Welcome to the fun hop where you can learn how to teach your dog new tricks (yes, even old dogs!), and enter an awesome giveaway as well. What a great prelude to Halloween!
From today through October 30th, you can visit our hosts, Kol’s Notes & Beagles & Bargains, along with us and 12 other blogs to learn a different trick, and enter to win almost $600 worth of prizes! More details at the end of this post.
Disclosure: The Trick or Treat Giveaway Hop is a sponsored event. All brands and bloggers have provided compensation to be included in this giveaway. Wag ‘n Woof Pets only shares our own honest opinions, and these may not reflect the values of all brands and blogs involved.
How to Train Your Dog to Close Doors (and/or Drawers!)
“Close It” is one of the most fun tricks I’ve taught Luke. He enjoys it and it’s something I can do with him every day while just going about our regular routines. Once Luke has learned a trick well, he is happy to do it simply for praise – no food rewards required (though we do provide them at times to help reinforce it). It’s also something simple to do with him if he’s stressed out for some reason, making for a great distraction.
The video below will demonstrate what you can teach your dog to do, and then step-by-step instructions will follow. I left some of Luke’s little antics in the video, once he opens the door and another time starts to go into a spin (one of this other tricks). That’s to show that trick training is all about having fun, and it doesn’t matter if they do it perfectly every time!
If your dog already knows the command “touch” or “touch it”, you can skip the first couple of steps and go directly to Step #3. I love to use the clicker stick for touch training, but it’s certainly not required. We started with kitchen cabinet doors. Since they are lighter weight, it is easier for them to close, making for the perfect place to start.
Remember: Don’t do all of these steps in one sitting! A few minutes per session is usually best. Sometimes just a little progress is great, “quit while you’re ahead” is a great practice to follow for each lesson. Don’t move to the next step until you’ve had consistent success at the previous. It’s often recommended that at the end of a session you give your dog a “bonus” – a handful of treats as reward for a job well done.
- Step 1: Hold a post-it note in your hand at your dog’s level. Click if you use a clicker or “mark” (such as saying the word “yes”) every time they look at or touch the note, and immediately drop a treat. I wanted Luke to use his nose for this trick, so as to avoid scratched doors, but you can also get them to use their paws. However, it’s far easier to get them to touch the note with their nose as most dogs are naturally curious that way.
- Step 2: Once they are consistently touching the note, stick it to the door, at nose height and close to the edge. Mark and toss treat when they touch it.
- Step 3: Open the door slightly and repeat step #2. Start to only mark and treat only when they actually get the door to move. Continue this until they eventually get the door to close all the way.
- Step 4: At this point you can start adding in your command at the time they touch the note. We use “close it”. With your command, you can also add in pointing at the note. Luke is very responsive to hand gestures, even more so than voice commands.
- Step 5: Gradually open the door more and more, and also reduce the size of the post-it note, until all that is needed is your voice or hand command and they consistently close the door.
- Step 6: Move to new locations, and try different doors and drawers too. Some dogs take longer than others to “get it” with something different. With Luke, I went back to the post it note when moving to large doors, but for drawers, he just picked that up easily. Also, you can start moving further away from them if your hope is that they will close doors for you when you’re across the room. I never got that far with Luke, since we were just doing it for fun, but I’ve started trying it just a bit lately. We still need to work on it.
Keep in mind: “high value” treats are going to work best when training, especially when you’re just starting out. The treats in our photo have been great – we received them as a gift and breaking them into pieces has been perfect for training. It all depends on your dog and what motivates them. You can also mix high and low value treats to keep them guessing what they’ll get next!
Now that you’ve learned our trick, enter our giveaway through the widget at the end of this post and then visit the other blogs listed below to learn more tricks and for more chances at winning these prizes:
Grand Prize – $300 Gift Card to PetSmart
Second Prize – 14 bag assortment of treats from Caru Pet Food. Estimated value $100.
Third Prize – 3 bags of treats from Nature’s Logic. 3 lbs total valued at approximately $80.
Fourth Prize – Prize pack from The Honest Kitchen, estimated value $72.
