Don't stress about a pup-made mess, here's an expert trainer how-to that will teach you how to train your dog to clean up their toys on their own.
Sit, stay, come. These are all great fundamental commands, but are they... well, fun? When thinking about what tricks dog parents might find not only entertaining to learn, but useful too, the idea of teaching our pups how to cleanup their own messes quickly came to mind.
Dog toys can easily takeover over our spaces by the end of a busy day. And picking them all up can be that one extra chore we don't want to do. So, why not let our dogs pitch in? We teamed up with The Dog Father 360 to help dog parents learn how to teach your dog how to put toys away all by themselves. Based out of Long Beach, CA, the Dog Father has been a trainer and dog mentor for over eight years. His TikTok has become a place where Where Humans Get Trained and Dogs Get Treats.
First Things First
If you're new to dog training, be sure to introduce some basic commands first. "One command I think every pet parent should work on with their dog is the FOCUS command," says @DogFather360. "It really helps in building engagement so we learn to talk to our dogs and not at them."
And be sure to avoid some common dog training pitfalls. @DogFather360 warns, "One of the most common mistakes I see pet parents make is they over verbalize during the introduction process of a new command or even when asking their dog to do a command they know how to do."
When starting out remember that dogs don't speak our language and that they learn first with their NOSE, then with their EYES, and lastly their EARS. "That is why I teach both a verbal cue and hand signal cues, because this allows us to repeat a visual when needed instead of becoming a broken record with our words." And now let's get to the dog cleanup trick you've been waiting for:
Step-by-Step How To Teach Your Dog To Put Toys Away
1. Begin by marking or clicking anytime your dog puts its mouth on the toy.
2. Next mark every 2nd time your dog bites the toy to encourage your dog to start holding the toy for a moment. You will begin to see slight duration after sometime.
3. From here add a HOLD command by having your dog WAIT while the toy is in their mouth. You need to build slowly and gradually so start with small durations and mark and treat when you can see clear effort.
4. Start to have your dog pick up the toy from the floor with your HOLD command word and mark and reward once they pick up the toy and hold momentarily.
5. Next we bring the basket into play and start handing your dog the toy and asking them to HOLD and then guide them to DROP in the basket. Mark with a command such as BIN and reward any effort in the right direction early on. You aren't looking for perfection, just as long as you can see they are getting the idea, otherwise go back a step and continue to master the step before.
6. Next you can start trying the same process with different toys and textures to master the technique.
7. Lastly start tossing the toys a short distance from your basket and assist your dog in selecting which toy to HOLD and carry to their BIN.
8. Be sure to build consistency overtime with a start to this process as CLEAN UP time and your dog will always get excited to clean up their toys because they will see it as a game and bonding opportunity!
We want to know how the training session went! Be sure to share your own video or photos on social and tag us @SundaysForDogs and @DogFather360