Silly Dog Tricks

Like a lot of people, we keep our kitchen garbage under the sink. My dog Mouse isn’t one to get into the garbage, but he prefers that cabinet door be left open. Just so he can get a whiff of what’s in there, I imagine.

I tried putting one of those baby-proof locks on the door, but they don’t make baby-proof locks like they did when my kids needed them. Mouse broke it off within days of it going on. Like I said, he REALLY prefers that door be left open.

Well, Mouse is a smart dog, so I decided I would teach him to “close the door.” It’s not that hard of a “trick” to teach…if your dog knows “touch” and responds to hand signals, all you have to do is say, “close the door, Mouse,” give the hand signal for touch, and when the dog does it, reward with a treat. Mouse learned this trick so well that he started opening the door and then looking at me expectantly every time I walked into the kitchen. (It used to be he NEVER opened that cabinet door when anyone was around…he did it in secret. And then if you’d chastise him for it he’d look at you like, “What? I didn’t open that. I don’t know how that door got opened.”) In other words, I taught my dog to OPEN the door, so that I could then tell him to CLOSE the door and give him a treat. (Maybe I should teach him to play chess…he can obviously think several moves ahead.)

So now I’ve started teaching him to close ALL the doors in the house. All the other cabinet doors…the door to the basement…bedroom doors…I THINK it’s made a difference. I came home from my write-in/lunch with friends to find the door to the garbage closed. We’ll see if it stays closed…

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