Heavy Duty Dog Door® /
Big Dog Door

Pet Door Installation Instructions

Installing the Dog Door on a wall

Installing the dog door on a house or garage door

Installing a Drop-in Closing Panel

Installing a Guillotine Panel

Dog door training tips for puppies or a timid dog

Download PDF of these instructions

Installing on a wall:

The Heavy Duty Dog Door® and Big Dog Door™ are installed on the outside surface of a building, wall or door, etc.

measure height
Measure height

Tunnel in frame wall
Example of tunnel in frame wall

dog door opening
Cut opening, if needed add a
1-1/2" flat mounting surface.

installed dog door photo
This is how an
installed door looks.

front view of installed dog door

Step #1:
Measure the belly height of your pet from ground level to his underside to find the correct height of the door opening. Bottom edge is usually 6" to 12". Do not mount flush to ground.
For the Heavy Duty Dog Door™ cut the opening 12-1/2" wide x 17-1/2" high. For the Big Dog Door™ cut the opening 16-1/2" wide x 25-1/2" high.

Step #2:
If mounted on garage or house wall, frame the depth of the wall to form a tunnel through the wall. (Use 2" X 4" or 2" X 6" material.) If needed, add a least a 1/2" x 1 1/2" flat outside mounting surfacing.

Step #3:
Place door over opening and use the enclosed two 1 1/2” wood screws to hold door to opening.

Step #4:
Show dog how to use door. Your dog will learn to use your pet door almost at once, but there are a few which may be a little nervous at first.

The most important rule is to be patient.

Do not let the dog have a bad experience or it may become frightened.

Most dogs can be trained to use a pet door in a matter of hours. Your dog will respond to encouragement, repetition and play in particular.

Alternatively, use the door flap as part of a game - throw a ball through, for instance. As your dog responds to your encouraging calls, help it through the door, patting and congratulating it. Repeat the game several times, continually encouraging the animal with positive gestures and comments. Within a short time your dog will be totally familiar with its pet door and use it happily on its own.

I have seven-week old lab pups that use these doors, naturally, your dog will learn too.

Problems…see Special Dog Training Instructions at end of page

Installation Tips:
Install 1/8" felt or rubber weather stripping on surface of building or door. Do not put rubber weather stripping on Gun Dog House Door®.

NOTE: If your door does not close at the bottom, the door is installed incorrectly. Unscrew door and move 1/4" lower. If there is a gap between top strap and upper doorframe, move door 1/4" higher.


Installing on a house or garage door

measure height

Measure height.

The Heavy Duty Dog Door® and Big Dog Door™ are installed
on the outside of a house door.

Determine Height
To find correct height of the hole for your dog, measure the belly height of your pet. (Average installation is six to twelve inches.)
Mark the height in pencil on one side of your door.


Drilling and cutting hole
The Heavy Duty Dog Door® hole size is 12-1/2" x 17-1/2". For the Big Dog Door™ the hole size is 16-1/2" x 25-1/2".

Drill half inch in each corner. Insert jigsaw into drill hole and cut out hole. See photo 1.

If installing on a steel door, cut hole 6/8" (3/4") larger, glue 3/8" pine, cedar, or plywood strips to inside of the opening.
See photo 2.

Need pre-cut wood? Order our Pet Door Trim Kit.

If installed on a raised panel door, cut hole in center of door 6/8" (3/4"). glue 3/8" pine, cedar, or plywood strips to inside of the opening to cover styrofoam and install trim to inside/outside of door surface.
(See our Pet Door Trim Kit)

Pet Door Trim Kit Steel door trim kit photo

If installing in a hollow
core door
, use four strips of wood the same width as the hollow between the panels in your door. Position the wood so that they are flush with the edges of the hole. Either glue, nail or screw the strips.
Frame the outside/inside hole with (2) inch by (1/4) inch lengths. Again, either glue,
nail or screw to door surface as the photos illustrate.

hollow core door
Hollow core reinforcement
wood strips


draw template
Draw template/drill 1/2" holes.
Opening 12-1/2" x 17-1/2" on
the Heavy Duty Dog Door®,
16-1/2" x 25-1/2" on the
Big Dog Door™.

template on raised panel door
Cut raised panel door surface
same as Photo 1
(Order Pet Door Trim Kit)
Photo 2

sealing trim on metal door
Use silicone caulking around trim kit for add insulation. To quiet door closing staple 5/8" window felt to sides and bottom.
Photo 5

closing panel
Installed door trim kit.
Photo 6

jigsaw cutting hole
Jigsaw cutting to each
(1/2") drilled corners
Photo 1

installing dog door trim kit on metal door
Steel door: Note hole is cut
3/4" (6/8") larger to allow for 3/8" thick wood inserts. Opening 13-1/4" x 18-1/4"
on the Heavy Duty Dog Door®,
(Order Our
Pet Door Trim Kit)

17-1/4" x 26-1/4" on the Big Dog Door™.
Photo 3

frame of trim kit for metal doors
Frame the inside and outside of the hole on the door – use 3/8” cedar, pine or plywood strips — 1-3/4" or 2” wide.
Photo 4

dog door in passage door
Heavy Duty Dog Door® installed
on a metal door.



Drop-in Closing Panel Installation Instructions

dog door closing panel installed on wall
Install channel on inside of building
Photo 1


Closing panel is installed on the inside of building or door.

  1. Construct a 2" wide frame on inside mounting surface.
  2. Place channel angle one inch from dog door cut opening.
  3. Install screw at base of each channel.
  4. Slide heavy-duty closure into channel. Remove as needed.
  5. Drill a finger-hole or install a cabinet knob on top section of closing panel.

dog door closing panel installed in door
An installed closure on metal door
Photo 2



Guillotine Closure Installation Instructions

Step 1
Place panel against wall as a template. Install each channel so the panel slides in its grooved track.

Step 2
Drill hole in panel. Thread vinyl coated clothsline cable through hole and fasten end with an 1/8" cable clamp. Install 2" ceiling eye hook with 1 inch pulley. (use a second optional eye hook and pulley for longer distances or to change direction of cable.)

Fasten S-hook to end of cable with an 1/8" cable clamp. (S-hook is used to hold the panel open by hooking to fencing or to a nail in a nearby surface.)

Step 3
Slide 3/8 inch polypropylene panel in channels as needed.

Parts Suggestion:

  • 5/32" vinyl coated clothsline
  • 1" pulley
  • 2" ceiling hook
  • two 1/8" cable clamps
  • S-hook

guillotine closure instructions



Thank You, Carl

Warranty - Lifetime Warranty means for the life of your dog!


Call 218-789-7134 or write:
Gun Dog House Door® Company
10662 70th Street South, Sabin, MN 56580


Have someone else install your dog door!

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See The Dog Door In Action!

Adults & Puppies


Videos and Articles on Kennel Design and Dog Training.


Pet Door Installation Instructions
with Training Tips.


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Thank You, Lance & Marcie

Gun Dog House Door Co.
Better Dog Doors & Pet Doors

1-800-789-0203 • 701-354-7700 • Fax 701-354-0117
13835 34th St NW • Bismarck, ND 58503
International 701-354-7700

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