“A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.”
This is so true and because I am raising two puppies, I can assure you this stops being funny!
I open the door to the garage to put out the trash and both puppies rush out, get one in, the other stays out and plays hard to catch, I finally get it and when I open the door to get it in, the other comes out! They could play this game all day but I start to get exasperated.
A fast and fun solution is to teach them the “Touch my hand” game. It’s very easy, and the puppies love it. You start by placing the palm of your hand about 3 inches in front of your dog’s muzzle. Out of curiosity he will approach to smell and quite possibly touch it. When he does so, readily “mark” the behavior with an enthusiastic “YES!” and immediately give him a treat. The key is to get him to actually touch your palm. Because puppies are usually always interested in food, you can practise 5 or 6 times in a row gradually increasing the distance he has to move towards your palm.
Now you can use your palm to get your puppy in or out and to stay on the side of the door YOU want him on!
Below is sequence of photos that will help you see the training process.
Additional training tips:
1) If he does not actually touch your hand rub the treat on it first.
2) If he gets bored after just one or two reps, your treat is not good enough (try slices of hot dogs)
3) If he insists on smelling the hand that holds the treat, put it behind your back and hold your palm right in front of his muzzle.
4) Remember to “mark” the touching with an enthusiastic YES! followed immediately with the treat.