What Size Dog Door Do I Need for A Labrador Retriever? (Solved & Explained!)

The Labrador retriever is a large breed dog and as such will need a large-sized dog door. The type of dog is a smart, capable breed that should take to dog door training well, providing that they have the correct sized door.

Utilizing a dog door is a great way of giving your pet the freedom that it deserves while keeping its safety and security in mind. Continue reading below to learn more about the Labrador retriever breed, types of dog doors, and other great advice to help you make the best choice for your best friend.

History of the Labrador Retriever Breed

The labrador retriever has been America’s favorite dog breed for decades. The breed is a British working breed, developed from imported dogs from Newfoundland, now part of Canada.

Originally bred as a hunting dog it is now widely kept as a companion dog. The Labrador retriever is known for being playful, obedient, and loyal to its family.

According to the AKC, the breed is considered to be a medium to large dog with an average height of 20 inches and an average weight of 75 pounds.

The breed comes in yellow, chocolate, and black colors. Some Labrador retrievers have short hair while others, like the golden retriever, have long hair.

What Is a Dog Door?

A dog (or pet) door is a small opening located inside of a standard door that serves as a way for pets to go inside and outside when they choose. The door usually features a full swinging flap made of a type of heavy-duty vinyl and most doors have an extra, hard-sided insert to serve as a security or climate control measure. 

A few of the drawbacks to having a dog door are higher heating and cooling costs due to the lack of insulation in the door and the potential for unwanted animals to come inside. You should keep in mind too that there should always be a secure area for the dog once it goes out through the dog door.

It is not recommended that you leave your dog unattended outside for any period of time. 

Choosing The Right Size Door

Dog doors come in four standard sizes ranging from small to extra large. Most manufacturers today follow the same sizing guidelines with a few centimeters of difference between them.

In the standard sizing of dog doors, the labrador retriever would need a size large. These doors have a width of 11” and a height of 17”. This means that while the dog may have to lower its body some, the dog should fit cleanly through the frame of the door. 

If you are on the fence or think that your labrador retriever should have a larger opening, opt for the extra-large size door. This size typically is 16” by 23” and should provide more than enough clearance for your dog.

Do keep in mind that one of the drawbacks of having a dog door is the lack of insulation and added heating and cooling costs. Choosing an extra-large size instead of a large one will cause your heating and cooling costs to rise. 

Types of Dog Doors

There are many different types of dog doors on the market for almost any type of need that you have as a pet owner. The traditional dog door that is inserted into an outer home door is widely available and is the most popular one on the market today.

Built-In Doors

The typical way that you install a dog or pet door is to cut a hole through an existing door. Door companies have caught on to the trend and started selling whole exterior doors with built-in pet doors pre-installed. 

This is a great option for anyone who may not have the time or tools to install a dog door into an existing door that they already have. The drawn back to these pre-installed dog doors, however, is a lack of options besides size when it comes to the dog door type.

Another drawback is that the manufacturers of these pre-installed dog doors sell their complete door set for a much higher price than a traditional door and dog door set. You can expect to pay anywhere from 40% to 70% more for a pre-installed dog door.

Sliding Glass Panel Doors

If you need to put a dog door into a non-traditional door, there are multiple options available to do so. 

One of the more popular, non-traditional options, our dog doors that come preinstalled into glass panels for use with sliding glass doors.

Other options, our dog doors that fit within the panes of French doors. There are many different design options available to choose from that fit most home decor styles.

Electronic Dog Doors

If you’re looking for a pet door with an added layer of security, then you may want to consider getting an electronic dog door. These are especially great options for those who live closer to nature, and whose main concern is wild animals coming through the door.

Electronic dog doors feature a collar With a sensor that is designed to open the dog door only when the collar is close to it. The electronic dog doors come in a variety of sizes and styles and even come for cats as well. 

Wall Installation

Another type of dog door that may be suitable for your labrador retriever is one that is installed in a wall. Dog doors that are installed inside of walls instead of doors are suited best for those without an accessible door to use for their dog. 

An example of someone needing a dog door installed in a wall instead of a standard door is if the secured area outside isn’t close to a door. 

Choosing the Right Dog Door

Deciding on the dog door that is right for your labrador retriever will depend on where you are installing the door, the amount of money you want to spend on the door, and if you are concerned about other animals in your home.