If your German Shepherd lives with you indoors, then you might already know the hassle of having to let your dog in or out. I mean, it is a simple task to do, but when you’re busy it gets quite annoying. Thankfully though, dog doors exist to make life easier for us and our German Shepherds. And so in this article, I present to you the best dog doors for German Shepherds.
Overview: Best Dog Doors For German Shepherds
- Ideal Pet Ruff Weather Dog Door
- Ideal Pet Plastic Pet Door
- PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
- PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Panel Patio Dog Door
- Endura Flap Wall Mounted Dog Door
What To Consider When Buying A Dog Door For Your GSD
There are a number of factors you need to consider when buying a dog door for your German Shepherd. They are as follows:
A major and rather obvious consideration is size. It goes without saying that for a dog door to be viable, your dog should be able to use it. So measure your German Shepherd and get a door that’s at least one inch wider and longer. This will ensure that your German Shepherd will comfortably fit and use the door without unnecessary rubbing.
With that in mind, here’s how to measure your GSD:
- Girth. Place a tape measure at the widest part of your dog’s chest (typically just behind the front legs or at the bottom of the rib cage) and measure around it.
- Height. Measure the length of your dog from the floor to where your dog’s shoulders and neck meet.
Also, it would be best if you get a dog door only when your German Shepherd has fully grown into its body. Doing so will save you the hassle of purchasing and installing improperly sized doors. If you are however, getting one for a puppy, I recommend you upsize but you should also consider the weight of the flaps. If they’re too heavy for your young GSD, the dog door may end up being useless.
There are different types of dog doors each with their own method of installation. Not only can dog doors be installed on a traditional door, they can also be installed on sliding glass doors, windows, screens, and even walls. So you need to have an idea of where you want a door installed if you intend to the right type.
As much as they’re convenient, dog doors also present security risks. Just as how your German Shepherd could go in and out through a dog door, so can other animals and even burglars. Fortunately, dog doors now generally come with security features such as tinted flaps, and manual or automated locks.
If you live in areas with extreme weather conditions, you’ll need to consider weatherproof dog doors. These doors are tightly sealed and insulate well to prevent weather from getting inside your home.
Lastly, simply installing a dog door won’t guarantee that your German Shepherd would use it. In fact you will actually need to train your GSD. You can do so by using treats to encourage your dog to pass through the door and then praising it when it does. You’ll then have to repeat this process until your dog gets used to it.
Be sure to be patient at all times and refrain from forcing things by yelling or by pushing your dog through. You want your German Shepherd to associate passing through the door with a positive experience and not something it should be fearful of.
The Best Dog Doors For German Shepherds
Ideal Pet Ruff Weather Dog Door
If you want a dog door that’s durable and energy-efficient, consider the Ideal Pet Ruff Weather Dog Door. A versatile door with a telescoping frame that can adapt to ¾ – 1-¾ inches in thickness. It can be either door mounted or wall mounted, that is given you also get the wall installation kit.
This easy to install dog door comes with two flaps to provide maximum insulation. These flaps are made of vinyl and are designed to keep their form even with frequent use and exposure to extreme weather conditions.So, you can count on these flaps to remain effective for a long period. As a bonus, should the flaps ever break, they’re removable and thus can be easily replaced.
The door also comes with magnetics strips to ensure that the flaps remain closed when not in use. Along with that, it also has brush seals at the side to further prevent the weather from entering the house.
The only downside with this door is that its lock-out slide is made of plastic. Meaning while it can help prevent wildlife and weather out, it might not do much against burglars. This is especially a concern since you will most likely buy the large sized doors of which can definitely be crawled through.
- Easy to install
- Can be mounted on doors and walls
- Removable and replaceable flaps
- Magnetic and brush seals for insulation
- Telescoping frame
- Plastic lock-out slide
- Will not resist very strong winds
Ideal Pet Plastic Pet Door
Should the Ruff Weather model be over the budget, I recommend the Ideal Pet Plastic Dog Door. It provides most of the features as the former but comes at a more affordable price. The primary difference is that this model has only one flap, and therefore provides less insulation. Other than that though, the features are pretty much the same.
It still features a vinyl flap, that again is designed to keep its form. It also has an impact-resistant telescoping frame that will span the thickness of doors that are between 1-¼ to 2 inches in thickness.
Lastly it also comes with a plastic lock-out slide to keep other animals and weather from coming into the house when the door is not in use. That said, it is still plastic so it might not help much against burglars.
