Sept. 29, 2007 — When we first got Lola, she quickly developed a habit of scratching on the screen door when she wanted someone to let her in — which was frequently. It’s been warm enough lately that we mostly just use the screen door.
I’ll spare you the image of what those scratches did to the soft wood of the door. But one day recently, my husband Kelly took a rope toy we had, and turned it into Lola’s own doorpull!
She had already learned from scratching that if she hit the door hard, it might bounce open far enough that she could stick her paw in and flip the door open, but that method didn’t work all that well.
When I saw Kelly’s handiwork, I grabbed some tiny pieces of cheese that I had, plus my clicker, and joined Lola outside the door. I used the cheese as a lure to get her to put her nose on or at least near the knot in the rope — the knot that sticks out, not the one right by the door.
We did this maybe 15 or 20 times, and twice she pulled a little on the rope but she didn’t seem to see what this could do for her.
The next day was hectic and we didn’t do any more training. I was going to… but Lola figured it out! Now she goes inside whenever she wants to.