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Dog Heat Mats

Electrically Heated Pet Mat

  • Do away with heat lamps and lightbulbs in your dog house.
  • No more cedar chips or straw to clean up.
  • Comfortable uniform warmth

This rugged mat is built by Osborne Industries and is perfect for dog house, garages, sheds, etc. So, take care of your #1 hunting buddy and order today!

Dog Heat Mat

$133 plus S&H


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PVC Wall Trim Kit Installation Instructions

dog door PVC wall trim kit This dog door wall trim kit is designed to install on wall thicknesses of 4” to 8”

Before beginning, check that you have all included parts.
(PVC Wall Trim Kit contains 1-inside trim frame, 1-outside trim frame, eight 1-5/8” phillips head screws. Optional: foam tape weather stripping (purchased locally)

• Place PVC Wall Trim Kit on the mounting surface at the desired location and draw a cutting template. Double check that the dimensions are 13-1/4” wide and 18-1/4” high.

Cut out the opening. If there is outside lapped siding, we suggest trimming it back two inches to create a flat mounting surface.

Lay a caulk bead around inside and outside surface along the edge of the cut opening.

First press the inside trim piece onto the caulk bead on the inside of the wall, then place the outside trim piece on the outside of the wall—sandwiching the wall between the trim pieces.

Screw the inside and outside Trim Kit pieces to the wall.

Place the foam tape weather stripping onto the outside trim kit frame along the left, right and bottom edges.

Mount the dog door to the outside trim kit frame with the two screws provided with the door. (See installation tips)

PVC Trim Kit for a Door Installation Instructions

Dog Door PVC trim kit

This trim kit is designed for door thicknesses of 1-1/4” to 2”

Before beginning, check that you have all included parts. (The PVC Door Trim Kit contains 1-inside trim frame, 1-outside trim frame, eight 1-5/8” Phillips head screws.) Optional: foam tape weather stripping (purchased locally)

• Place PVC Trim Kit on door at the desired location and draw a cutting template. Double check that the dimensions are 13-1/4” wide and 18-1/4” high.

Cut out the opening.

Lay a caulk bead around inside and outside surface along the edge of the cut opening.

First press the inside trim piece onto the caulk bead on the inside of the door, then place the outside trim piece on the outside of the door—sandwiching the door between the trim pieces.

Screw the Trim Kit pieces to the inside and outside of the door.

Place the foam tape weather stripping onto the outside trim kit frame along the left, right and bottom edges.

Mount the dog door to the outside trim kit frame with the two screws provided with the door. (See installation tips)

Dog Door PVC trim kit

Installed Steel Door Trim Kit

Installing the Heavy Duty Dog Door® or Big Dog Door™ On A House Door

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.

Dog Door Training Tips For Puppies Or A Timid Dog

puppy using dog door

This little 7 week old Lab pup is already a pro at using the Gun Dog House Door®.

puppy using dog door

This little 7 week old Lab pup is already a pro.

puppy using dog door

This yellow lab is 7 weeks old and the GDHD is 20 years old…and still working great.

Whether you have an adult dog, or a new puppy, teaching him how to use a dog door will be done the same way.

Be patient!

Your patience, confidence and encouragement will give your dog the faith needed to get through the door.

Start with a good installation.

When you install your dog door, make sure you measure the “rise” of your dog (the measurement from the floor to the lowest part of your dog’s chest or stomach). This measurement tells you where to place the “bottom” of your dog door.

The bottom of your dog door should be an inch lower than the “rise” of your dog. If you have a puppy you will need to install the dog door one inch from the ground; and you will need to re-install it at higher intervals as your puppy grows.

Another option is to take an educated guess as to how tall your dog will eventually be, install the dog door at the appropriate height, and construct a “puppy-ramp” so your puppy can reach the dog door and go through it comfortably.

Get them used to the door hole.

Once the frame of the GDHD door is installed in a wall or door, leave the GDHD off at first. Have someone stay inside with your dog while you go outside. Call your dog through the “hole” (door frame without the GDHD). When he goes through and comes to you, praise him lavishly and give him a treat. Now have the person inside the house call him through the “hole.” When he gets to them, they should praise it and offer a treat as well. Do this at least 3 times and no more than a dozen. After this, your dog will know there is a hole in the wall or the door especially for him.

