Written by Melissa Viera
This week’s trick is teaching your dog to close a door or cabinet by pushing it with their nose. This trick will have all of your friends and family impressed with just how polite your dog is for shutting doors when asked.
Step One First teach your dog to target a post-it note with their nose. Mark/reward each time your dog’s nose touches the post-it note.
Step Two Teach your dog to apply more pressure to the post-it note. You can stick the note to the palm of your hand, or to a soft exercise ball or similar object to measure the pressure. Holding the ball still you can see if your dog is pushing when the ball pushes in. When using your hand look for an increase in pressure that you can feel. Keep building on this so your dog is not just touching their nose to the note, but holding their nose on it and pushing.
Step Three Practice the targeting on different objects including doors and cabinets.
Step Four With the door slightly open practice having your dog target the post-it on the door until they are able to push the door shut.
Step Five Remove the note and add a new cue like telling your dog “Shut The Door Please".