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I'm moving in two weeks into my first house. First time ever having a fenced in back yard however it's further away from my work. Currently I can go home for lunch and take my dogs out, I won't be able to do that anymore once I move.

I work 8am-5pm and the commute is 40ish minutes each way and sometimes I work later then 5pm. So I don't want my dogs to be in the house for this length of time especially since one of them is an old guy.

Dogs are 2 labs, one is 8-9 years old, other is 11+ years old. I will always have dogs in my life. Mostly likely always labs but may get a Shepard for my next dog, haven't really put much thought in it yet. But basically will always have this size type of dog.

Fence is a 6' privacy fence all around the yard except for a 2' gap by the garage where it's only 4.5' (not sure why the previous home owners did this).

I live in Minnesota - so long cold winters, summers can be hot and humid.

Garage is a single car, un-insulated garage, there is power going out to it though.

So, do I put a dog door on the house or on the garage?

If I put it on the house I wouldn't have to worry about the weather as it would be AC'd on the hot/humid days and already heated on the cold days. I have cats who actually hunt so I wouldn't be worried about any type of pests coming through the door...they wouldn't live long enough. The biggest concern would be security. But the town I'm moving into is a small town (800ish people) that is about an hour west of Minneapolis.

If I put the dog door on the garage I could easily create an indoor kennel and then buy or build an insulated door house and just heat that. I don't have any mature trees in the backyard for shade so would look into buying some sort of canvas shading so they can sit/lay outside on the hot/humid days in the shade. I wouldn't be able to use the garage for my truck since it's only a single car and doing an indoor dog kennel + dog house would take up too much room to do both.

So, dog people, what do you think? Maybe you do one or the other already, would like to hear that and your reasoning behind it.
 

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I would say leave them in the house with a dog door because they will be more comfortable. They spend very little time awake or out doors when there are no people home. If you are worried about security you can get one of those doors that opens with tag on the collar.
 

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I personally prefer access to the house, only because it's more comfortable for them and you don't have to worry about temperature.

If your backyard is gated and secure, and the dogs access the house through the backyard, I don't think you have to worry too much about security. But if you want to be on the safe side, you can obscure the view of the doggy door by planting a bush in front of it, or doing what the previous commenter said, by putting a tag on the collar to open it.
 

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Until a few years agoy, when I closed up my doggy door, due to adopting a feral dog I didn't want to have escaping into the yard... I always had doggy doors for my pets.
Also back then, I worked, so it was nice to know there would be no accidents in the house if I couldn't get home for lunch or was late getting home after work. Now, I'm home most of the time...was injured and am on disability.

Anyway, as you mentioned, location...the crime level in an area is a major factor in thinking about were to put a doggy door. But, I think that if a criminal can gain access to a garage and it's attached to the house...then they have the luxury of not having anyone see them as they try to jimmy the door opened to the house...and often people will leave the door to the house/garage unlocked, because they have an automatic garage door that stays locked down and they think that's enough security.

So, I would opt just for a doggy door in the house, and hope the dogs would at least bark or growl a little if a prowler did come around. You could also, above a doggy door, on the outside post a small sign saying home interior is under video surveillance (whether it's true or not)...that might also make someone think twice about crawling through the hole.

Over the years, most of my dogs liked to stay in the house while I was gone. As I came up my drive way at lunch or after work, I could see them come out to greet me. But I did have one dog that Loved being outside, even in snow storms...he would just curl up on the porch and the wind would blow a snow pile over him. I ended up buying him a doggy tent to go into. Tried a dog house, but he didn't like the small door on it...the tent had a large opening. Later, I got another dog that also liked being outside much of the time, when I was gone, according to the neighbors...but once I was home, the dog stayed in the house with me.

But over all, almost all my pets were inside by choice.

Stormy
 

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Since I see dogs as family members, I would only consider an option that included access to the house.
 
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