Leave the GDHD off the cut opening for one full day. Encourage him to use his opening by not letting him use the “real” doors. Instead, you use the real door and say to your dog, “Go to your door!” pointing in the direction of his dog door. You may need the help of someone inside to “help” the dog find his new door. After a half a dozen times, your dog should like this new game! If you have a very young puppy, do not expect them to learn “Go to your door” for many weeks or months; still give them the command in a happy voice, and have someone inside show them where their door is every time. It sometimes helps if you are outside (after going through a real door) and someone else helps your dog or puppy find the doggie door as you call him from outside.

Time for the door.

On the second day, install the GDHD. Now, you will need to repeat the same exercise as when you first sent your dog through the “hole.” But this time, the person on the same side of the door as the dog will need to “push” the GDHD open for him. Each time the dog goes through the door, push the GDHD less and less for him. It is important that the dog gets used to the feel of the GDHD on the back of his head so once your dog has begun going through the door, let go of the GDHD so he feels it on his head and body as he goes through the door.

Eventually the dog will need to push the GDHD by himself and dogs are usually hesitant to do this at first. He will probably put his nose down by the bottom of the GDHD and wait for the GDHD to move (after all, it has up to now). At this point, push the GDHD slightly so that your dog can see it is a moveable object, let the GDHD bounce back to the closed position. The best way I can explain it is that you are “poking” GDHD using short, quick pokes. This gives the dog a glimpse of an opening and encourages him to poke the door himself. At this stage, some dogs begin going through the door with ease, others become quite excited, but still haven’t figured out that they can push the door open.

Dog still timid? Be patient and try this…

If your dog will not push the door open by himself yet, remove the GDHD and install a piece of carpet onto the opening. You want the carpet to have a least a _” opening on the sides and bottom. The dog should feel more comfortable pushing the carpet on its own. After 2-3 days, install the GDHD and with our enthusiastic encouragement and praise, your dog should be able to push the GDHD now with no problem.

Installing the Heavy Duty Dog Door® or Big Dog Door™ On A Wall

Installing your dog door 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.
Step #1:

measure height

Measure height

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:

Tunnel in frame wall

Example of tunnel in frame wall

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:

dog door opening

Cut opening, if needed add a 1-1/2″ flat mounting surface.

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

installed dog door photo

This is how an installed door looks.

front view of installed dog door

Front view of installed dog door

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.

Last Hunts

Inevitably, the day will come when a hunter will have to put down his aging dog.

A gun dog’s life span is a short one—typically 10 to 14 years—compared with a house dog, which may live from 14 to 18 years. The difference is that a gun dog has the wear and tear of field work, but more important, they take some wear and tear in the environment in which they live.

Owners can extend their dogs’ life by providing them comfortable living facilities and keeping them in good physical condition.

The key is having a good environment to get them out of the climate condition we have here. I emphasize a well-insulated doghouse with a dog door and heated dry floor.

For my dogs, I install individual electric heating pads inside their doghouses. The industry has perfected heating pads that are real efficient.

Food and company

When their hunting companions get up in age, owners should keep their dogs’ weight in balance with their frame. An overweight dog has to work harder and the wear and tear on hips and shoulders takes its toll. These simple things can extend the life of a dog.

Even in old age, I continue to hunt my dogs right up until the end, working them only as hard as stress will allow.

An aging dog may be good for only a half a day, but you might as well give it to them as a courtesy. Mentally, that’s what the dog lives for. It’s important to me to give them the final hunts.

One thing an owner can do to elevate performance of an older dog is to work it with a new pup. You will be amazed how a pup will elevate the drive of an older dog. I tell guys when a dog is 8 or 9 years old, it’s time to work in a new one. I like to work in the pup to take some of the wear and tear off the older dog, not for the learning experience.

