Commands For Dogs (Teach Dog To Find Stuff)!. People think the ‘find and retrieve’ trick is hard to teach a dog of any age. That is far from the truth, so do not leave this training idea for last it is actually one of the simplest if done patiently and properly.
- From finding their favourite toy to anything else for that matter, dogs are super-intelligent and can do this to perfection if their training is progressed properly.
- Not only is this so-called trick rather amusing not to mention impressive, you can actually have your dog find things that you may lose from time to time, be it socks or keys.
- It is an entirely natural trait for a dog to seek things out, especially stuff that they like. By using doggy treats as rewards, you can train them to tap into that ability when you call for or cue them to do so.
- Get your dog in a room with little to no distractions. A trainer clicker and dog treats should also be taken. The clicker helps instil the message in the dog’s mind, especially cue words and praise when they do something right.
- The first ‘item’ to use is your dog’s most preferred toy. Hide the toy a few feet from where your dog is sitting in the room, waiting for you to take it through its first retrieval training session. Note, your dog should see where you are ‘hiding’ the toy.
- The dog needs to stay while you do this. Hopefully your dog has been taught to sit and stay beforehand.
- When you are ready, use commands like ‘Find’ or ‘Get’ or variations in between as you see fit. This is your cue word and needs to be emphatically spoken, so the shorter the better. Before long you can use the dog’s name and then the cue word. Example: “Buddy, get it!”
- The dog is by now interested in what you are trying to teach it so it will not necessarily go and get the toy. This is where the doggy treat and clicker come in. You click and treat when your dog goes near the toy in question.
- Do not pull the toy away if your dog lifts it in its mouth. Allow your pet to play a bit before repeating the exercise. If it is not fun or rewarding for your dog, they simply will not show any interest in continuing with your training; they are sentient creatures, after all, and deserving of respect.
- On the other hand, if your dog does not get the toy but noses it, comes close, or leaves it be do not hand it over to your dog and say the cue word. It will assume it should only nose around and that is all it needs to do.
- Build the exercise to a point where you click and reward your pet only when it touches or picks up the toy and brings it to you. It is simply a matter of patience and tone use, with no scolding or force involved. Dogs will instinctively understand.
- It is all baby steps: going toward the toy, nosing it, picking it up, and bringing it back to you. Take your time and do it in stages, clicking and rewarding as needed.
Some dogs respond quickly to this trick while others take their time. They each have their own preferences and personalities. Repeat the trick adequately until it is your dog’s second nature. Praise them when they do it right and let them play with the toy; hence the reason you chose their favourite one. Otherwise, they will feel they are not allowed to use the toy they like.
This is one of the best games a dog can play. Enhance the exercise by hiding the toy farther away, sometimes out of sight in another room. Eventually you can use actual objects and train your pet to find them; especially if it has your scent on it.