Dog Door Training: How to Teach Your Black Russian Terrier Puppy or Dog to Use Them

Dog doors can be a game-changer for both you and your black Russian terrier. These convenient access points can provide your dog with the freedom to move in and out of the house as they please, reducing their dependency on you to let them in and out constantly. In this guide, I will walk you through the step-by-step process of training your black Russian terrier to use a dog door. Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, the training techniques discussed here can be tailored to suit their individual needs.

No Sultan, these dog doors are too small for you :)

Astra Fidelis PHENOMENAL from the UK, photo - owner

Choosing the Right Dog Door

Selecting the appropriate dog door is crucial to ensure your black Russian terrier's comfort and safety. Measure your dog's shoulder height and width to find the right-sized door. Look for a sturdy, weatherproof door that is easy to install and has secure locking mechanisms. Always prioritize safety over price and opt for a door that suits your dog's size and needs.
Unfortunately, most of the dog doors I tested were made of low-quality materials, usually made entirely of plastic. Such doors have a very short lifespan with a dog as strong and intelligent as a black terrier. If a black terrier does not damage such a door by accident, trying to run violently through it, it may bite it out of boredom so that it becomes useless.

So which doors are "the-black-Russian-terrier-proof"?

The black terrier often bites the flap on dog doors (on models where the flap is flexible), making the whole door useless. With this breed, dog doors in which the flap is made of a rigid element, such as very thick Plexiglas, work best. Such dog doors are less convenient to use, the dog has to use much more force to open the door. However, the lifespan of a dog door with a rigid flap is considerably longer, especially if the door flap is additionally metal-clad at the bottom.

Accustoming to the Dog Door

Before directly introducing your black Russian terrier to the dog door, it's essential to get them accustomed to its presence. This process involves desensitization, which helps your dog become comfortable around the dog door without feeling anxious or scared.

1) Place the dog door near your dog's favorite resting spot or a frequently visited area in your home.
2) Let your dog investigate the door at their own pace. Avoid forcing or rushing them during this process.
3) Reward your dog with treats and praise whenever they show positive curiosity towards the dog door.
4) Create a positive association by incorporating the dog door into fun games or feeding activities.

Gradual Introduction to the Dog Door

Now that your black Russian terrier is comfortable with the dog door's presence and understands basic commands, it's time to introduce them to the door's functionality.

1) Start by propping the dog door open and encouraging your dog to walk through it with a treat or their favorite toy.
2) Once your dog becomes confident with walking through the propped door, gradually lower the flap to simulate a more real-life scenario.
3) Encourage your dog to push the flap open using their nose or paw. Offer treats and praise as a reward.

Reinforcing Positive Behavior

Throughout the training process, it's crucial to consistently reinforce positive behavior. Positive reinforcement can include treats, verbal praise, stroking, or playtime with their favorite toy. Consistency and patience are key to shaping your black Russian terrier's behavior and ensuring they associate the dog door with a positive experience.

Troubleshooting Common Challenges

Every black terrier is unique, and some may face specific challenges during the dog door training process. Common issues include fear of the flap, reluctance to use the door independently, or hesitation due to the outdoor environment.

1) Gradually increase your dog's exposure to the outdoors and ensure the surrounding area is secure and safe.
2) Use treats and toys to entice your dog to approach the dog door independently.
3) If fear or hesitation persists, consult a professional dog trainer to address the specific issue.


Teaching your black Russian terrier to use a dog door is a rewarding process that requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By understanding your dog's nature and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can empower your pup or dog with the freedom to move in and out of your home independently. Remember that each dog is unique, so adjust the training process based on your dog's individual needs. With love, dedication and a bit of training, your black Russian terrier will soon be using the doggie door as if he has been doing it all his life.