At long last, Mark seems
to have figured out the dog-door-in-the-pasture concept! Version
1.0 was a failure,
but replacing the carpet with a lattice made the door transparent
enough that Lucy wanted to go through. This time around, training
went quickly, with Lucy learning the door within two tries. Holes
stopped showing up in the pastures, so Mark added dog doors at two
additional locations, with more probably to come.
Now that we’ve worked the
kinks out of the system, you may want to follow along at home. We
got the vinyl lattice material on the curb on trash day, but I think
you can buy an 8-foot-by-four-foot sheet at Lowes for about $20 —
that will be enough for a lifetime of dog doors. Mark determined
that it’s best to cut the lattice with a jig saw, with the size of the
door determined by your pet’s stature.
Making a frame out of 2X2s or
2X4s seems to work well — Mark usually has scrap on hand, so that
again cost us nothing, although we did have to buy some screws.
It’s easiest to frame up a dog door if it’s going to be part of a new
gate, in which case the dog-door frame can be a structural support for
the main gate frame.
Mark added a weight (scrap
wood) at the bottom of one of his dog doors, but left it off the others
with fine results, so you probably can skip that step. You will
need a hinge — Mark
recommends a non-mortise hinge, with a little piece of
scrap wood on the other side of the lattice for the screws to bite
into. Or you can make a hinge out of wire (shown to the left),
although that will take a bit longer to build and probably won’t last
quite as long.
We get a lot of benefits
from enclosing our core homestead in pastures but letting our dog pass
through to patrol both the interior and exterior. If you have the
freedom (and distance from danger) to act similarly, I highly recommend
version 2.0 of Mark’s dog doors to streamline the situation. And
I’d love to hear about it if you put the dog-door-in-the-pasture
concept into practice!
just like the dog doors keep Lucy happy around the hens.