs. The only thing we're working on is "gentle wag" and containing her excitment so she's less likely to wack children with her tail.

I had once recued brilliant terrier that, when left to her own devices managed to climb a 12 foot-chain link fence topped with barbed wire without so much as a scratch on her. However, when left with stimulation (another dog, a toy, human entertainment) she would stay within the confines of a split rail fence....something which a dog 100 times her size could of easily gotten through. She died because of other foibles, which were 100% predictible. Unfortunatly at the time, they were unavoidable.

I believe in research and education. Think a good dog is part shepard/part something else. (I like German Shepard females). If you're getting an adult dog it should be between 2-4 if you reasonably expect to be able to train them. Puppies should be aquired between 4mo and 6mo. I'd never recommend getting a dog between 8mo and 18mo...they are in a "teenage" stage and challenge way too much. Without the bond of young puppyhood they see you as an outsider and it takes alot to mold their will to yours. Dogs should be tested for ANY aggression qualities by both a professional trainer and yourself. Unfortunatly, years of bad breeding have created inborn temperment problems in spanilels, german shepards, dobermans, american pit bulls, rotties, and boxers. Actually, these temperment problems show up on the "smaller dog" side of the scale with ill tempered chiwowas, yorkies and carn terriers.

Simply put. Start with a good dog. Put training into the dog. Then let the dog be a dog.


#17

[quote="insideitall, post:14, topic:227326"]

also, the fact that your husband doesn't want to take the dog out throws up a HUGE red flag for me!! especially if you want a puppy that you will need to train - they need to be taken out every hour at first and shown where to go and praised when they succeed! dog doors are not for puppies and I would say not even for adolescents (for a golden, that could be until he's a year and a half) as they may still not come when called. a puppy is a lot of work and a golden puppy even more so as they have significantly higher energy and mischief causing abilities than many other breeds - but right on par with labs, in case anyone was wondering - and if you or your husband are not willing to deal with this, get another breed. once a dog is full grown, they should be able to hold it for a full 8 - 12 hours when left alone, and if people are around potty times should be every 4 - 6 hours. this isn't exactly "all the time" and if your husband wouldn't want to take a dog out maybe four times a day, only twice which would involve poop, and less if you're helping, I would really really have you reconsider if you guys are ready for a dog.

I hope this doesn't sound all high and mighty, or too negative nelly, but I learned that people didn't know nearly as much about having a dog, especially a puppy, as I had assumed, and I don't want you to end up having fights over the dog, or having a nasty ill trained one, or even having to get rid of it, because you didn't know how much work it was beforehand. hope this helped a little, and good luck! :)

[/quote]

I thank you for your concerns regarding dog ownership, and we're sure that we can handle a dog. We've both had dogs all our lives with the exception of the past five years or so. I understand the challenges that come with a golden. DH had one growing up and MIL has one currently. (And it is pampered, spoiled rotten, and completely untrained. It's always eating something, or raiding the fridge, or dragging something in from outdoors--very mischievous!) The main reason that DH wants the dog door is for the convenience. That's not to say that he *won't *go let the dog in/out, he would just rather let the dog go at it's own will. I've never had the dog door, so to me, letting the dog in/out is just a fact of life.

I see no problem with allowing the dog to roam the backyard, however. I don't want a pampered dog who only wants to stay inside the house. I don't mind if the dog is inside with me when I'm home or at night, but if no one is home, the dog needs to stay outside. With past dogs, we've found that if we trained them to poo in one specific area of the yard, they would continue to do so--makes picking it up much easier! And I agree, it's disgusting when people don't clean up after their pets.


#18

[quote="Catholic1954, post:15, topic:227326"]
My daughter's friend has one that talks. They have 2 Yorkys (Lexus and Bentley), when she dog sits, sometimes she startled when the system announces, "Bentley is going outside."

[/quote]

lol, I'll have to look into that!


#19

seagirl, I'm glad you seem to know what you're talking about with dogs. however, I am not

another person who has succombed to the over indulgent world of bubble-wrap everything and the emotinal plea of "what if, what if, what if????"

Quite frankly it's rediciulious. I can seen some what if's applied to children, but to a dog? It's dehumanizing humans by it's very nature.

perhaps I've just seen a disproportionate number of illness and injuries caused by people who have absolutely no idea how to keep a dog, working with so many, and I see no need to unnecessarily place those risks on my own animal.