- Kol’s Notes
- Beagles & Bargains
- My Dog Likes
- Dog Mom Days
- A Dog Walks Into a Bar
- Heart Like a Dog
- My GBGV Life
- Rubicon Days
- Fidose of Reality
- It’s Dog or Nothing
- Sarcastic Dog
- The Broke Dog
- Tails from the Road
Also, follow all of these blogs on Instagram and watch for a chance to win a $20 gift card to PetSmart as well as the stylish bow tie seen below! Follow the hashtag #TrickorTreatDogs.
Giveaway open to residents of USA and Canada only, 18 and over, void where prohibited. Starts October 20th and ends October 30th at 11:59pm PST, winners announced on October 31st. Prizes provided by sponsors and Wag ‘n Woof Pets is not responsible for prize fulfillment. No social media sites have endorsed this promotion.
Trick or Treat Giveaway Hop – Wag n Woof
Heather D says
My dog is working on this trick. She’s a timid rescue but smart and wants to do well.
Well done! 🙂 No my dogs do not know this trick. They do know how to open the cupboards though LOL
Thank you! We’ll be in trouble if Luke learns how to open them – LOL!
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Love the video! I remember when you first started teaching this to Luke. I think I said back then that I should teach Ducky. Well, you know how far I got with that idea. Lol.
We always have the best intentions though, don’t we? Carrying them out is not always so easy. I’ve had to put some of the fun stuff aside for Luke right now in order to work on the muzzle. He is overdue to go to the vet for his annual exam, and we can’t take him without that. 🙁
BELLE Is not old enough yet be we work on a few things she does not know this trick
Juliee Fitze says
Would love to teach this to my dog.
This would be a gift for my friends dogs to share. They know many tricks!
That is so sweet of you to enter for them! Good luck!
Wendy R. says
Never even thought of teaching this trick!
Kim Cowgar says
No dog. I’d love the gc and any treats, etc would go to my local shelter. That is a great trick! My cat can open doors that are just a tad bit open and if here were taller he would be able to open our door with the push down handle but he doesn’t like to have the doors closed so I don’t think he would do this one.
You have a very talented cat! We used to have one that would try to open the cabinets, but he couldn’t quite do it. So, in the middle of the night, we’d be hearing bang….bang….bang….coming from the kitchen! LOL
Aw! So sweet and what a cutie! My dog definitely doesn’t know how to do this currently but I should teach him!
Juliet Whitfield says
This is fantastic! I love the video and the way your broke it down with the post it notes. This is how I used to teach this trick when I taught dog training classes. Your dog is adorable and loves his job. Great way like you said to use for distraction. Nice work!
Thank you, Juliet!
Jean Dion says
Liam the pug knows “touch,” so I would imagine I could teach him this little trick pretty quickly. And it would totally come in handy, as we have a kitten that likes to open doors and cupboards!
Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie
I think it would be a breeze for Liam if he already knows touch. I can just picture it….the kitten opens the doors, and Liam follows him/her around and closes them! 🙂
Lizee McMillian says
No, thank goodness!!
Caryn Coates says
Yes, my dog know this trick.
I have not tried teaching closing doirs. I wonder if she is too small? I guess it depends on the size if the door…like she probably could not close the fridge but might be able to close the cabinet. 11 lbs is not much weight.
I’d say maybe cabinets too, and maybe from the very bottom she could get it. Someone else here said their small dog jumps on the cabinet doors (but if you don’t watch scratches, probably not though).
Michele Cupp says
OK that is absolutely the coolest. I’m not sure I can teach my dog that now because she’s a rescue and is afraid of noise, but it will be my goal for sure!
Colleen Boudreau says
My dog doesn’t know this trick. I have a 4 year old Boxer, & she’s really hyper and gets excited easily.. so sometimes she has difficulty trying to pay attention long enough to learn tricks lol.
When I try to trick train our beagle and golden, I can’t get them to focus on anything but the treats! LOL
Michelle B. says
I have to teach my dogs this trick!!
Tammy Horn says
My dog know this trick. She also knows to open all doors, cabinets and crates, and knows to close each one with a verbal cue.
Michelle S says
My dog does not know this trick. I wish she were able to get around and do things like this, though.
2 Brown Dawgs says
That is an excellent trick.
tiffany dayton says
My dog Bo does not know that but he can shake and sit. He also likes to stand up and give hugs.
Mallory H. says
This is so cute! I love his little nose when he pushes it!!
Jenniferanne Keefer says
Nope, my dog does not know this trick. He’s better at opening things than closing them!
