Give Your Dog a Job: Teach Your Dog to Bring the TV Remote

Sally Gutteridge is back. Sally is a professional dog trainer with much experience and extensive knowledge in our canine friends. She has valuable experience in positive dog training techniques and had trained dogs for many years, including disabled assistance dogs, military working dogs, veterinary nursing and countless rescue dog rehabilitation.

By using positive reinforcement and clear communication you can easily show your dog some great tricks which will also come in handy around your home.

You can easily teach your dog to pick something up and bring it to you by rewarding and channeling his interest in it. Then you can progress to rewarding his attempts to pick the object up and finally by withholding the reward in order to get him to bring the object to you then swapping the object for his reward. Here are the stages, we will teach your dog to pick up your TV remote control;

Stage one; Put the remote control on the ground and draw your dog’s attention to it. When he looks at it simply reinforce the look by saying good dog and giving him a tiny treat. Repeat this a few times until your dog knows that by looking at the remote control he prompts you to give him a small treat.

Stage two; now withhold the treat which will convince your dog to try harder to get the reward and he will soon begin to nudge the remote control to provoke your good boy response and his treat. Now each time he touches the remote control offer the word “remote” then always use it when training your dog to fetch the item. He will soon learn what the word means

If he does not nudge the remote and looks confused or at all worried then you have moved on too quickly so simply go back to rewarding his action of looking at the item until his confidence is restored and he knows what you want from him.

Signs of worry are sniffing the ground, yawning or excessive scratching.

Stage three; withhold the reward further, and gradually, until your dog is picking up the item then encourage him to hold the item and allow you to take it from his mouth by swapping for his treat.

When the third stage is established you can strengthen the response to the word remote by steadily increasing the distance that he brings it to you and teaching him to bring the item from many different surfaces.

This method can be used to teach your dog to fetch any suitable household object and even to find lost keys. The important thing to remember is to keep things fun, keep your dog’s confidence high and set him up to succeed every time you are teaching him something new.


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