Help me solve a pet door problem?


I just bought my first ever house (yay!)… and my first ever puppy (double-yay!). I’ll be moving in soon, and I had planned for Ellie to spend nights (and some days) in the Laundry room, which has a door to outside. I’ll need to install one of those pet doors in the laundry door to outside, but Ellie is a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and will grow to be 26" to the shoulder. A dog flap in a door for her could be big enough for a small adult to get thru as well, and of course that’s risky (burglary)!

The only thing I can think of is to secure the Laundry from the rest of the house, so make its internal door have a deadlock, and made of proper exterior door material. At least then all they can do is steal my washing machine and dryer and dog bed… :slight_smile:

What do other people do?



There are some pet doors that “unlock” in the presence of a radio gizmo you put on the dog’s collar. That Might help, although I believe the primary purpose of this device is to keep the neighbor dogs out (dogs LOVE to party if you didn’t already know).

Your idea of locking the door between the laundry room and the rest of the house has merit, a hole that size in your outside door will be to easy to defeat (by a cat burglar) unless you have a steel plate sliding up and down in a reinforced channel on the inside of the door–and dog’s tend to have trouble manipulating those.

Any burglar who’s dumb enough to crawl in through a doggie door that’s big enough for a human to crawl through deserves what he gets… :smiley:

No kidding, especially when the dog is of a breed that hunts lions.

This place has the controlled access pet doors that Matchka mentioned. They are quite spendy, and may not come in a size that is large enough. Personally, I ordered a Hale security door from these folks because they are well insulated. Granted Goliath isn’t near the size of a Ridgeback. The Hale doors do come with an insert that can secure the entrance, and they are much cheaper than the controlled access ones.

I’m assuming the concern is that a burglar may enter through it when the family and dog are away on vacation, or simply kill/incapacitate the dog and enter unscathed. These remove the dog from the equation and leave a big gaping hole in the house for someone to enter through.

Well, you seem to have proposed the solution already. Adding a lock on the inner door is a good idea, anyway.

I suggest you also enroll in doggie training for your Ridgeback, and post signs on your property declaring that it is protected by one bad ass dog. Even though the ridgeback is of a pretty stable temperament, they look intimidating.

And if you live in an area that has opossums, racoons, skunks, or even large squirrels, I recommend the RFID collar key. I plan to get one for my cat.

And I am assuming that any family with a person-sized hole in the middle of their back door would find a way to secure it before leaving on vacation with the dog.

And I am assuming that the only practical way for a burglar to kill or incapacitate the dog would be one of the following ways, all of which have big drawbacks.

  1. Shoot it. Too loud, draws attention.

  2. Knife it. Problematic, requires up-close-and-personal contact with Fido (“here, boy, here, boy [whistles]”), with no guarantee that he will (a) respond to your summons, (b) without barking, or © taking your leg off at the knee, or (d) both.

  3. Sedative/poison in meat/treat. Also problematic, no guarantee that Fido will (a) respond to your summons in the first place, (b) without barking or © taking your leg off at the knee, and that he will (d) eat the proffered bribe, and (e) collapse in a minimal amount of time while you sit there on the back porch waiting, and that he will (f) collapse quietly without a lot of whining and howling, etc. and that he will (g) not just puke it up again and then come after you.

  4. Luring it outside with a bitch in heat. Assumes that Fido is an entire male dog.

  5. Befriending it ahead of time. Takes too long, no guarantee of success.

All in all, the whole thing sounds so complicated and problematic that your ordinary career burglar is going to go elsewhere and look for an easier target, leaving only the really dumb ones, the Darwin Award candidates, the ones who try to break into the mall by climbing in through the HVAC ductwork and getting stuck, to crawl in through that Very Large Doggie Door and have a Meaningful Experience with the Very Large Doggie.

Speaking from the point of view of somone who has had the police called on him for breaking into his own house, I can say that locks are easy to pick, and easier to pick when there’s no fear of being seen. Doors are easy to break, and easier to break when you can do it under the cover of another room. Using this second door as an “outside” door, leaves you much wider to burglary, with or without fido. Train him well to come get you when he needs to go outside.