Now, as far as issues go, there is one I’d like to highlight. There are instances wherein the magnetic strip that’s supposed to hold the flap closed can be ineffective. It can sometimes be blown away by wind, and let in cold or hot weather. And while the lock-out slide can help prevent weather from coming in, having it closed at all times would be quite counter-intuitive. So, with that in mind and the fact that this door only has one flap, I’d recommend you get this door only if you live in an area that’s not prone to extreme weather conditions.
- Telescoping frame
- Durable vinyl flap
- Magnetic seal can be ineffective
- Single flap
- Plastic lock-out slide
PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor
If security is a primary concern, then you might want to consider the PetSafe Electronic SmartDoor. This door only unlocks when it senses the waterproof SmartKey that’s attached to the collar. If it doesn’t read the key, the door remains locked and thus helps prevent wildlife or other intruders from entering your home.
What’s also great is that you can program this door to read up to 5 different SmartKeys (sold separately). Meaning, if you have different pets in your home, you can provide 5 of them with access to the door. This also works well if you only intend to let specific pets in and out of the house.
Keep in mind though that this door is battery operated. So you would need to keep an eye on it to make sure it still has power.
As far as installation goes, this door can be either door mounted or wall mounted, that is if you also get a wall install kit. So it is quite versatile.
Now for the downsides.
While this door can withstand a bit of cold, it is not by any means made for extreme conditions. The SmartKey and SmartDoor will remain functional in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower than that though, and you’ll encounter several issues.
For one, you may get malfunctions when it gets too cold which essentially renders the door useless. This could be quite dangerous as it may lock your German Shepherd out in freezing temperatures. Also, this door isn’t as well insulated as it should be. It can get quite drafty in cold weather, and is not at all energy-efficient.
So all-in-all, I would recommend you get this door only if you live in areas not prone to extreme weather.
- Added security
- Automatic dog door
- Can malfunction in the cold
- Battery operated
- Not energy-efficient
PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Panel Patio Dog Door
If you intend to use the dog door alongside a sliding door, then I suggest you get the PetSafe Freedom Aluminum Panel Patio Dog Door. It is what I believe to be the most convenient to use among other sliding door alternatives.
And that’s because this door is easy to install with its adjustable height. Depending on the size you opt to get, the door can fit into door frames between 75-⅞ to 96 inches in height. So I’m quite confident that this will fit your patio door and that you won’t need to cut and make adjustments.
The door is also durable. It’s made of weather-resistant aluminum frame and shatter-resistant tempered glass so you can be sure that this door will be able to withstand heavy use and last for quite some time.
I’d say the issue with this dog door lies primarily with its flap. It only comes with one and so it isn’t as weather-proof as it should be. Coupled with the fact that the magnetic strips may sometimes not latch on properly, I won’t recommend this one for areas prone to harsh weather conditions.
- Easy to install
- Adjustable height to fit most patio doors
- Durable frame and glass
- Magnetic seal may sometimes be ineffective
- Not weather-proof and energy efficient
Endura Flap Wall Mounted Dog Door
If you’ve noticed, a common downside among dog doors lie within their ability to prevent weather from coming into the house. As such most dog doors tend to be energy-inefficient and don’t do well under harsh weather conditions. So if that’s a primary concern of yours, I suggest you check the Endura Flap Wall Mounted Dog Door.
This double flapped dog door is designed especially for extreme weather. It provides excellent insulation and resists energy loss in your home even as temperatures get as low as -40 degrees fahrenheit. It does so as the flaps and its three magnetic seals are powerful enough to resist strong gusts of wind and keep the door shut. Again, if you’re looking for a dog door that’s energy efficient this is the one for you.
That said, this dog door is quite expensive with its price double to even triple that of the other dog doors in this list. So while you are paying for quality, I must say it is quite heavy on the pocket
- Seals shut and resists strong winds
- Well insulated and energy efficient
- Slide in panel for extra security
- Very expensive
- Makes a loud noise when used and the magnetic seals reattach
- Can be quite difficult to install given the lack of proper instructions
That concludes my list of the best dog doors for German Shepherds. I hope the information provided leads you to make a well-informed purchase on your next dog door.
As a reminder, be sure to keep the different things you need to consider in mind as they will ultimately guide you select the ideal dog door for your German Shepherd and your home.
Thank you very much for reading!