Kim V says
She doesn’t know this trick but I think I’ll have to teach her this one!!
Erin Will says
My dog Shelby can do a few tricks but not this one. Might be fun to try out! Thank you!
You’re welcome – hope you get to try it out and have fun! Our first dog was named Shelby – love that name!
Linda Szymoniak says
No, my dogs don’t know this trick. To be honest, I think they’d be more interested in exploring what was inside the open cabinet than to closing the cabinet door. I have three rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds, and as scent hounds, I know each would want to get their noses busy inside the cabinet. I would like to try to teach this to them. I have to dig out our clicker.
A friend of ours just got a Walker Coonhound puppy – he’s so adorable! Very nice dogs we love hounds. Luke has a little bit of hound dog in him, we think. He has a pretty good nose. In fact, you are right….I had to edit out part of the video where Luke had his head stuck in the cabinet where there was a bag of potatoes and some fresh ginger, and it took a couple minutes to get him out of there! 🙂
Dolly the Doxie says
Wow I don’t know this trick at all! We are finding that Taffy won’t use her nose for anything, like going through the cat/dog door. I will use my nose though and open doors with it, not sure if mom has the patience to teach me the trick though. Love Dolly
It takes a lot more patience for me to teach Cricket or Sheba anything, and that’s why you don’t see them on here doing tricks; because I don’t have enough! 🙂
Sheba did, however, teach herself to open up sliding doors!
Sarah De Diego says
No but I can think of some practical situations for this skill.
Journeys of The Zoo
I wish my dog could do that trick. He can shake and sit, and that is pretty much it.
Debra Guillen says
My dog does not know this trick.
Oh that is so neat! I would love to teach our dogs to do things like that in addition to some of the basics. They will sit on command….well most of the time! If we are outside and there is a squirrel or rabbit…forget. Not a chance then. LOL
I know what that’s all about! Luke knows the basics plus a few tricks; but if we try to do any of that outside, we get very limited results, and that’s before he even sees anything! LOL
what a fun trick ! no, Yoyo doesn’t know that one … we have to try it !
Julie Murphy says
My dogs can not do this trick
Nancy Burgess says
Our dogs don’t know this but I’d like tob5eachildren them.
Nancy Burgess says
to teach them.
Melissa Storms says
No my dog does not know this trick and she is very naughty, if sje knew how to open cabinets all bets would be off.
The Daily Pip says
Great job, Luke! I am really impressed with your closing abilities! Not sure Ruby would be able to reach some of the those drawers. LOL. The giveaway looks amazing!
Thank you! Yes, it’s a little bit tougher trick for small dogs. Even Luke has trouble with some of the heavier doors or drawers!
Krista M says
No my mom’s dog does not know this trick but that is impressive & so cool!
My dog does not know this trick says
My dog does not know this trick
Edie Chase says
My dog knows this trick, I taught her pretty much the same way. Very informative post.
My sister just got a puppy so he has yet to learn this trick- but it looks super easy to teach!
My dog doesn’t know this trick
Anne-Marie Tvete says
My dog does not know this and it is very unlikely that he would learn it ( or that I could teach it to him)
Christy Graham says
my doxie is too short to open doors lol- but she can close them!
Sand spring Chesapeake says
Luke your so smart! Looks like a great giveaway.
well princess is tia dog ad has done cpr ad pulled me up from storke or heart tattck
king he is my hearing aid dog and he go to the window or door no i did not teach them
but princess like to roll over play dead ad she sit and beg
It sounds like your dogs have given themselves some very important jobs!
Jamie Williams says
That was so cool. I never knew this till now. I’m going to save it.
this is a cute trick. my pooch would love to know how to do this so she can open the door and get her snacks.
Marilyn Nawara says
No, he doesn’t know this trick.
Bridgett Wilbur says
My dog does not know this trick. He is just a puppy.
Ann Cluck says
No they don’t. This will be awesome for my husband when he finally gets out of bed and into a wheelchair. My black lab/border collie could be taught this.
So sorry to hear your husband is laid up. I hope he is on his way to recovery, and how great would it be if your dog could help him out in some ways? What a great mix – Lab and border collie. I bet he/she is a smart one!
Ann Cluck says
Thank you. He has Parkinsons. She does alert bark right before he would start to fall. She is very smart, loving and loyal.
Thomas Murphy says
My dog does not know the trick.
