Mr. P. installed a pet door in the door of the dogs' clubhouse. It has a swinging plastic flap and a sliding cover, so if we want to confine them inside, we just pull the cover down. It looks something like the photo here. The pet door is a great success. It took the dogs about 3 minutes to figure it out. When it's raining out and we don't want the inside of the clubhouse to get wet, we close the shed door and open the pet door so the dogs can come and go (and not poop or piddle inside the shed). Added benefits are that Polly is too dumb to figure out how to use the door and Georgie is too stumpy to jump through it. But there are 2 problems.
1) All four puppies and their mother try to enter or exit by way of the pet door at the same time. It's like a Three Stooges routine: comical to watch, but you have to wonder if they're all going to get stuck in there one day (a distinct possibility at the rate the puppies are growing).
2) I have to rely on my 55-yr-old brain to remember to shut the pet door after I've put the dogs to bed at night, or else I'll be peacefully cleaning the kitchen and suddenly notice an eager face pressed up against the French door. Getting those dogs into the clubhouse at night is like trying to put 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag, and I just hate it when my own stupidity forces me to hike back outside, round up the dogs again, and coax them back to bed. Yes, I've tried food bribery, but a handful of kibble isn't nearly as enticing when they've already had one bedtime snack.
I suppose we could have installed a locking electronic door, but we're kind of scraping the bottom of the financial barrel right now.