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I am having problems getting my dog to listen to me on two different things.
The first: at night when everyone is in bed and we are still up, she can't go upstairs because she will wake everyone up. She doesn't listen to me when I tell her to stay downstairs. I have tried smacking her behind when she attempts to go up, and I have tried putting her in her cage when she doesn't listen.
The second: She has learned how to open the sliding screen door. We don't want her to do it because it lets bugs in. She won't listen when we tell her to stop.

Other than these issues she listens perfectly to everything we tell her. She is a lab/retriever mix and about 1 year 3 months old. What can we do to get her to listen?
 

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The first: at night when everyone is in bed and we are still up, she can't go upstairs because she will wake everyone up. She doesn't listen to me when I tell her to stay downstairs. I have tried smacking her behind when she attempts to go up, and I have tried putting her in her cage when she doesn't listen.
Can you put up a baby gate or something to simply block the access? I would stop smacking her - it's not doing any good and if anything, you're further damaging the relationship you have with your dog.


The second: She has learned how to open the sliding screen door. We don't want her to do it because it lets bugs in. She won't listen when we tell her to stop.
Can you lock the screening door somehow?
 

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There are some things you can't explain to a dog. she doesn't understand why you're hurting her, she doesn't understand why you don't want the door open. So you have to make it so she can't do those things. Baby gates, door locks, etc. Even the best-trained dog in the world (which you won't get by hitting) doesn't grasp some concepts.
 

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Please don't use physical punishment on a dog - they don't really rationalize the way humans do, and won't understand why you're angry.

Just keep him gated downstairs in the kitchen or living room so he can't go upstairs. crate train him as well so he can settle down in a confined space.
 

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They sell very affordable gates and play pens that can be configured to fit any entry way. For 40 bucks, you can block her access to the screen door. For 15 bucks you can block off the stairwell. If your dog is sometimes allowed upstairs, it will be very tough to teach her when it's not okay because it sends and inconsistent message.

I think it's reasonable to expect a dog to respect a screen door, but if she's been going through it for a while, I would block her from it with a gate for a while and then teach her to leave it alone while you supervise her. When you can't watch her, block it off so she can't keep practicing a bad habit.

I agree that hitting a dog is a bad plan. Just train.
 
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