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Discussion Starter #1
Coming here with a new-to-me problem only to find out that it's fairly common.

Moved into our first house about 6 weeks ago. In no time at all my dog has figured out how to open doors with tilt up/down handles. Any time I leave the house, even for 30 minutes, I come back to find numerous open doors; closets, bedrooms, storage room, workshop room, pantry... One time I was gone for a few hours and came back to SEVEN open doors!

She gets into the workshop and drags sawdust all over the house. A few days ago I forgot to the lock the interior garage door, and while backing up into said garage nearly ran the dog over - she snuck in there and decided to run right past the truck while I was backing up. A week ago I was bringing items into the workshop through the workshop's exterior door when out of the blue she bolted outside through the same door (opened the interior one).

It's funny to read about this, but in practice it is SO annoying. And I can't seem to catch her in the act to correct the behaviour.

Short of changing all door handles to the twist ones, is there anything else I can try?
 

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Well... my Carly can open doors with those round twisty doorknobs. And let herself out of her crate, and release the other dogs from theirs. And open the gates. I’ve turned one gate latch upside down just to try to confuse her, lol. Sometimes it’s a challenge having a smart dog!
 

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Well... my Carly can open doors with those round twisty doorknobs. And let herself out of her crate, and release the other dogs from theirs. And open the gates. I’ve turned one gate latch upside down just to try to confuse her, lol. Sometimes it’s a challenge having a smart dog!
:surprise: Don't scare me with all that, I don't want an evolution of this particular learned skill...
 

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You're going to need locking latches, up high enough to be hard for her to get to. They can be the kind that hotels use that flip closed, or the kind that slide closed. Or there are some baby latches that might work. You have options. Basically, you have to act like you have a toddler in the house!


You ought to peruse the range of offerings to baby-proof a home -- some of them seem like they'd be pretty effective for dogs too. Here's a few examples:
https://www.amazon.com/Child-Proof-Deluxe-Door-Lock/dp/B012BR4TGA

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DKNNCH1/



The last ditch solution if she is good with doorknobs and latches would be installing deadbolts with double-keys (not a thumb-turn), on all outside doors and doors to places like the workshop that she ought not be exploring on her own -- we had to do that in one house almost 20 years ago, with one of those puzzle-smart dogs. A thumb-turn on a deadbolt would have been easy for her, but a double-keyed deadbolt worked. Just always keep a key hanging on a hook next to the door, so that YOU can get out in case of an emergency -- double-key deadbolts are very dangerous in case of a fire, if you have to go hunting for your keys! I wouldn't do this unless other options failed -- there were a lot fewer baby-proofing products available back when we had to do this!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, Magwart. All those are certainly options, but I don't want to put any sort of locks on these doors. The vast majority of the doors she gets into need to be easily opened from both sides, and those baby-proof/lock options will prevent that. Messing around with keys is also an absolute no-go.

I specifically want to fix this behaviour via training/corrections, not cover up the problem with installations of more and more hardware on the doors.

I know there are motion-activated devices which spray compressed air sold at some PetSmarts (used these to keep my cat off the kitchen counters years ago) - perhaps something along those lines would work. Another thought I had was putting open/close sensors on the doors - plenty of relatively cheap options in the home automation world - and rigging these up to set up a very loud "bang" speaker when the door is opened. But this is a bit more hassle/investment than I'd like...

Of course the simplest solution would be to just crate her when leaving the home (there's no way she's letting herself out of my Zinger Winger DX5000 crate), but I haven't done that in some 4-5 years and don't much want to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
On a completely different tangent, I was heading out of town for a wedding the other weekend and left my dog with my immediate neighbours (they've had 4 GSDs themselves). Neighbour asks me whether my dog can clear the ~4ft chain-link fence in his backyard, and I confidently (100%!!) tell him there's no way she'll do that. She's never jumped over a fence, and even though she probably physically CAN, she won't. Well, the first time he left her in the backyard and went to the front of the house to grab something from his car, she leapt over it like a gazelle in about two seconds flat. They're getting smarter! Hah
 

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Would it be too expensive to replace the lever handles with round knobs? It's an easy switch to do: I have replaced many a doorknob myself!
 
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