It finally haoppened; I'm not sure if it will happen again anytime soon but it happened yesterday. I have a new dog door; one that Tilley was using the day we got it. She loves going in and out, in and out all day and evening; whenever the urge hits her. Jessie uses it if she really has to; she tends to go only when she absolutely has to. Then there is Luike; right from the start, before we even got the door I had my doubts.
Like I have said before he is not a pusher in a physical sense; he doesn't open doors. The girls attempt to open doors all the time; they are accustom to using their head and pushing their way through. Luke is more of a "open it and if it looks safe I'll enter" kind of guy. So I thought that there was a good chance he was never going to use the new fabulous dog door.
I have been working diligently with him; never expecting too much. We have been taking tiny little baby steps to get to our goal, through the dog door. I started with bigtime treats, dog door held completely open. Then moving it slightly more closed each time so that he could get use to the feeling of the flap on his body. He doesn't like the feeling and would reverse often if it touched him. So we worked and worked until he was okay with it touching him.
Next was the push issue; I truly didn't think I could convince him to push at the age of almost 8. I dropped the door down inch by inch until he was physically having to push the door. We were at the point of a one finger tiny corner lift yesterday when I noticed that instead of standing beside the dog door he was standing at the dog door waiting for my assistance. He got that going inside meant the dog door which was a step in the right direction.
So I lifted the corner and he started to come in; midway he changed his mind and retreated causing the door hit him and hang on him. I thought that this was going to cause a glitch in his progress as he stood outside once again. So, I decided to ignore what had happened and coax like crazy; he really wanted in. He nudged around the flap and then did it!!!!!!!!! I threw a party, he spun around in excitement obviously thinking that he was very cool to have entered the door.
Did he repeat his performance? No, I coaxed and coaxed but we were back to the one finger corner lift. So we will remain at this stage until I see that he is going to offer a push once again on his own; what a guy.