You’ve sat down to tuck into dinner, Game of Thrones is on, and your dog starts whining outside, signaling he wants to come in the room. You sigh a deep breath and get up to let him in. This is a procedure that happens regularly, perhaps even daily. Whether you’re outside or in the garage, he can’t open the sliding door and it’s driving you mad. If you could just train him to open the sliding door for himself he’d be able to come and go as he pleases, and give you some well-deserved peace and quiet.
It’s also ideal for ensuring he can still get in and around the house when you’re not there. If he can open doors, he’ll have a much bigger space to roam when you’re out shopping or at work. Using his brain for this task might make it easier to teach him a range of other things too.
Training him to open a door isn’t as difficult as you might think. At the moment, he doesn’t know how, but once you’ve shown him and he’s done it a couple of times, he’ll quickly catch on. If he’s young, his brain should be ready to learn and he may be opening doors in just a few days. If he’s older or not the smartest of cookies, he might need a week or two to fully get the hang of it.
However long it takes, it’s worth investing some time into. You’ll never have to get up from your cozy slumber in the evenings again. He’ll be able to roam free across the house and outside when he’s mastered the art of the sliding door. You may find when it comes to teaching him to ‘wait’ and ‘heel’ that he’s more receptive too.
Before you get going you’ll need a few bits. Some old T-shirts or clothes will be needed to tie to the door to make a doggie handle he can pull on. You’ll also need some small brightly colored sticky notes.
Treats or some small pieces of his favorite food will also go a long way to keep him focused and eager to learn. Once you’ve got all of that you just need 10 minutes a day to commit to training and a proactive attitude.
When all of those boxes are ticked you can set to work!