One family was forced to turn their door handles upside down when their Houdini dog learned to copy them by unlocking the baby gate and opening the door to escape the kitchen.
Sarah Cleary was amazed how her pooch Arnie kept coming out of the kitchen while at work and taking a nap on her bed.
To solve the mystery, the 23-year-old set up a camera at her home in Northwich, Cheshire and was stunned to find the seven-month-old Doberman Pinscher learned to open the baby gate by mimicking her.
The footage shows the cheeky pooch using only his mouth to tackle the intricate locking mechanism, opening the gate before pressing the door handle with his paws and going inside to have fun.
Standard analyst and boyfriend Dillon Worthington, 23, were stunned by what their video surveillance had captured and believed Arnie learned by watching them and then “trial and error”.
The couple have tried installing their door handles upside down so that they have to be pulled up to open – in the hopes that this will thwart their mischievous mutt for good.
Sarah said, “He’s destructive when he’s locked up.
“Our kitchen door is beige in color, but it’s supposed to be white. We had to cover the whole door with plywood because it scratches so much.
“We also had to put wood around the door molding because he tore it to pieces.
“Otherwise, when he’s on the road, he’s just having fun.
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“He’s going to go upstairs, lie down on the bed. He’s going to go too and find goodies that we’re hiding all over the house.
“He’s trying to find us, he’s going to open all the doors in the house.
“I honestly don’t know how he learned it, he must have watched us open the doors and get it into his head how to do it.
“At first it was probably trial and error when he first jumped over the gate.
“But as soon as we started closing both the door and the gate, we found out that he must have learned how to operate the door handle.”
Sarah’s previous dogs were smaller breeds – Shih Tzus and West Highland White Terriers – so it’s a surprise how much Arnie’s size makes him a “handful”.
Sarah said, “I work from home so he’s not alone during the day.
“If I’m in the house all day, he’ll probably try to come out when we’re gone. He’s probably thinking, ‘I know she’s here, she works from home.’
“It’s definitely fun, but we definitely don’t want him to do it.
“We turned the door handles upside down so he couldn’t open them. Now you have to lift them instead of pushing them down.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he figured out how to open it, though.”
Not only is it the kitchen door that Arnie deciphered, but the mischievous dog learned to open the back door to the garden.
Sarah said, “It turned out to be pretty handy.
“When I have a work call, he goes outside to do his business or whatever before he comes back.
“But now we have to keep all doors locked all the time.
“Because otherwise he’ll just open everyone!”