I emphasize training the pup as an individual, so it can develop its own style. If anything, the pup will pick up the older dog’s bad habits. We don’t need that to battle.

But no matter what an owner does, the dog’s biological clock eventually will stop. The hard part is when you do make the decision to part with the old guy. It’s awful. It’s like losing a family member.

It’s an individual choice as when to put down a dog. I do it when the dog loses control of its bladder and stool. A vet can help owners develop their own criteria.

When I finally make the decision the old dog is always cremated, and I leave the ashes at one of my favorite hunting spots to perpetuate the memories. Its kind of courtesy to them, too, putting them out of pain, putting them in a nice area.

But just like family members, a good gun dog may be gone, but not forgotten.

It’s fun to reflect on some of the dog’s great hunts. The 100-yard double mark mallard retrieve on a weed-choked slough: a quarter-mile blind retrieve from a stubble field goose pit; the triple mark on sharptails in a pasture; or the five-minute hunt for the wounded pheasant in a 6-foot tall cattail slough.

There are just too many incredible things to remember.

The great memories go on and on.


Common Courtesy In The Field

Tips on how dogs (and you) should behave in the field

Probably one of the most important things a gun dog owner can do before a hunting trip is to discuss his or her dog approach and field manners with their potential partners.

Nothing can ruin a hunting trip faster than a companion who doesn’t have a clue about hunting courtesy or a dog that doesn’t respond to commands.

Upland game hunting can be a pretty aggressive sport, so we all need to critique ourselves about how our manners are in the field; it reflects directly on whether we have a good time or a bad time.

Here’s a run down of some common courtesies that a gun dog owner and hunting companions should observe when in the field:

  • Only the owner handles his or her dog. If you’re in a large party and have only a few dogs, the other guys should realize dogs will only be handled by owners. Owners should share shooting with others in the party.
  • Pointing dogs have special rules. Always ask the owner about what he wants. A lot of times, its just common sense. Move in from the side, as the dog can see you coming. Rushing from behind tends to pull the dog off point.
  • Help young dogs under fences
  • Watch your buddies’ dogs out of vehicle or car kennel, because it may bolt out onto an adjacent road.
  • Let birds get high in the air for a safe shot. Always have a presence of mind where partners and dogs are.
  • Learn to handles your dog with no hollering and whistles. Your buddies should not holler at your dog.
  • Teach your dog to honor a retrieve that your hunting buddies dog is completing. There’s nothing more frustrating than to have an older dog cheap shot a younger one that is making a retrieve.
  • Expect dogs to retrieve to owners.
  • Fights may happen, watch out for the males. Reasons for fighting: piles of birds, tired dogs, and general competition—all can create a tense environment.
  • Barking. If your dog is a barker, invest in a bark collar. There is nothing more aggravating than a dog yipping in a car kennel.
  • No treats for the dogs. Stick to dog food, water, and a high protein energy supplement.
  • When asking permission to hunt, share the burden.
  • When hunting pheasants, help determine shots by calling “Hen!” or “Rooster!”.
  • Honor a shot, and take turns shooting.
  • Help spot dead game.
  • Share the game.

If you can talk with your partners before the hunt, you might be able to screen a problem before you get into the field. I think weekends are too sacred to be screwed up by having hunters or dogs misbehave in the field.

Keep your dog cool!

One of the most important things for a gun dog owner to remember when hunting the upland opener is that dogs can be extremely vulnerable to heat exhaustion or heat stroke on days when the temperature is in excess of 60 degrees.

The No. 1 priority is for dogs to have shade and water., and hunters should plan their hunts around the dogs getting water.

If an owner knows that water will not be available on a walk, he should carry a small water bottle to keep his dog refreshed.

Before the season, it’s not a bad idea to shave longhaired dogs to keep them cool.

Gun Dogs and Traps

Traps are few and far between but here’s some advice just in case.

Most gun dog owners wait with anticipation for fall. It’s a time when they hopefully will get to see the fruits of months of training—good field work by their dogs.

But they’re not the only outdoor types who live for this time of year. From mid-October until the end of December, depending on the snowfall, trappers hit the field in search of prime pelts.

