Gun Dog House Door
Carl H. Altenbernd, owner of Gun Dog House Door Company and Gun Dog Kennels has accumulated over 25 years experience training retrievers in west central Minnesota. He personally owns four black labs that make their home in a twenty-four run dog kennel.
Carl designed the Gun Dog House Door through the frustration of watching the hard driving, alligator-chewing Labs eat every "brand name" dog door on the market. He persisted in designing a dog door that meets all of his expectations and more. His dog doors are Black Lab and Minnesota weather tested.
The optional closing cover mounts on the opposite side of the door or wall from the pet door (it will not install over the pet door. A sturdy, 1/2" thick polypropylene panel slides down provided aluminum channels over a 14" x 20" opening. If you want this closing cover to be proof against someone lifting from the outside, drill a 1/2" hole through the cover and wall on the inside and insert a short dowel.
The manufacturer specifies dogs up to 120 lbs. Your mileage may vary. We also recommend that you measure before buying. In addition, we would not recommend these doors for very small dogs or cats.
The lifetime warranty even covers chewing!
Gun Dog House Door ® / Heavy Duty Dog Door ® / Big Dog Door™
Pet Door Installation Instructions
Installing On a Wall
Installing on a House or Garage door
Drop-in Closing Panel Installation Instructions
Guillotine Closure Installation Instructions
"Special" Dog Door Training for the "Timid Dog"
The Heavy Duty Dog Door ® and Big Dog Door™ are installed on the outside surface of a building, wall or door, etc.
Measure the belly height of your pet from ground level to his underside to find the correct height of the door opening. Bottom edge is usually from 6" to 12". Do not mount flush to ground.
For the Heavy Duty Dog Door ™ cut the opening 12-1/2" wide x 17-1/2" high. For the Big Dog Door ™ cut the opening 16-1/2" wide x 25-1/2" high.
Example of tunnel
in frame wall
If mounted on garage or house wall, frame the depth of the wall to form a tunnel through the wall. (Use 2" X 4" or 2" X 6" material.) If needed, add a least a 1/2" x 1 1/2" flat outside mounting surfacing.
Cut opening, if
needed add a 1-1/2"
flat mounting surface.
Place door over opening and use the enclosed two 1 1/2” wood screws to hold door to opening.
Show dog how to use door. Your dog will learn to use your pet door almost at once, but there are a few which may be a little nervous at first.
The most important rule is to be patient.
Do not let the dog have a bad experience or it may become frightened.
Most dogs can be trained to use a pet door in a matter of hours. Your dog will respond to encouragement, repetition and play in particular.
Alternatively, use the door flap as part of a game - throw a ball through, for instance. As your dog responds to your encouraging calls, help it through the door, patting and congratulating it. Repeat the game several times, continually encouraging the animal with positive gestures and comments. Within a short time your dog will be totally familiar with its pet door and use it happily on its own.
Problems…see Special Dog Training Instructions at end of page
This is how an
installed door looks.
Installation Tips: Install 1/8" felt or rubber weather stripping on surface of building or door. Do not put rubber weather stripping on Gun Dog House Door®.
NOTE: If your door does not close at the bottom, the door is installed incorrectly. Unscrew door and move 1/4" lower. If there is a gap between top strap and upper doorframe, move door 1/4" higher.
The Heavy Duty Dog Door® and Big Dog Door™ are installed on the outside of a house door.
To find correct height of the hole for your dog, measure the belly height of your pet (Average installation is 6"-12".) Mark the height in pencil on one side of your door.
Jigsaw cutting to each
(1/2") drilled corners
The Heavy Duty Dog Door hole size is 12-1/2" x 17-1/2". For the Big Dog Door the hole size is 16-1/2" x 25-1/2".
Drill a half inch hole into each corner. Then draw lines to connect the corners. Insert jigsaw into drill hole and follow drawn lines to cut out hole.
Steel door: Note hole is cut 3/4" larger to allow for 3/8" thick wood inserts.
If installing on a steel door, cut hole 3/4" larger, glue 3/8" pine, cedar, or plywood strips to inside of the opening
If installing on a raised panel door, cut hole in center of door 3/4"/ Glue 3/8" pine, cedar, or plywood strips to inside of the opening to cover styrofoam and install trim to inside/outside of door surface.
Hollow core reinforcement wood strips
If installing in a hollow core door. use four strips of wood the same width as the hollow between the panels in your door. Position the wood so that they are flush with the eddges of the hole. Either glue, nail, or screw the strips. Frame the outside/inside hole with 2" x 1/4" lengths.
Use silicone caulking around trim kit for added insulation. To quiet door closing, staple 5/8" of the window felt to the sides and the bottom of the pet door.
Install channel on inside of building
Step #1: Closing panel is installed on the inside of building or door.
Step #2: Construct a 2" wide frame on inside mounting surface.
