How to Train a Dog to Open a Door
Opening and closing a door isn't something dogs do naturally. They need to learn how to do it. Fortunately, this skill is not that hard at all when teaching it to a dog. Read on for easy steps to teach your dog to open a door regardless of their age. Puppies as young as five weeks can learn this trick. So let’s look at several ways you can train this behavior.
Start by rewarding your dog for every effort it makes or portraying good behavior. When an animal maintains positive behavior after being rewarded, it will pick on this technique of closing the door.
A dog who picks on clicker training will easily understand all the rewarding tricks during training.
Your dog might not be extra intelligent to be able to grasp the door closing training as fast as you would want it to. Therefore, it is with due diligence that you opt for an introduction activity known as clicker training.
A clicker is a gadget you can easily obtain from any of your local pet stores. There is a button that you press with your thumb, and it makes a clicking sound. This sound is activated the moment you notice good behavior that needs rewarding. The dog is trained to understand that any time there is this sound, a reward is on the way. This can be considered as a toy or favorite food.
- Keenness is needed here to see the dog's reaction anytime it hears the sound from the clicker. When you see it run away or barks when the buzzer on the clicker is sounded, maybe the sound is irritating.
- Make the sound to be soothing and pleasantly quiet. Some dogs run away from clickers used in training. if this happens, you will be compelled to use verbal communication for the training
- When this dog can touch your hand with its nose, or lick it, brushes itself against you. Reward the dog with a high prize. The point here is that you want the dog to understand when an action is correct.
Benefits of click training:
- A clicker conditions a dog to understand that the sound ignites an action at the exact moment it displays the right thing and expectation of being rewarded.
- This clicker can replace the verbal praise and enhance communication between the two of you, hence speeding up the training session.
- Introducing the clicker and the reward at the same time helps your dog to know that the right behavior is immediately rewarded.
There is another proven method
Your furry friend is ready to learn to close the door. You have to remove any barrier that may hinder this process.
Make the right choice for the type of door you want the dog to learn to close. The door should be lightweight so that the dog can use its paw to push.
During this process, there is a need to bring on board the high reward factor whenever a task is performed correctly and as required.
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How to train using rewards
You can hold a reward treat in your closed fist and place your hand on the door as you beckon the dog to come closer to you as you towards the door.
The buzzer sound from a clicker can accompany the reward treat. Whenever the dog makes a positive effort and meets the target, the button on the clicker is pressed immediately, and the reward is given to the dog.
This reward can be in the form of beef bone or a piece of chicken. This should be repeated until the dog is conditioned to pushing the door using its paw.
At this point, you can introduce the "give paw" command, call your dog over and shake your hand or give his paw, whichever was done successfully in the initial training.
The moment your hand comes into contact with his paw, you reward immediately by praising and dishing out a deserved treat.
Just as before, you can take away your hand before the dog reaches it so that you give it an opportunity for it to touch the door with its paw and not to place its paw on yours.
Any time your furry friend swipes at the door, give praise and reward. This should be repeated until it becomes the norm. Once he starts to internalize this action of swiping at the door with his paw, you can start by slightly opening the door and beckoning him to swipe at it.
Start by tapping at the door and encourage the dog to continue using its paw to swipe. Use a short precise command. The command should be introduced gradually and progressively. Your dog will eventually respond to your friendly, firm, authoritative voice.
You have to keep on doing this as you tap the door. The tapping is also withdrawn progressively until it is the verbal command that is left in place.
Introduce different doors at this juncture. You started with a lightweight door. Now you may introduce a heavier door as well as creating a distance between you and your pooch as you give a command.
The best way to create a distance from your pooch is to take a step away from him as you give the command.
Imagine you coming home from a tedious day and aching all over your body. You approach your comfy couch and snuggle yourself in, and have a well-deserved rest.
You have forgotten to close your door. Your pooch is also just at your feet. You feel like having a nap before any other task is done, or it is cold outside, and you had taken your furry friend out to pee.
The door is still left ajar. A simple command such a "Shut" or Close" from you to your pooch does the trick. It will rise slowly and happily use its paw to swipe at the door and close it.