Whiles it is more likely that a gun dog will run unto a skunk or porcupine than a trap during hunting season, the possibility still exists.

Even though trapping peak in the mid-1980’s, one way or another, gun dog owners probably are going to run into this situation. What they have to understand is that the leg-hold or snare traps won’t hurt a dog. They’re not designed to hurt animals.

Ground Trap Diagram

Hunters usually won’t even see a leg-hold trap unless they are experienced trappers. However their dogs might, since the trap, also called a dirt hole set, includes special components, such as feather attractors, lure, and bait.

The first thing to do if your dog steps in a leg-hold trap and gets caught is to try to calm the animal down. Don’t you get excited, that just aggravates the situation. Just very quickly open the jaws of the trap and let him out.

If the dog won’t calm down, throw your hunting vest or jacket over it.

There are just two releases on either side of the trap. The dog usually will be really surprised and startled, but there will be no damage.

Hunters could run into snare traps, but they are very well regulated. If a dog is caught in a snare, try to quiet the animal down and punch the clasp that holds the wires tight.

The third type of trap that may be encountered is the conibear. These are used only in water, typically under the ice for beavers, and aren’t used early in the season.

It’s very unlikely that hunters will encounter a predator in a trap, since trappers are required by law to check their traps daily. But if you do, I caution that it is illegal to disturb the animal or the set.

The best way to deal with traps is prevention.

When you go to ask for permission to hunt from a land owner, ask if anyone is working the area.

Usually a trapper will use one ore two sets in a one-square mile area, so the chances are real slim of running into one.

Late Season Hunting

December is a time of honest assessment—and some of the best hunting of the year

It’s transition time for most gun dog owners.

They’ve had several months of upland or waterfowl field trips, but now switch gears and go big game hunting.

For those owners, it’s also a good time of the year to reflect and make some notes on the type and the quality of the hunts they’ve had with their dogs before heading out for late-season upland action.

hunting dog with pheasantIt’s a good time to critique the problems encountered in the field. Did the dog do the fundamentals of sit, stay, and come under the conditions of field distractions—low-flying birds, shots we missed, when the jackrabbit got up in his nose. More importantly, did the dog quarter really well and find birds consistently?

What this will reveal is the prospects for late-season hunting. If we had the early-season field hunting problems, they will be magnified in lateseason.

Whether it’s pheasants or sharptails, we’re going to be hunting the best, the most wily birds. Complicating things, harsher weather and less-than ideal scenting conditions.

If the dog doesn’t have the foundation, now’s the time to critique the problems we’re having. Owners can work on those areas during the winter, spring or summer.

Correction and training isn’t a function of a few days, it’s a function of repetition in training. Some are quick learners, but most, in general, need a lot of field work.

Being honest in your assessment is important, too. There is a tendency in some dog owners to always remember the one good retrieve and forget about the half-dozen times the dog has royally screwed up.

The key to late-season hunting success is to go with smaller groups or by yourself, that’s based on the premise that a smaller group is quieter.

Success in the field can be directly related to being quiet. I like to use the term stealth hunting. No door slams. No whistles or hollering at dogs. You can’t be continually hollering. Your dogs must be obedient, know hand signals, and be very controlled.

The birds that are alive in November and December have learned their escape routes and have been pushed to heavy cover, but that doesn’t rule out a good hunt.

In the late season, you can have a quality hunt. The conditions are tougher, but there aren’t as many hunters. But that’s based on the assumption that your dog will go into heavy cover.

Late in the year, upland game has moved from secondary, low cover loafing areas to dense cattail marshes and heavy CRP land. You have to have a dog that can work this kind of cover.

One of the most important things owners should remember about hunting in the late season is that they and their dogs are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Snow makes for wear and tear on a dog’s feet, especially ones that have a lot of hair between their toes. To avoid creating an area where the snow packs in and accumulates, keep the toe hair clipped.

And don’t forget the cold. In 15 to 20 below weather, there have been instances where dogs have died because of freezing their lungs.

They are susceptible to extreme cold. You have to be sensitive to hunting the late season.