Step #3: Place channel angle one inch from dog door cut opening.
Step #4: Install one-inch tabs at the base of each channel.
Step #5: Slide heavy-duty closure into channel. Remove as needed.
Place panel against wall as a template. Install each channel so the panel slides in its grooved track.
Drill hole or install a eye hook in panel. Install two pulleys to ceiling and attach a cable/rope to the 3/8" polypropylene panel.
Slide polypropylene panel in channels as needed.
This little 7 week old Lab pup is already a pro at using the Gun Dog House Door®.
Whether you have an adult dog, or a new puppy, teaching him how to use a Gun Dog House Door® (GDHD) will be done the same way.
When you install your dog door, make sure you measure the "rise" of your dog (the measurement from the floor to the lowest part of your dog's chest or stomach). This measurement tells you where to place the "bottom" of your dog door. The bottom of your dog door should be an inch lower than the "rise" of your dog. If you have a puppy you will need to install the dog door one inch from the ground; and you will need to re-install it at higher intervals as your puppy grows. Another option is to take an educated guess as to how tall your dog will eventually be, install the dog door at the appropriate height, and construct a "puppy-ramp" so your puppy can reach the dog door and go through it comfortably.
Once the frame of the GDHD door is installed in a wall or door, leave the GDHD off at first. Have someone stay inside with your dog while you go outside. Call your dog through the "hole" (door frame without the GDHD). When he goes through and comes to you, praise him lavishly and give him a treat. Now have the person inside the house call him through the "hole." When he gets to them, they should praise it and offer a treat as well. Do this at least 3 times and no more than a dozen. After this, your dog will know there is a hole in the wall or the door especially for him.
Leave the GDHD off the cut opening for one full day. Encourage him to use his opening by not letting him use the "real" doors. Instead, you use the real door and say to your dog, "Go to your door!" pointing in the direction of his dog door. You may need the help of someone inside to "help" the dog find his new door. After a half a dozen times, your dog should like this new game! If you have a very young puppy, do not expect them to learn "Go to your door" for many weeks or months; still give them the command in a happy voice, and have someone inside show them where their door is every time. It sometimes helps if you are outside (after going through a real door) and someone else helps your dog or puppy find the doggie door as you call him from outside.
On the second day, install the GDHD. Now, you will need to repeat the same exercise as when you first sent your dog through the "hole." But this time, the person on the same side of the door as the dog will need to "push" the GDHD open for him. Each time the dog goes through the door, push the GDHD less and less for him. It is important that the dog gets used to the feel of the GDHD on the back of his head so once your dog has begun going through the door, let go of the GDHD so he feels it on his head and body as he goes through the door. Eventually the dog will need to push the GDHD by himself and dogs are usually hesitant to do this at first. He will probably put his nose down by the bottom of the GDHD and wait for the GDHD to move (after all, it has up to now). At this point, push the GDHD slightly so that your dog can see it is a moveable object, let the GDHD bounce back to the closed position. The best way I can explain it is that you are "poking" GDHD using short, quick pokes. This gives the dog a glimpse of an opening and encourages him to poke the door himself. At this stage, some dogs begin going through the door with ease, others become quite excited, but still haven't figured out that they can push the door open. If your dog will not push the door open by himself yet, remove the GDHD and install a piece of carpet onto the opening. You want the carpet to have a least a _” opening on the sides and bottom. The dog should feel more comfortable pushing the carpet on its own. After 2-3 days, install the GDHD and with our enthusiastic encouragement and praise, your dog should be able to push the GDHD now with no problem
Q: What are the differences between theGun Dogdoors?
A: The Gun Dog Easy Dog Dooris lighter than the others because the hinges aren't spring loaded and there are no magnets to assist with closure; this makes it easier for smaller dogs and maybe cats to use the door.
The Gun Dog Heavy Dutydog door has a rigid door that includes a warranty covering chewing damages. This is the original door that was created by Gun Dog to address all the issues the owner of the company ran into while operating his kennel for large lab retriever dogs.
The Gun Dog Big Dog Door is the same as the heavy duty door, but it just offers a larger flap size of 15" x 23".
Gun Dog Easy Dog Door Gun Dog Heavy Duty Gun Dog Big Dog Door
Q: Do the Gun Dog doors come with locking covers?
A: No, the Gun Dog Doors do not come with locking covers. However, you can purchase a closing cover and you can lock this cover by drilling a 1/'2" hole through the cover and wall on the inside and inserting a short dowel. Or you can purchase one of the guillotine doors and mount that on the side opposite the door as a closing cover.
Q: Can I use the Gun Dog doors for just a regular house installation?
A: Yes, a Gun Dog door may be installed in a home, however, kennel dog doors, like Gun Dog, are usually rigid because the flaps must be durable enough to withstand constant wear and tear. This durability has not been seen in flaps made out of vinyl, but it does make them very noisy so installation in a home might not be advisable.