Thursday, 4 February 2010

Dog Flaps

The dog flap.
We all love an easy life, and a dog flap can offer a big opportunity to take a back seat and let the dog do as it wishes. I often see problem behaviour associated with dog flaps. The dog can let itself in and out and is not within your control when it is outside. They are I recognise handy for allowing the dog out to toilet, but even then a young dog may be prone to the thought of turning and eating its own faeces. This is not uncommon with dogs that are not thoroughly ‘schooled’ with toilet training behaviour outside when they remain young. The dog may also go on to eat other items on the floor leading to digestive upsets and so on.

I personally do not allow my own dogs outside unless I’m there to supervise, and/or fully trust the dog’s behaviour. Free access can also lead to an over developed sense of perimeter guarding, so be aware of this and reconsider access altogether should you be struggling in any way. I have also seen dogs rush out to see off birds or squirrels, this can create an obsessive cycle of events so again be careful.

If introduced at the correct age on the basis that your dog can be trusted it can be a useful device. Introduce it too early and allow your dog free reign then sit back and watch the problems arise.

As always I am here should you wish to discuss your dog's behaviour.

Nick Jones

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