Kaline, my little SDIT, is almost seven months old and we've been working much more on his basic obedience and manners so far than his actual service dog tasks. Now, I'm trying to work on roughly one task per week, in addition to his usual public access work and obedience (we're hoping to compete next summer!). Anyway, the past ten days or so we've been focusing on "open."
Initially it was hard for him, because he couldn't make the leap from mouthing/chewing on the tugs to actually pulling on them. We added a step to the clicker training--after he was mouthing readily, I put the tug on my hand and he got a click for getting it off. Then I had him pull on an already-open door so he would understand that the rewards came for getting the door to move. And then he got it!
We started with a really easy cabinet, then worked on generalizing to the rest of the kitchen cabinets. Adorably, Kaline now sometimes amuses himself just opening and closing the doors. (One thing we have to refine: He doesn't want to wait to close the door. He sees an open door and he wants to CLOSE it. NOW.) Kaline learns "open" - YouTube
So the past few days, we worked on generalizing to the refrigerator. It's a big change, because obviously it's a much more difficult door to get open, plus the tug is a rope toy, completely different from the little strips of knotted t-shirt on the cabinets. Tonight Kaline finally figured out the fridge, and I was so thrilled I wanted to share. Kaline opens the refrigerator - YouTube
Wish I could figure out embedding videos, but I'm not that smart! :-/