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Old 04-28-2019, 04:13 PM
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I am new to this site, and I am trying to figure out how this works. I understand that my first 5 posts will be moderated, but it appears that this is the only place I am able to make a post.

Anyway, we got a rescue Chihuahau (8-10 years old) to have a new companion for our current dog, whose sister passed away last year. The dogs get along great, and we could not have asked for a better dog.

The only challenge that we have is getting Marcie (the Chihuahua) to put her nose on the dog door to push it open. If we open it just a bit, so she can stick her head through, she will push it open the rest of the way. She sees her sister use it all the time, so she knows what to do. She is potty trained, and will take us to the door so she can be let out.

My wife and I have even sat on both sides of the door with treats, but she still will not push the door with her nose.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:29 AM
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The forum isn't anywhere near as active as it used to be, but there are two of us here almost every day.

I'm the newbie, so you might want to wait for my mentor. In the meantime, my own suggestion would be to open it just a bit and reward Marcie for pushing it open the rest of the way. Have fun and be silly, she's a dog and she'll love it.

Then gradually open it less and less of a bit until it is closed.

My understanding is that dogs can't learn from their siblings' example when it comes to training.

Bummer! That's the only downside of my new doggie daughter, lol.

Marcie sounds like a gem. Laurel's trainer assures me that you absolutely CAN and SHOULD teach old dogs new tricks, so that old chestnut is absolutely nothing like "just like riding a bicycle" which really IS "just like riding a bicycle" in case you don't ride bicycles.
New and somewhat nervous single pet parent of one adolescent Chi mix.

Last edited by laurelsmom; 04-30-2019 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:54 PM
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Hi, Welcome to the forum! My suggestion is to start as if she doesn't know anything about doggie doors. Get some tiny treats (chicken the size of your pinky fingernail) and let her smell it. One of you go to the outside with the treats. Call her to you. If she starts to poke through, show her the treat and give one to her. If she doesn't use her nose, just keep trying. Do NOT open the door so she can go thru. You can poke your hand thru, but make her use her muzzle to open it all the way. Treats, treats treats! Over again, and over again. She will get it eventually. When she does open the door, have a 'party' praise, praise and a handful of treats! Keep us informed please!
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