It's a dream-come-true when our children to put away their own toys but, did you know, that you can train your dog to put his/her own toys away as well? Follow my step-by-step guide below and your dog will be cleaning up after themselves in a few weeks. Now, back to Netflix!
1. If you haven’t already, pick a location for a “toy box.” You’ll want to choose this spot carefully — because if you move it during training, you may confuse your dog. (we recommend a spot that’s close to their favorite play area.)
2. Bring your dog to the box and offer them their favorite toy. Have them hold it in their mouth, over the box.
3. Say “drop it, clean up” and offer a treat. Even if your dog isn’t familiar with the “drop it” command, they’ll still have to drop the toy into the box to get their treat.
4. As they enjoy their treat, praise them for a job well done. Keep repeating these steps for a few days until it’s clear they’ve gotten the hang of it.
5. As a next step, start offering the toys further and further away from the box while saying “clean up.” Only give them a treat once they drop the toy in the box.
6. Start leaving the toy on the floor instead of giving it to them. Once they’ve got the hang of that, only give a treat after they’ve picked up two or three toys each time.
7. Congratulations, your dog knows how to “clean up”!
Keep in mind — as with any “trick,” consistency is the most important part of this training.
So you’ll want to practice often, and be consistent with your rewards and praise, too.
Until next time, Dr. Arnett