Can German Shepherds Open Doors?


It’s no secret that German Shepherds are incredibly intelligent dogs. They were originally bred to work, and as such, they have the ability to learn a variety of tasks. One of the most impressive feats German Shepherds are capable of is opening doors.

In fact, there have been several documented cases of German Shepherds opening doors and escaping from animal shelters. One such example is Ginger , a brilliant German Shepherd who managed to make it three miles into her adventure before she was located!

The breed is known for its devotion to family, making them ideal service and guard dogs. They are protective of their homes and family, and can be taught to open doors on command. This makes them excellent companions for those who need assistance getting around, as they can help their owners navigate obstacles, crossroads, and open doors.

What Types of Doors Can German Shepherds Open?

German Shepherds may have the ability to open a variety of different types of doors including doorknobs, door levers, and even sliding doors. In addition, German Shepherds have the strength and determination to open heavy or hard-to-reach doors such as those found on garages or front and back doors.

Of course, it is important to note that some German Shepherds may not be able to open doors depending on their size and strength.

How to Determine if Your German Shepherd Can Open Doors

Determining whether or not your German Shepherd is capable of opening doors can be a challenge, as it requires a bit of experimentation and observation. One of the most important things to remember is to never leave your German Shepherd unattended if you believe they may be able to open doors.

To help determine if your German Shepherd is capable of opening doors, you’ll want to watch them closely for any signs that they are attempting to open a door.

You can also give them simple cues to see if they can understand and follow them. For example, you can point to a door and give them the command “open” or similar commands to see if they can figure out how to open it (This is only possible if your German Shepherd has been previously trained to open doors on cue).

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you are close by if they do manage to figure out how to open it, as they may not be able to close it again.

Another way to determine if your German Shepherd is capable of opening doors is to give them a treat and place it on the other side of the door. If they are able to open the door and get the treat, then you can be sure that they are capable of opening doors.

Again, be sure to be close by in case they are unable to close the door once they’ve opened it.

Training a German Shepherd to Open Doors

Training a German Shepherd to open doors can be a great way to give your pup a job to do.

Firstly, you need to get your German Shepherd familiar with the door they need to open. You can do this by placing treats near the door and encouraging your pup to go near them and pick them up. This will help them to understand that when they go near the door, something good happens.

Once your pup is comfortable with the door it’s time to teach them to open it. Start by teaching your pup to push the door open with its nose or paws. You can do this by placing treats on the other side of the door so that they are encouraged to push it open in order to get the reward.

You can also use a clicker and treats to reinforce the behavior. Once your pup is comfortable with pushing the door open, it’s time to start teaching them to turn the door handle. You can do this by placing treats near the handle so that they are encouraged to turn it and get the reward.

With patience and repetition, your German Shepherd should be able to learn to open doors in no time. Don’t forget to reward them with treats and praise when they get it right. This will help them understand that they are doing something right and will encourage them to keep learning.

Potential Dangers of German Shepherds Opening Doors

While the ability of German Shepherds to open doors can be seen as a useful and impressive trick, it is important to consider the potential dangers of this behavior. One of the most obvious risks is that German Shepherds could potentially escape from the house if they manage to open an unlocked door.

This breed is known for being very loyal and devoted to their owners, but if given the opportunity to explore and investigate, they may be tempted to leave the house. Additionally, if a German Shepherd is able to open a door, it may gain access to areas that are dangerous or forbidden, such as a swimming pool or a hazardous room in the house.

These amazing dogs can also potentially expose themselves to danger outside the house, such as predators or hazardous areas. It is important to consider these potential risks before teaching a German Shepherd how to open a door.

Teaching a German Shepherd Not to Open Doors

Once you’ve determined that your German Shepherd can open doors, it’s important to teach them not to. In fact, this is something you should also do after teaching them how to open doors so that they only do this with your permission.

Positive reinforcement and consistent training are essential here. Start by introducing a cue word or phrase, like “leave it” or “stop” that you will use when you don’t want your dog to open the door.

Whenever they attempt to open the door, say the cue word and reward them when they stop. If they still try to open the door, take a step back and start again with the cue word and reward.

It’s important to be consistent and patient while training your German Shepherd not to open doors. As they become more familiar with the cue word, they should start to understand that they should not open the door when they hear it.

If they still try to open the door, you may need to increase the reward or find more creative ways to get them to stop. You can also use a leash and collar to prevent them from opening the door if needed.

With consistent training, your German Shepherd will soon understand that opening the door is not acceptable behavior without your permission.

How to Secure Your Home Against German Shepherds Opening Doors

If you feel you don’t have the time or patience to train your German Shepherd not to open doors, you should at the very least install a doggy door that your fluffy friend can’t open. This will prevent them from being able to open the door and escape.

It’s also a good idea to install door knobs or handles that are too high for them to reach, as well as door locks that they can’t open.


It’s clear that German Shepherds have the intelligence and capability to open doors, whether it’s with their paws, mouth, or even their nose. While this can be incredibly useful in some situations, it also has potential dangers.

Teach your German Shepherd the right behaviors when it comes to doors and ensure that your home is secure against any unwanted door openings. With the right training and a few precautionary measures, you can keep your home and your German Shepherd safe.