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I want to know how to teach Nikkia to open the fridge. Sometimes she seems board during the day following me around while I do everything I would like to enhance her life a little by haveing her help me out with things such as opening the fridge before I get something or the dryer before I load or unload the clothes I just think it would be beneficial to give her some small jobs around the house to help her feel important.
 

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I would think that the easiest way (correct me if I am wrong... I have never taught this to a dog.. but sounds logical to me..) is to tie a rope to the refrigerator handle. If your dog likes tug games, it should be pretty easy to try to get her to engage in tugging the rope on the handle... have her pull backwards and when the door opens, say "open" or what ever else command you want to use. close the door and repeat..

Maybe I should try that now.. sounded pretty good to me!
Let us know how she is doing!!!
 

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Just make sure you remember to remove the rope when you leave the house, or you might come home to an empty fridge.


That sounds like the easiest way to teach her, to me. I don't know - I've never tried it - but it makes sense.
And I think it's a fantastic idea! I might just try to do some things like that with my boys. At least one of them (if not both) are usually following me around the house with that "Okay, what are we doing now?!" face. I think they'd enjoy participating.
 

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Originally Posted By: GunnersMomJust make sure you remember to remove the rope when you leave the house, or you might come home to an empty fridge.
That isn't nearly as funny as it sounds. I have heard of a LOT of dogs that get into the fridge and eat anything and everything they choose when the owner isn't home. And these are dogs that figured it out on their own. Teaching a dog to open the fridge is something I would think LONG and HARD about before I taught them that.
 

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Originally Posted By: BlackGSD
Originally Posted By: GunnersMomJust make sure you remember to remove the rope when you leave the house, or you might come home to an empty fridge.
That isn't nearly as funny as it sounds. I have heard of a LOT of dogs that get into the fridge and eat anything and everything they choose when the owner isn't home. And these are dogs that figured it out on their own. Teaching a dog to open the fridge is something I would think LONG and HARD about before I taught them that.
Ditto to everything she just said. My GSD learned how to open the fridge on his own and ate a couple of my roommate's dethawing roasts and steaks. Luckily this behavior started only about a month before I was planning to move, so we would just duct tape the fridge shut when we were leaving home. By the design of the fridge, there weren't really any ways to install a latch unless there was a magnetic one (which I never found)... so had my GSD and I been living there permanetely, this would've turned into a HUGE problem with no easy solution. He would've had to go back to staying in his crate when we weren't home, which wouldn't have been fun for him since he had earned the priviledge of having free roam of the house before that behavior started.

The one time I actually caught him in the act of opening the fridge, he just put his mouth on the handle and backed up. He didn't need a rope or anything. I'd think of other "jobs" for your GSD to do before teaching her how to open the fridge. Unless she is disciplined enough to open a fridge and not touch anything in it, even without you guys in her presence. And even then, if she doesn't know to close it, the fridge could get left open for long periods of time and waste a lot of energy.
 

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Originally Posted By: BlackGSD
Originally Posted By: GunnersMomJust make sure you remember to remove the rope when you leave the house, or you might come home to an empty fridge.
That isn't nearly as funny as it sounds. I have heard of a LOT of dogs that get into the fridge and eat anything and everything they choose when the owner isn't home. And these are dogs that figured it out on their own. Teaching a dog to open the fridge is something I would think LONG and HARD about before I taught them that.
I've never heard of one opening the fridge on their own! I saw that once on 'The Planet's Funniest Animals' or one of those shows, but I thought it was totally staged. (And more than a little irritating, since the idiots were standing there taping it and laughing, as he pulled a glass shelf down onto the floor, instead of having the sense to stop him.)

Now, I had to put baby locks on the cupboard doors when we had Cooper, because he could, and would, open those. But I never thought they could manage or would attempt to open the fridge. That's actually quite scary.
I can't imagine my Gunner doing that, but thinking about it now, Riley probably would.
Yeah, thanks for mentioning that. Maybe not a great idea.
 

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I've taught a few different shepherds to fetch a beer from the fridge and it's relatively easy if you have a dog with a natural retrieve/tug instinct. But, as people have already warned, you could run into trouble if the dog decides to help himself! I've never had a dog get into the fridge on their own but then my dogs are seldom home without me.

I did have a wolf come for training once (long story, full-blood nine month old wolf with behavior problems) and he wandered around the shop getting acquainted, saw the towel on the door of the freezer (where I'd been teaching a shepherd how to open the door) and he yanked the door open. Scared himself! He jumped back and then slowly approached again to check it out.

I use a towel or rag on the handle, but start off by teaching the dog to tug on the towel separately (while I'm holding it) and put that on command - then transfer it to the refrigerator.

If opening the fridge door is something you decide against, you could still teach your dog little tasks like closing doors, turning on/off lights, bringing you items, etc. I just did a training session with my young chow and she brought me my shoes, the remote control, and a back scratcher. She doesn't have them down by name yet but she does well when I point and say "go get it!". I've used a laser pointer, too, to indicate the item I want.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Like Melanie, my dogs know how to do other "chores". Wrangler knows how to "find the clicker" (remote), he also gets my slippers and will fetch anything else I ask him to (within his capability ,he only weighs 40lbs.). All I have to do is point to something and say "get that". He will also deliver written messages to people. He can also close the door.
 

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For the OP...there is a great book on the market called 101 Dog Tricks by Kyra Sundance. It offers easy to follow, step by step instructions on activities and tricks you can teach your dog. Its a great way to offer mental stimulation as well as a great way to bond with your dog.

I'm not sure if you already know about this book...but I thought I'd toss is out to you.
 
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