Most dogs, like our children, scatter their toys and things across the house. Teaching your dog to pick up his toys not only helps you bond with him and stimulates his intellect, but it also helps you keep the house clean. While you let him do all the work, the instruction will make him think, and he'll feel like he's still playing.
When your dog excitedly walks around the room picking up toys and placing them in the basket, it will be a joyful game. When it's time to play and the final stuffed animal has been returned to its proper place, your companion will be exhausted and ready for a sleep.
Things you need before training:
The goal of this skill is for your dog to pick up his toy on command and place it in one of the designated toy boxes at a time. To get started, you'll need the following items:
- Toys: You must purchase your dog's favorite toys.
- Toy box: You should have a toy box, or an area, set aside for your dog's toys. It's ideal to start with a box or bin that doesn't have a lid, however if you like, you can add a lid that your dog can open and close at the end. You may easily create a toy box out of cardboard boxes, huge Tupperware containers, or any other tote or box around the house if you don't already have one.
- Dog treats: While teaching and practicing this new skill, have tasty dog treats on hand to praise your dog for good work.
Steps to teach dogs to pick up toys
It's ideal to try this trick at the end of your dog's playtime, or after he's had a good workout. Otherwise, he may be distracted by his toys. Before moving on, make sure your dog has mastered each step. It's fine to go back and repeat the step if he's having trouble. The keys to success here are consistency and patience.
Ascertain that your dog is capable of retrieving toys on command. Although many dogs have varied personalities when it comes to retrieval, not all of them are natural retrievers, thus it is a talent you will need to teach them. If your dog is having trouble picking up or retrieving toys, use these step-by-step instructions to teach them how to retrieve. It's time to start teaching your dog to put the toys in the toy box once he's able to retrieve them.
Place the toy box in front of your dog's face or have them stand on top of it. Give your dog the toy and tell him or her to "drop." Give them lots of rewards and love when they accomplish this, and the toy falls into the toy box.
Practice handling your dog their toys over the toy box so that when you signal to drop, the toys fall into the box instantly. You can now begin using particular verbal gestures, such as a "toy box," to keep the toys away.
You're ready to start adding distance from the toy box after a few repetitions. Give your dog a toy, or encourage him to pick one up from around or next to the box. When your dog has a toy in his mouth, instruct him to place it in the toy box using the "toy box" signal.
You can raise the complexity of the activity by asking your dog to pick up toys from a distance once he has learned to pick up toys near the box. As your dog gains skill with this trick, you can ask them to have two or more toys at a time.
Tips for successful training
There are a few tips that can assist you in following the methods outlined above to train your dog to pick up toys.
Reward with treats
Put some of your dog's favorite treats in the empty toy box, then choose his favorite toy and call him to you. Talk pleasantly to get him to put the toy in his mouth and walk with you to the toy box that is empty. Then, inside the toy box, indicate to the dog's favorite treats and ask him to take one. He'll open his mouth and drop the toy into the box as he eats the treats.
Repeat and make it a daily routine
Repeat this process for a few days or weeks until your dog understands that cleaning entails retrieving the toy, moving it to the container, and then discovering what is hidden inside the container/box. Instead of hiding the reward in the box, start offering it to your dog after he picks up each toy once he understands the language. Withdraw it gradually, and only treat your dog when he has picked up two or three toys.
Maybe your best friend dropped his toy on the floor after bringing it to the edge of the box. Instead of keeping their toys hidden, they may try to lure you into a chase game. The calmer and more focused you are, the easier it will be for your dog.
It's time for you and your pet to spend some quality time together. The time you spend with your dog, no matter how great your training is, is never wasted. It's always entertaining to teach your dog new tricks, especially when they're useful.
Remember, this is a skill, and it's supposed to be entertaining. Stop if you or your dog is becoming frustrated. Do something different for a while and then return to this training. This is a difficult trick that can take weeks for your dog to master. But it's well worth the effort, and it's a terrific technique to practice when the weather is bad.