1. As with the other methods of housebreaking, your dog stays confined in his small gated room whenever you're not interacting with him.
2. You will need to teach him how to use the doggy door. For the first few days, remove the heavy flap or tie it up so your dog has free access through the hole into his potty yard.
If he is reluctant to go through, have someone stand inside the room with him while you go outside in the potty yard and crouch down before the open hole. Wave a treat through the hole and call him. Between the two of you, and the treats, you should soon have him running in and out through the open door!
If he is an especially small or sensitive dog, you may want to hang a light towel or cotton cloth over the opening for a few more days, as a gradual transition toward the heavier vinyl flap. Use the treats to teach him that the cloth is indeed "push-able" and that he only has to poke his nose through it or under it in order to scramble through.
Eventually you'll move on to the heavier flap. Though it looks daunting at first, rest assured that all dogs CAN move it. My 4-pound Chihuahua can do it!
3. Periodically throughout the day, go into the little room and ask your dog, "Do you need to go out? Go outside!" Use hand motions to encourage him to do so. If necessary, lead him to and through the door by the collar.
4. You go outside, too. Block the door on the outside, just temporarily, so he can't come right back in.
Don't block the door on the INSIDE. He won't be able to see the solid barrier through the flap, so he might rush through the flap and ram his head into the barrier.
5. Pick a spot to stand where you can observe your dog, but DON'T INTERACT WITH HIM. Let him go about his business, which hopefully will include going to the bathroom!
Do you see why the potty yard should be SEPARATE from the main yard, and SMALL? If your dog can run around a big main yard, he will want to play and explore rather than focus on doing his business.
6. After 5 minutes, if he hasn't gone, remove the barrier so he can come back inside if he wants to. Go back in the house and go about your own business for ten or fifteen minutes, then try again.
7. When he finally does go, make a big deal out it! "Yay! Good boy!" Give him a treat. Then romp and play with him for awhile, either outdoors in the big yard, or indoors in the house, before returning him to his gated room.
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