You’re not alone if you’re annoyed by your dog’s amazing ability to open doors. While not all pets have this ability, some can become highly skilled at door-opening techniques. Dogs can be resourceful, whether it’s pushing a slightly open door or twisting a doorknob.
But, addressing this behaviour is critical to ensuring your dog’s safety and maintaining domestic order. This article will include practical advice for preventing dogs from opening doors, as well as insights into the underlying causes of this behaviour.
Understanding Why Dogs Open Doors
Dogs may perform door-opening behaviour for a variety of reasons. Understanding these motives allows you to successfully address the core causes:
Separation anxiety, boredom, mating instinct, hunting instinct, fearful reaction and attention-seeking behaviour are common reasons dogs open doors. Separated dogs may view doors as barriers, leading to scratching and biting to gain access.
Dogs seek entertainment when bored, and opening doors can escalate their behaviour if they observe and learn the mechanisms behind it. Intact male dogs may attempt to escape through doors when detecting females in heat, while intact females may desire to go outside to be detected by males. Fearful reactions may also lead dogs to open doors out of fear or attention-seeking.
Preventing Dogs from Opening Doors:
- Use childproof door handles or doorknob covers that are made to stop dogs from twisting the doorknobs to secure the doors. Usually, dogs lack the dexterity or strength needed for these coverings.
- Place latches or locks higher up out of your dog’s reach, to secure it. This can work well to prevent them from opening the door. Verify the installation and security of the latch or lock. Use door handle covers to keep pets from grasping and twisting the doorknob.
- Door handle covers and door stops are available. Dogs typically have trouble with these coverings because of their smooth or slick surfaces
- Teach your dog the fundamental instructions of obedience, such as “stay” and “leave it.” It is possible to stop them from trying to open the door by teaching them to remain away from it and repeatedly
- Ensure that your dog has adequate activity. Dogs that aren’t given enough mental and physical activity may try to unlock doors out of boredom or a lack of such stimulation.. A dog who is overtired and overstimulated is less likely to open doors.
- Use baby gates or other obstacles to restrict your dog’s access to doors. This may make it physically impossible for them to approach the doors and try to unlock them.
- Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog when they behave appropriately around doors, such as by remaining away or not attempting to open them, by giving them treats, praise, or playing. Positive reinforcement can deter undesirable behaviours and reinforce desirable behaviour.
- When teaching your dog, keep in mind that consistency and patience are essential.They may need some time to absorb and comprehend the required behaviour near doors. Consider speaking with a qualified dog trainer or behaviourist for extra advice targeted to your particular circumstance if you’re experiencing ongoing.
Addressing Underlying Emotions:
In addition to preventive measures, it’s important to address the underlying emotions that are driving your dog’s door-opening habit. To manage separation anxiety in dogs, seek professional help from a dog trainer or behaviourist. Increase boredom through engaging activities, such as interactive toys and puzzle feeders. Spay or neuter your dog to alleviate their drive to escape. Address critter issues by contacting a humane pest control company. Identify triggers causing fear and consult a professional for assistance.
Use techniques like desensitization and counterconditioning to modify fear-seeking tendencies. Provide ample attention, exercise, and mental stimulation to your dog. Establish a routine that provides positive outlets for their energy and attention.
While dogs with door-opening abilities have outstanding talents, it is critical to prevent and handle this habit to maintain household peace and protect your dog’s well-being. You may effectively deter your dog from opening doors by using realistic preventive measures and treating underlying feelings. Remember that patience and persistence are essential in changing your dog’s behaviour.