When Sadie was a puppy, she would follow me everywhere. There was no such thing as privacy in my house. Of course that was to be expected with a new puppy and I enjoyed the constant companionship. There was just one problem – Sadie absolutely hated closed doors. As soon as she heard a door close, Sadie would go running to see who was trying to keep her out and why. She would cry and scratch at bathroom doors, bedroom doors, even closet doors. It was like she was afraid that if a door was closed, then she was missing something exciting on the other side.
During Sadie’s first few weeks in my family this door issue was especially difficult. You couldn’t go into the bathroom and close the door, because she would get upset. But you can’t leave a bathroom door open when there are other people in the house. So I tried taking her into the bathroom with me. But after a minute or two closed in the bathroom, Sadie would want to get out. It didn’t seem to matter which side of a closed door she was on, Sadie just didn’t want the door closed – period. If I was in the shower or bath and wouldn’t let Sadie out when she wanted, sometimes my stubborn little puppy would pee on the floor in protest. She could have just gone five minutes before and didn’t need to go at all, but she would make a little spot anyway, just to show her annoyance with me. Luckily she has grown out of that behavior, but I’m still trained to leave the door partially open just in case.
Another issue was Sadie’s whining, crying, and occasional scratching at closed doors. Right away I was able to convince her that scratching the doors was a bad idea – all it took was a consistent “No” every time she raised her paw to the door. But the whining and crying was more difficult. I wanted Sadie to know that she needs to make noise if she wants someone to open the door for her, but constant noise and complaining was not acceptable. I have found that is a very difficult distinction for my dog to understand.
On occasion I have been glad that Sadie will complain about a closed door, like when someone accidentally locks her out of my section of our office. But although she has grown out of crying at closed bathroom doors, Sadie still stubbornly whines and moans if a door is closed and she wants something or someone on the other side. Luckily she does not do this all the time, but only when she’s in a particularly stubborn mood. No matter how many times I tell her no, Sadie will fall asleep staring at that door, willing it to open. Sometimes I’m able to redirect her attention so that she forgets about begging the door to open. But it’s only temporary – she goes back to her whining and begging when the distraction is over, only giving up when it’s time for bed.
This post is part of Rascal and Rocco‘s Pet Parade blog hop.