The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Video: Training Bo to Close Doors

I am training Bo to close doors on command. It's a behavior he is learning quickly. I started training him using a sticky note taped to a door and giving him the 'touch' command. I began target training with him when he was a young puppy, so he knew what I wanted when I pointed to the sticky and gave the command 'touch.'

After just a few times in the initial session, I dropped using the verbal cue 'touch' and just pointed to the sticky on the door. Every time he used his nose to push the door closed, I rewarded him. If he pushed it hard enough and the door closed tight, I reinforced him with a jackpot of treats, plus verbal praise.

Today, I added the verbal cue 'close,' which will be the command I use to cue this behavior. Once he is consistently responding to the verbal command, I'll remove the sticky note and practice with just the command. I've been training on interior doors, exterior doors, kitchen cabinet doors and the refrigerator door. The goal behind this training is for Bo to use his nose to push a door closed on command. This training is only teaching him to close a door by pushing it. When I train him to close a door with a pull method, I'll use a tug toy tied to the door.

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