Billy Lilley says
My dog does not know this trick but I plan to teach it to him.
Sandy Weinstein says
i like this idea, my dogs dont do this. i would be scared the would open the cabinets when i am not around and go thru the food and treats. they know where some of their treats are and i know if they could open the doors, they would get into so much trouble. nice idea. my middle knows how to open the doors but she has not learned how to close them. she just opens them. i would like to use this idea to get them to pick up all of their toys that are all over the house, since i trip on them.
Luke hasn’t show any signs of wanting to open cabinets – not yet anyway! I also trained Luke to pick up his toys, but I don’t put it into practical use as much as I should (which means I pick them up most of the time – LOL). I did write a post about that if you care to read it: http://www.afarmgirlsfinds.com/clicker-training-a-positive-experience-putting-toys-away/
Sandy Weinstein says
thanks, i have read it, good points. my girls have over 50 some toys just in 1 room alone. i can tell when they play with the toys alot, when i am gone, b/c they are all over the house. as soon as i pick them up they are out again.
That’s so great that they have all those toys to keep them entertained. But with that many, I can see why you’re tripping over them all the time! 🙂
Luke is a smart and beautiful dog! Is he a lab or mix lab? I love your trick and am going to work on this with my yellow lab mix. He is a sweet boy and smart (he knows all his toys by name and he has a lot of toys too!).
Thank you! Yes, Luke is a Lab mix. We got him as a puppy from a rescue. They transported him from a foster home in Alabama all the way up here to New England! He has some fear issues, but he really is smart, and he’s a very loving boy too. Good luck teaching this to your boy – it sounds like he’ll have no problem learning it! Did you read the book about the dog Chaser, who learned 1000 words? You would probably like that (I think knowing all toys by name is impressive enough, I need to do that with Luke).
This is so impressive – Great job Luke! We are definitely going to try this out with Charlie! Although I think I may need to fix some of our kitchen drawers so they are a bit easier to close!
Luke is such a smart boy! Barley and I have tired to train things using post-it’s before but she refuses to touch them with her nose. She will only touch my hand if I say “touch.” We tried to train her to touch cones and light switches with her trainer, but she does not like to touch things with her nose. It’s very strange!
I tried light switches with Luke too, but that I did not have good luck with. He really likes the clicker stick but even with that I just couldn’t get him to hit the switch hard enough to move it.
I think all of our dogs have little quirks that don’t make sense to us, but I guess it’s all part of them having individual personalities. 🙂
Unfortunately my dog doesn’t know any tricks. I’ve tried to teach her several times in the past but she just doesn’t get it.
Some dogs are more receptive to trick training. I only do it with Luke, our two girls are not responsive either! They just want the treats, and don’t see any reason they should have to work for them. 🙂
Emily Endrizzi says
Nope, our dogs don’t know this trick. We need to get busy!
Christine Aiello says
My dog doesn’t know this trick, but it something I would love to teach her to do!
Katie C. says
I’m entering to win the gift card for my sister, who is a cat lady! I’m not sure her cats know any tricks, beyond driving her crazy.
I bet there are some cats out there who do know tricks, but I’ve never had one! 😉
Rolly knows no tricks. He is my dumb dumb friend.
No, my golden, Gavan, doesn’t know this trick and I wouldn’t teach it to him either. I don’t want the cupboards or anything else accidentally getting banged up and I honestly don’t need him closing the cupboards or anything for me…
Daniel Scott says
My dog does not know this trick and I’m afraid he would open the door instead of shutting it. He already works the ice maker.
Oh, now that has to be fun! LOL. I wish we had an ice maker on our fridge. Teaching your dog to open the fridge, now that might be a bad idea!
carol clark says
my dog doesnt know this one but i like it
Annamarie V says
He does not know this trick, his only tricks are sit, shake and get your pillow.
Will G says
My dog doesn’t know this trick.
Steven A. says
It had never occurred to me to teach my dogs this trick. It looks like a good way to keep them mentally stimulated. Thanks! Going to give it a try.
They know it, but I haven’t used it in a while. May need a refresher. I did teach it the same way.
Mary Cloud says
We’ve never taken the time to teach our pups any tricks
Cheryl Chervitz says
My dogs don’t know this, yet. What a great idea, hope I can teach them.
