Is it normal for GSD to open a door? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Is it normal for GSD to open a door?

Hi everyone,
I know that this might seem strange but our dog Griffin has opened the door 2x in the last 2 days. He was outside and I came in for 2 mins to get something and I saw him come up to the glass door out his paw on the handle push it down and come in. Is this typical GSD behaviour? I know that they are very intelligent dogs but this has truly surprised me.
I did not teach him this... to be honest, I wouldn't know how at this point. He has only been with us a week.
Should I keep that door locked so he can't come in and out of the house as he pleases? It's the door from the kitchen to the deck (our 1 acre backyard is fenced in). I'm just concerned about the cold as it was -15C here last night and lots of snow.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 02:18 PM
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Haha. He is smart! I'd lock the door just so you don't lose heat or have unwanted bugs/pests coming into your house. We used to live in a duplex that had door handles that pushed down (instead of turning). Our cat learned how to open the doors...if only she knew how to close them! One time, the neighbor's dog even opened the door. We found him in our living room. That was a surprise! We definitely got in a habit of locking the doors after that. We didn't have GSDs at the time because we were renting, but I bet they would have learned to open the doors too.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 02:28 PM
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Sabi was very good at it, and sadly she attempted to teach Shadow.

I was standing outside with my arms full of groceries waiting for husband to come open the door for me and Sabi made a decision and opened the door for me. It was the beginning of the door saga for us and she was about 10 months old.
However... when I was doing alarm response we had a customer who liked to leave their Golden in the yard all day. It took only one incident for him to learn that if he opened the kitchen door we would arrive to entertain him. It progressed quickly to 2-3 times a day or more, until we suggested that they hire a petsitter or dog walker which was infinitely cheaper then us showing up multiple times a day.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 02:30 PM
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Oh yes thats very normal. My 4 month old just figured out how to do it. Problem is once they figure it out they dont forget it, so now we lock every door that goes outside at all times. Better safe than sorry!
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 02:31 PM
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I had a cat that figured out how to open doors. Sometimes they are just smarter than us.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 02:49 PM
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My older girl loves to open doors. She figured out the screen door, and I woke up one morning to find she'd let herself out during the night! Fortunately, she didn't get hit by a car or get into other serious trouble.

As the lock on the screen door didn't work, I had to remember to close the inner door before going to bed at night, or she'd 'go walkabout' again during the night!

She also opens cupboard doors. This is what greeted me when I came home one day!
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 03:39 PM
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My Beau has tried opening our door to the outside. I always lock it behind me so he’s had no success yet, but he clearly understands that pushing down on the handle opens the door, he tried a couple of times.

I think he’s come to understand about keys, too. If we’re heading out and I stand too long at the locked door, he will look pointedly at the key in the lock and then back at me, and if I wait he’ll sometimes nose it and look at me or bark at me. As if he’s telling me to get a move on and make it open, so we can get out of here.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 04:02 PM
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Is your door actually a lever because I had to change my door to a knob.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 05:20 PM
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Yes, mine can open lever door and deadbolts if he is persistent. They can also lock them while you are outside. 220 on a locksmith later.....

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 05:57 PM
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“I had a cat that figured out how to open doors. Sometimes they are just smarter than us.”

I had a cat once that required baby locks on all the cabinets if I wanted my food kept safe. I had to replace them when he matured because he got strong enough to force them, I needed to upgrade from plastic to metal. The same cat could with work pull open the refrigerator door by the lower corner, and a couple of times he teamed up with my GSD to get meat out of the fridge - they were caught eating their spoils together on the kitchen floor. Since it happened more than once, I’d have to agree: sometimes they are just smarter than us.
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