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.