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12/12/12

Dog Trick - Teach Your Dog to Put His Toys Away

Difficulty: Hard
So you've finally taught your kids to put their toys away—but what about your dog? This trick is helpful, and also impressive. Give your dog a simple command and watch him go around the house and gather up all his dog toys together and drop them in a basket or box.

Step 1: Get a large box or basket. Gather all your dog's toys and put them in a pile.

Step 2: Point to each toy and say, "Take it," then "Bring it" and "Drop it" into the basket. When he does this, click and give him a treat. After he puts all his toys in the basket, reward him with a treat, saying "Put your toys away."

Step 3: Do this several more times. After several training sessions, you should be able to just say, "Put your Toys Away" and he will put them all in. Give him a big treat each time. 

Step 4: Next put each toy farther away from the basket. Work with him to find all his toys and put them away into the basket when you give the command.

OUR EXPERIENCE


It was difficult to teach Caspian to put his toys away, but since he already knew to "Take it," "Bring it" and "Drop it," that was a big help! I spread an assortment of toys across the floor with a big basket in the middle. I told him to take one of his toys, to bring it and drop it in the basket. He wouldn't drop it in the basket at first, but I would go ahead and click for the effort. Eventually I became stricter in what I was looking for, and only clicked when he actually got the toy in the basket. As soon as all his toys were in the basket he got a big treat! I would always say "put your toys away" whenever he would put any toy - or all toys - in the basket. We did several sessions of this until he was able to put them all in the basket when I gave him the command: "Caspian! Put your toys away!"

TEACHING TROUBLE


He won't put them all in! Probably the hardest thing I had to work with for Caspian was grouping all his toys together in one command. Sometimes by the time they get all their toys in, they forget what they did at the beginning. One thing you can do is start out with only three toys. When your dog puts them in, click and treat saying: "Put your toys away!" Do this several times, then add another toy. When he puts all four in, click and treat saying: "Put your toys away," and so on until he can put all his toys away!

Tip: "Sometimes you'll feel like treating him for his good efforts, but only click and treat when your dog actually drops the toy into the basket. If it's only halfway in it counts, but it doesn't count if it's not in at all."
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