Steve Weber says
This is a super fun trick… would love to teach my pup to do it.
alicia szemon says
How smart! My dog is so stubborn, this trick would be too complex for him! lol
Jessica Gibson says
okay…one question. If they can close doors, what keeps them from getting into the doors. lol
I feel like that is what my dogs would do!
Good question! I don’t think there’s any guarantee they won’t, but all I can tell you is that Luke has not figured that out yet. Thank goodness! 🙂
No, he doesn’t know it – yet!
Susan P. says
My dog doesn’t know this trick but she should learn it since the cats like to open the cupboard doors.
Brandi Hawn says
wow that’s a really cool trick. my dog doesn’t know how to do it yet, but i’m going to start working on it with him 🙂
Amy A says
Love this trick but I can see Nala learning to open things too which is gonna lead to a lot of missing treats. She already opens the mail slot to shred mail which is a fail on my part.
Mary W says
I will have to try this with my dogs. Your video gives me the confidence to try it. Thanks!
I love it~ I need to get off my lazy A and teach this to Delilah! I loved watching this video!
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Yes! He can close cupboard doors. Regular doors are a little hard.
Even Luke has trouble with closing some of the big doors all the way. We’re still working on it some, but most of the time I just reward him for making the effort. 🙂
I haven’t tried teaching this trick yet. So many great ideas I never thought of.
Lara Elizabeth says
I love how you incorporated our sponsor’s treats! I really need one of those clicker sticks. Nice job, Luke – practical tricks are the best!
Barbara Rivers says
That’s such a fun trick to train! Thank you for sharing how you did it, too! Luke looks adorable in the video and did a great job closing those drawers and doors 🙂
Thank you, Barbara! It’s so enjoyable for me when he is really having a good time. 🙂
Devin Johns says
I love the dog creeping behind the counter 🙂
The Island Cats says
The mom has tried clicker training with us…but we’re too smart for that. 😉
Neat trick, my dog can’t do this one yet.
rachel monn says
we don’t know this! what a smart pup!!
Cool trick! My dog doesn’t know this.
Ruth Epstein says
Nope she does not know this one
Allison Hoffman says
This is great! Will definitely be trying this out!
no she doesn’t know this! i don’t think she is strong enough to learn this!
Jen Longhurst says
Yup! My dog Jasper Zen knows this and 100 more tricks! He jumps on the doors to close them though since he is small
Awesome post 🙂
Thank you, Jen! Wow, Jasper Zen is very impressive! I hadn’t really thought of how you’d do it with a smaller dog, so that’s great.
Caitlyn Orr says
My dogs don’t know this trick but I totally want to teach it to them!
M. K. Clinton says
I love this! I might be in trouble if the boys learn to open our cabinets. LOL!
Yeah, I don’t think we’re ever going to train that one! LOL!
Amanda Patterson says
This needs to be the next trick we teach! I love this idea, we use and love the clicker stick so I will be trying your idea thanks so much!
Oh, good, you are going to have fun with this! Isn’t the clicker stick the greatest thing? I used it to teach Luke to spin and twirl as well.
My dogs don’t know this trick
This is incredible … most of Bear Cat’s tricks are of the unfortunate variety 😉
Theresa Spaid says
Shunta and my new furbaby Bandit know how to sit when told and Shunta can also shake hands.
Don’t have a dog, so no. Cat person that’d love to win the Petco card. Any doggie treats would be donated.
That’s a very nice idea. Good luck!
My dog does not know this trick but it is impressive!
Sharon Gilbert says
Yes my dogs know tricks. High Five holding my hand up with a treat taking their paw and say high five, give me a kiss by touching my lips with a treat in my hand, Getting my tennis shoes for out daily walk.
Those are all great, but I especially love the getting your shoes out for a walk! We might have to try that one too. Luke goes for where his harness is when we go to walk, so I’ve often thought of seeing if I could get him to bring that to me, but the shoes would be even more fun!
Mary Hone says
That’s an awesome trick. I will have to try this with Torrey, she would love it.
easy rider says
I can do that trick too… or let’s say the first part… I can open nearly all doors, but I don’t know how to close them… that can be dangerous to open all doors around the howl-o-ween-time, right?
I’m pretty sure dogs opening doors can be dangerous anytime! LOL! I do not want Luke opening the doors, that’s for sure. I had to edit out the part of the video where he was more interested in what was in the cabinet than in closing the door!