This is a really useful trick when you’re sitting comfortably with the newspaper and a cup of tea and you want to close the door!
Step 1: Teaching your dog to touch a target with their nose
First you need to teach your dog to touch a target -- like the end of a ruler, or a post-it note -- with their nose. To do this, just hold it out in front of them and, as soon as your dog sniffs at it, reward them with praise and a treat.
Repeat this exercise until your dog goes to touch the target straight away.
Step 2: Teaching your dog to touch the target on a door
Next, put the target against an open door at the same height as your dog’s nose. Encourage them to touch the target with their nose and reward them when they do.
Sometimes your dog will push the door extra hard. When this happens praise them to the skies, helping them to push the door all the way shut. When your dog’s got the idea, they’ll start to shut the door without your help.
Next, introduce the command “shut the door” as they do the trick.
Once your dog responds well to the command, you can remove the target and use just the command, praise and rewards.