Difficulty Level 4/5
· a big old fat marker pen with a lid (that doesn’t work)
· some tasty treats
· heaps and heaps and heaps of patience
· a grown-up
· your dog
The idea is that first of all you teach your dog to touch the pen with its nose. When it can do that, you hold the pen against the door (at nose height) so it touches the pen on the door and makes the door move using the command “shut the door!”. Once your dog can do that, you simply take the pen away the door and the dog (should) touch the door with its nose and make the door close. Well, again, that’s the plan… good luck!
1. Hold the pen out towards your dog. Have a treat ready in the other hand to tempt it. When your dog touches the pen, give it a reward IMMEDIATELY (within 1 second) and say “good dog!”
2. Do this lots of times holding the pen in different places.
3. When your dog can do this, hold the pen against the door at nose height and encourage your dog to touch the pen.
4. Give your dog lots of praise and a tasty treat every time it touches the pen. If it can do this every time begin saying, “shut the door” just before you get it to touch the pen.
5. Now open the door up a little bit and get your dog more excited so that it rushes up to the door and makes it close slightly (don’t forget to say, “shut the door” before you get it to close it each time). Big reward and praise when your dog does this.
6. Keep opening the door a bit more each time and get your dog to make harder pushes. Eventually you can take the pen away altogether and just say, “shut the door,” instead. Your dog should touch the door hard enough to close it.