Anybody ever built a _nice_ dog door? The commercially available ones
don't meet the grade. Tips or ideas requested.
Through-the-wall in wood stud construction - not through an existing
Seals the weather out
Opens both ways. The hanging arrangement with the pivots on center of
the sides near the top is okay.
Opening, 26 x 11 inches, to accommodate a large dog. But I want a puppy
to be able to open it.
I'm thinking the material should be wood, but I'm open to aluminum and
Must look good.
I'm considering a dog house on the outside to function as a foyer, but
for the moment, consider that a separate project.
The best one I have seen operates like a simple passthru. It has heavy
plastic sheeting (like they use in forklift doors) in two layers, separated
by about 4". I think it would work just as well with canvas or other heavy
fabric. Best thing is you can match the size nicely with the dog.
This one had a door on the inside to make it secure when needed. The owner
says the dogs took one or two "hits" in learning not to charge thru without
a nose poke to see if the inside door was shut.... :)
I'd take a hint from magnetic cat doors. The good ones swing both
ways, have a magnet that centers the door flap down, and has felt
weather stripping to keep out bugs and wind. The also have a sliding
switch that enables you to lock the door, or only let it open in one
direction or the other.
Of course the cat doors are plastic, and meant for a cutout in an
existing door, but if you could apply the principles to a nice wooden
dog door meant for through the wall installation, you might have
something highly marketable.
Most burglars around are black, and they're afraid of dogs. Just seeing
a dog door may be enough to deter them, and crawling through one into
unknown dog-protected territory would take a determined burglar indeed.
But that's one of the advantages of a dog house on the outside of a dog
door. The dogdoor wouldn't be visible from the outside and the extra
step necessary for entry, crawling into the dog house, would make the
burglary more of a challenge.
On this particular planned dogdoor, it would be open all the time.
However, a latch or locking mechanism would be worth having because you
never know. The house's occupants may want to leave someday with all the
dogs, as you said, perhaps on vacation.
Sorry, it doesn't meet all your requirements, but I have had this one
for about 4 years, lab flies throught in and out and it is never failed.
built by a guy who runs a kennel as I remember, because he had your same
Good luck, Mike C.
Nehmo Sergheyev wrote:
A valid issue. There are lots of accidents with *humans* using regular
side-hinged doors. The possibility of an accident with a dog using a
top-hinged door shouldn't be discounted. Just like people, dogs get old
and frail. Every dog isn't robust and young, and the one-way
crawl-through design may not be appropriate for an almost-crippled
Most of the commercial doors have a one-way (work only for dog movement
in one direction) top-hinge design. To make the doors two-way, the doors
have another door within a larger door. In one example, the aluminum
frame hinges in one direction, and the inside-the-frame Plexiglas flap
hinges in the opposite direction.
Most of these commercially available doors also don't accommodate the
entire dog body they are crawl-through, having the threshold a few
inches above floor level.
If the door threshold were closer to floor level and if the door opening
were high enough to accommodate the height of the dog, say, up the
height of the dog's back, the backing-out snagging  could be
Nonetheless, even with improvements, the top-hinge door-within-a-door
doesn't seem like the best. I'm considering a double door (two doors
hinged on the sides that meet in the center) with the pivots of the
hinges on the tops and bottoms.
And I prefer tempered glass to Plexiglas if a transparent section is
incorporated. Plexiglas scratches too easily.
 I imagine, most dogs, once snagged form trying to back out, would
realize going forward would solve the problem.
The first thing that comes to mind is the Gary Larson "Far Side" cartoon
that is on the November 2005 calendar that has popped up all over my
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"
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Here's an idea. Measure your door. As you go to yard sales, buy a door that
matches that size. Cut out a dog door on that one, and swap it out with your
nice door --but on a seasonal basis. If you are not satisfied with your
handiwork on the one (spare) door, keep buying cheap replacements at sales.
Keep honing your skills till you get something you like. When Winter comes,
swap back to your nice door.
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