Hi, YES finally!!!!!!! I've been after my husband to install one for 2 1/2 months... He came up with every excuse... until I notice the door all scratched up and said.. screw it. and went to pet smart and bought one! THE EXTRA LARGE..since my dog is only 7 months now and will grow alot... he is an alaskan malamute.
I priced them on line... and WOW... I mean the extra large would run around 300.00... so That's why I went with the one at petsmart. You have to read the instructions and install it around 12 inches off the floor if it's a big dog and a little closer to the floor if it's a small dog... IT IS A BLESSING...
Oh, forgot.. about the age...um.. is the area he will be entering safe and secured.. if so.. any age to start would be fine! You will have to use a toy and put it in and out to show him how to use it... I climbed through mine and played peek a boo and it worked after that one time... he looked at it funny the first 2 times after that.. now it's like breathing or eatting... just natural!
We have a dog door. Our dog is a small terrier mix.
I would suggest you wait to use one until:
1. You are ~100% confident your dog is housebroken. Once you have a dog door, you will probably neglect to take your dog outside on a schedule. You trust the dog to run itself. From my experience, if your dog is not reliable when the door is installed, this lack of attention to housebreaking weakens the progress you have made.
2. Your dog is fully grown. Unless you have a very good estimate of its adult height and weight, or don't mind putting in an oversized door.
3. You are confident your dog can be left alone outside, unattended--he won't dig, try to escape, eat things, pick up things and bring them into the house, bark incessantly, whatever. Some of these are "puppy" behaviors, others depend on the breed.
Dog doors are good to a point. Yes, convenient. BUT not controlling or knowing when your dog goes in and out means you may wake up to/come home to/turn around to muddy pawprints, puked up grass, dead things, etc. in your house. My dog found a nest of day-old baby rabbits and tried to bring them into the house. He also has a habit of waking up around 2:00AM and sneaking outside to bark. So I am no longer a fan of dog doors.
Would I have a dog door again? Maybe if I fenced off a small area and laid down rocks or concrete. But never a full yard.
As far as which brand to buy, it really depends on how much you want to spend. If you heat/cool your house, a higher quality door will help. Cheaper doors will have one flap, better doors will usually have two, and also will seal more tightly. We are in temporary housing so we bought a cheap door from a hardware store. It doesn't seal well and the door has already cracked after three years use. If you want a higher quality door, you can look online.
My dog is fully house broken and the doggie door exits to a deck with steps right to a large 30x30 foot kennel. I have it so when I leave I go down the steps and close the kennel door and he can not get out or up the stairs to the doggie door. The doggie door also comes with an insert you put in , at your convenience so that you can stop the dog from entering or exiting at anytime. Or prevent anything or anyone else from entering your home. I purchased an extra large...due to my dog being so big.. and will continue to grow.. ALASKAN MALAMUTE.. He does not have access to the entire yard...only the deck and his secured kenneled area with a dog house in the center. I wouldn't be with out it... since he is a house dog and is inside 80 percent of the time.. We kennel him in my room at night time.. and let him out to go potty around 4 am then back in the kennel to 6am.
My door was solid maple... for a metal door.. you would have to follow the same as I did BUT with a metal cutting blade. (first you drill 4 holes for the corners..with a metal drill bit... then you use a jig saw with a metal cutting blade along the paper template..from hole to hole. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR SAFETY GLASSES AND HAVE A WET/DRY VAC there to suck up the metal filings! When you buy your door kit, make sure you ALSO pick up the accessory kit (15-19 dollars)for using on metal high/low rise doors. It has caulk and gaskets. On each of the packages..it states what type of dog it is for.. MALAMUTES use the extra large. I bought mine at petsmart...due to availability and research. Yes the better ones have 2-3 flaps.. but this one I have by PETSAFE seems to work great and it's been as low as 12 degrees here and I have NOT felt a draft...except for when he enters and exits...ha ha ha Some times he just likes to peek out. AND IT HAS SAVED MY HOME ON FLIES!!! It was heck leaving the door open all summer and all the flies and bees that came in...thank god NO BIRDS!
P.S. Is your puppy fully house broke? Is the area the doggie door leads too a safe confined area? If the answer is NO to the above 2 questions.. You can still put in the doggie door BUT put in the insert so it can't be used until the puppy and area is ready. Atleast this way the door is installed under better weather conditions and can be accessed at your leisure a day, week or months from now.
Mine was offset to the right on purpose so it would make it more convenient to the puppy since I do have a storm door and that is right now hooked in an open position.
We have a 110 lb Rottweiler and 4 Pit Bulls,,,finally after nagging, hubby agreed to get a doggie door. We have had it now for about 1 1/2 years. It was one of the best investments. We bought the X-Large one at Home Depot, it was cheaper than Petsmart I think we paid around $99 for it. If you know how large your dog will be by the breed, you can pretty much guess which one to get. The one we have is too big for the Pits, but just fine for the Rottweiler, and since I didn't want 2, we got the larger one.
As far as installing it, my hubby just took a power saw (not a circular one) and cut the hole in the wall. It was fairly easy and comes with great directions. Just be careful for your wiring!! We ran into that where we put it at and had to move some of the wires.
Another poster (sorry, too early to remember names) had a list on here, that was very good and something to take into mind. Our doggie door goes out onto the enclosed patio, so we they go outside and we are not home, they are not in the big yard but in a smaller area to do their business. If you go this route, be prepared to clean up everyday!
thank you on the information... we still haven't decided yet whether or not to buy one or not... but similar to yours this one has a dead bolt feature on it to keep intruders out when the door isn't in use... with is great with me... i'm constantly home alone with my daughter... i don't need to perverts trying to get in
I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck
If your back door is metal, it's actually just two sheets of metal over a foam or wood core. So it's not much more difficult to drill/saw through. You just need different drill bits and saw blades. We used our drill and a cordless reciprocating saw. You could also use a jig saw, but a recip saw might be easier if you aren't going to take the door down.
We also keep our storm door propped open, but I did see storm doors with a dog door built in at one of the hardware stores around here.
We have 6 Dobermans, ranging in size from 65 lbs to 140 lbs. We love our doggy door! It was the best investment we ever made (in addition to 5 fenced in acres). The puppies showed the big dogs how to use it and they love it. We know we can come and go as we please and not come home to a mess, except during mud season.Plus they can go out an play and run whenever they want, that makes for a nice quiet night of sleep! We got an extra large at a local Mennonite store and paid about $102.00 for it. Good luck!
I have one and wouldn't be with out. This door is activated by a collar so I spent 150.00 bucks for it. The cheap doors would never last with my kids. I have tried them and they tore them apart. I'm looking to adding one at my shop and will be spending 75.00.
I recently bought a dog door that fits into the sliding glass door panel. It's been great!! I don't have to open the door anymore (so no cold air is coming in) and they come and go as they please. Of course if I had a puppy I wouldn't want him/her going through it until it was potty trained completely and reliable on our invisible fence.