Teach your dog a very useful skill – hands-free door operation!
Huge thanks to Susan for sharing how she did this. Susan had already taught the dogs to pull (easy to teach using a toy, or a clicker and target). The bigger problem was asking the dogs to pull on a door handle. Here’s how she solved it:
I taught this trick through bone idleness really! It’s also a useful if you don’t have a hand free to get the door. At my last house my two pet dogs had free access to the garden, in the form of a rope hung over the door handle, the handle was splayed at the end so it would stay on, the door also had riser hinges so it self closed.
The problem is when I moved house the external doors have new style slick PVC handles and so the rope just fell off after a few openings, even if I twisted it around tight. I tried a few things before settling on taping the first part of a nylon strap to the handle and wrapping the rest around till it hangs near the middle, this allows enough leverage when the dog pulls the rope. Also the twisty bit of strap needs to give a bit as the handle is pulled so only the first part can be taped. I then passed a rope toy though the loop to extend it to dog head level. The other door has a slightly curved flat handle so I could just twist a thick rope around it and it stays put.
As the new door stays open it would be handy if they shut it after themselves but so far they’ve not got that message (Read as, I haven’t trained them to do it – yet). They will already shut doors from the inside as you see Buster (black dog) do in one of the clips.