Canine behavioral science suggests that there’s no trick a dog can’t learn once a positive reinforcement approach is involved. The basic idea is that any behavior associated with a reward, say, treats, hugs, or praises, is bound to be repeated by your pooch. Thanks to such theory, dog owners now reap the benefits of a well-trained and obedient dog.
When your dog has already learned the basic obedience commands, including sit and stay, why not educate him further with a new trick that would certainly be practical around your household: closing the door! Closing a door is a trick of moderate complexity that needs to be built up in steps. Whether your hands are busy on the groceries or newspaper, you are already sitting comfortably with a cup of coffee, or you just want to be amused, training your dog to perform this task can be really useful in the long run. This is even beyond helpful for those disabled people (e.g., a person in wheelchair) who would definitely appreciate the assistance from their dogs.
Rewarding small steps in the right direction is essential, and what better way to do that than treats! Sometimes the way to a dog’s brain is through his stomach. It’s almost as if it’s a golden rule to never underestimate the rewarding power of treats. Keeping treats handy while doing the training dramatically increases your dog’s chances of learning the trick. Just remember to use the clicker first before giving the treat.
Of course, a small dog can never close a heavy door, so before teaching, ensure that you are training your dog to close a door that he can “truly” open, given his strength and size. Lightweight doors such as those of cabinets are perfect for smaller dogs hence.