The great thing about dog doors is that they allow access in and out of your home. That is also their biggest drawback. A man entered a home in Oklahoma City through a dog door, apparently with the intent of robbing it, but instead, he was shot by the owner of the house. Though he got away, he was later apprehended at a convenience store when the clerk saw that he had been shot and called 911. Officers responding to the call realized he fit the description of the intruder who had gone through the dog door.
Obviously, if a medium to large dog can fit through a dog door, so can many people. For many years, I was among the smallest children in my neighborhood, and that, combined with the skills from being a gymnast, made me the go-to person when people were locked out of their houses. Over the years, I was shoved through various windows and asked to crawl through even tiny dog doors to get inside and unlock a door to let the owners back in. As recently as last year and at my adult height of 5’7”, I crawled through a neighbor’s dog door to help out when their front door lock mechanism was broken. I’ve always considered dog doors the easiest way to enter a house, and far preferable to, for example, going head first through a bathroom window and landing in a handstand in the tub.
Have you ever crawled through a dog door out of necessity? Have you ever had an unwanted intruder gain access to your house in this way?
Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.