I grew up with shepherds and would have one if my apt let me. you make an excellent point that many breeds are bred with non-traditional features, and that's exactly my point.

many people with these dogs don't understand, for example, that letting a dachshund become overweight (even slightly) puts it at a HUGE risk for slipped or herniated disks. I have very rarely seen any at the proper weight. even for more traditional breed owners, most don't realize that feeding dogs table scraps can lead to pancreatitis, which is expensive to treat and if not caught early enough may cause the dog to be put down. giving dogs bones, specifically chicken bones, can cause stomach or bowel perforation. dogs eating foreign objects can cause a small intestine obstruction, requiring surgery or causing the dog to go into shock and die. leaving them unattended in the yard they can get bitten by snakes and stung (luckily not often fatal, but could very well be if it happened while the owner wasn't home). every once in awhile someone would come in with an injured dog, luckily I didn't see any that were fatal, because no one had checked the gate before letting the dog out and it ran into the street. *these were things I saw all the time. *even more owners were simply ignorant of behavior, of how to predict what their dog would do, had no control even with simple commands like "sit" and "down," and had major behavior problems like food or object guarding (but thought it was cute). one woman told a story about how her little dog (yorkie) would growl whenever her husband tried to get into bed and she thought it was hilarious. one couple I saw frequently at the park would let their little dog run 10 feet ahead of them and bark and growl and everyone that passed, occasionally lunging and attempting to bite, and they completely ignored it. these are just the first things that come to mind.

I find it's safer to assume people don't know anything (try to educate) and throw the info out there than assume they are well versed in behavior and then end up having a nasty or destructive dog, or a dog that gets sick and dies because of something preventable.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that being responsible for your dog is somehow treating it just like a child - I am the first one to enforce pack order and doggie limits and can't stand when people carry their dogs around or give them pedicures or any of that stuff.. my dog is not allowed on the couch or bed, does not go out the door first, sits and waits for food and usually eats after we've eaten (unless it'll be a late night for us). however, when it comes to his health, I will not put it in jeopardy unnecessarily (in fact, he was a stray in the midwest - so yes, he's a real dog, lived outside over the winter, hunted his own food, etc). Just because dogs ate scraps in the past doesn't mean they can eat scraps NOW - our diets have changed, and probably a HUGE number of them died at a young age due to things that are now preventable simply by watching what your dog puts in its mouth.

I suppose I should have been more precise in my language - while I still maintain that every action is not predictable, yes, the vast majority of actions are, providing the owner knows what they're looking for. And as I've experienced, most people do NOT know what they're looking for. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, the vast majority of people can not predict what their dog will do, and because they're ignorant of what to look for, they think they can predict it, yet are surprised when it doesn't act according to how they think it should act.

again, it's nice to see someone who actually knows something about behavior and proper training.

summer, I'm glad your husband didn't mean he wouldn't take the dog outside. and I'm also glad you find poo in the yard to be icky :rotfl: I'm sort of confused how you would think that just because the dog isn't left unattended outside automatically means the dog is pampered.. :cool:


#20

I still think there are a couple of problems to your approach. The first being that alot of people have descended into the thought that their dog simply "can't" behave. In some cases this is true, in most they just have given up. For instance I had a friend with a roommate who had a Boston terrier with terrible breath. The vet suggested they check it's mouth for any decay and if not feed the dog parsley-based doggy bones. Neither my friend nor her roommate could pin the wild thing down, and if they did it refused to open it's mouth without threatening to bite. They spent hours on this.

It took me all of 2 minutes to catch, pin, and examine the dog's mouth. They were astounded becuase they had really fed into the belief that it could not be done. This dog was really wild and it needed alot of training...but still...i really think that most people now accept ill-mannered and unpredicitable dogs as part of ownership. If a dog is aggressive towards humans, especially children, it needs to be put down...even the yippie little teacup dogs.

People need to realize that they are responsible for making their pet predictable (and buying one that can be predictable)

Secondly, people shouldn't be lulled into the belif that bad things only happened to unsupervised/unleased dogs. The worst things that happened to dogs or dogs in my care happened within a few feet of me. A dog that went under a toolshed and got bit by a rabbit, a leashed dog that crossed a porqupine, a retriever that landed a Frisbee in a mole-hole and sprained it's paw. A dog that got it's ear caught in a door. A dog that licked a metal street sign in winter. Etc. Etc.

I'm not saying that things can't be prevented with supervision...just supervision makes little difference in a pet getting injured...it may be good for their medical care after, but it is a false sense of security to say that injury comes from unsupervised pets.


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