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How to make a dog door for your pasture

DIY dog door

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.

Dog door in fence

Cutting vinyl latticeNow 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.

Framing around a dog doorMaking 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.

Weighted dog door

Homemade hingeMark 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!

Our chicken waterer streamlines chicken care just like the dog doors keep Lucy happy around the hens.


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My fear with doors like that is the chickens would escape or predators would more easily get in.
Comment by David Wednesday evening, April 17th, 2013
David --- I definitely wouldn't recommend a dog door in a pasture that you're using to keep out predators. We use our dog to keep out predators, so accept that our fences are far from predator-proof. On the other hand, chickens don't seem to learn the doors, so that part isn't a problem.
Comment by anna late Monday morning, April 22nd, 2013
Just a thought but to keep chickens in and predators out, why not get one of those doors that opens only when the dog's collar is near. It would solve the issue of allowing any unwanted critters in or out. However, our experience has been Chickens fly over the fence and predators won't usually come in if they smell a pasture dog.
Comment by Circle LP Farms at lunch time on Saturday, April 1st, 2017






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