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Gun Dog Door Issue
LSF Member
Joined:
08/26/2016
From Rush Point Mn
Posts: 9
I've got a kennel with a Gun Dog Door to an outside run area. My 9 month old short hair suddenly won't use it unless I force him to. He was using it just fine for the last six months and now won't? I suspect he got a foot or something pinched and is scared of it now. My previous dog never had such an issue and I don't want to keep it propped open all the time like I'm currently doing so he'll get fresh air and exercise when I'm away at work. Any one ever encounter this issue and what did you do about it?

I've spent hours forcing him in and out, but he still hesitates. Should I place his food and water in the run?

Posted on: 2016/9/6 9:56
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Re: Gun Dog Door Issue
Field Staff
Joined:
10/12/2004
From Willmar, MN
Posts: 3987
Try making a little game of it. Reward him when he goes through it. Maybe make him go through it and then go play with his bumper or give him a treat. Your guess is probably pretty accurate that he got his foot caught or something and now is skiddish to go through it.

I wouldn't leave it propped. Makes him think he's training you. If he wants to go outside he will. Once he learns it wont bite him in the foot all the time he'll be fine.

Posted on: 2016/9/6 14:18
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Re: Gun Dog Door Issue
LSF Member
Joined:
12/28/2005
Posts: 1219
Dogs can be funny like that. One thing goes wrong and they remember it for a long time. Years ago I was screwing around with the Wii and playing a bowling game. My dog happened to walk behind me right in the middle of my back swing and I clocked him right in the head. Now whenever he hears the music from the Wii starting up he slinks away and heads to another room and that was probably 5 years ago and he still does it.

I think freightrain is on the right track. I wouldn't alter things for him by leaving it propped open. He'll get over it sooner or later it will just take a lot of positive repetitions to over come that one back one. For sure work with the dog to reinforce going through the door as being a good thing. Have him go through the door and then reward him with play time or leave his food on the other side of the door so that he has to go through it to get what he wants. I think over time and with some positive reinforcement you'll be able to get him over it.

Posted on: 2016/9/6 14:37
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Re: Gun Dog Door Issue
Field Staff
Joined:
12/18/2012
From South Minneapolis
Posts: 1517
I agree with you he probably got pinched/scared by it one time. Unfortunately he sounds like a smart dog (I have a german wired hair ) and the smart ones are the hardest to de-sensitize but that's just what you will have to do. He has to learn to trust it again. You forcing him in/out won't do anything but cause anxiety, he needs to trust it on his own. Will have to start from square one using treats (or whatever positive reinforcement you have used for training). Pretty much treat it like you are trying to train him on something new. Using his meals could be a good place to start also.

For example clipping my dogs nails one time I slipped and took a pretty big chunk off and after that he would freak out every time I tried to trim his nails even though I know it wouldn't actually hurt him, he would flail and cry like a little baby (this is the same hunting dog that last season got tangled and fought his way through barbed wire getting to a rooster I shot and had some pretty bad cuts and just wanted to go back to hunting like nothing happened...). To fix it every evening at dinner I made him lay down and touched the nail trimmer to each foot before he could eat. After a week of that I would hold it there longer to each foot. Then I would pretend to clip. Then eventually (and this took a couple months) I clip a nail on each foot before he gets dinner. Now when i shake the food bowl he comes over, lays down and forces his paws towards me to clip his nails.

Was it easy? No... But consistency and a little de-sensitizing goes a long way. Good luck.

Posted on: 2016/9/6 16:23
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Re: Gun Dog Door Issue
LSF Member
Joined:
08/26/2016
From Rush Point Mn
Posts: 9
Thanks everyone for the advice. Yea I know he's sort of training me when I prop the door open for him. I'll stop the forcing and work on making it a game with rewards. He's been learning everything well so far and with a little (or a lot) of patience I'm sure he'll get the hang of it again.

Posted on: 2016/9/7 7:31
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Re: Gun Dog Door Issue
Field Staff
Joined:
12/18/2012
From South Minneapolis
Posts: 1517
Patience is the key. It's tough at first but when you see the results its worth it. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Posted on: 2016/9/7 8:11
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Re: Gun Dog Door Issue
LSF Member
Joined:
08/26/2016
From Rush Point Mn
Posts: 9
After a couple of days he's back to using the door again, reluctantly but doing it. I come home at the end of the day and open the gate to the run and see him looking through the door at me and say "Walk Time" Bang! He flies out of there and I immediately take him for a walk as his reward. Just had to figure out the reward part as food or treats didn't work. Now he's starting to go in and out on a regular basis. Problem solved.

Posted on: 2016/9/10 9:50
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Re: Gun Dog Door Issue
LSF Member
Joined:
08/26/2016
From Rush Point Mn
Posts: 9
The guy has a pretty nice heated and air conditioned kennel and a nice run off my work shop, the kennel is under my work bench.







Posted on: 2016/9/10 18:51
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Re: Gun Dog Door Issue
LSF Member
Joined:
08/26/2016
From Rush Point Mn
Posts: 9
I'm also building a game bird operation for folks who want chukar training birds in the Mpls north metro.

The pen area is now a work-in-progress.....lots of work....




Posted on: 2016/9/10 19:16
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