Training Your Dog to Bring Items by Name

This post is part of the series Dog Training Commands: Beyond the Basics

Other posts in this series:

  1. Dog Training: Greet Visitors Calmly
  2. 14 Dog Training Commands: Beyond the Basics
  3. Beyond the Basics: Quiet Dog Training Command
Beyond the Basics: Training Your Dog to Bring Items by Name
Beyond the Basics: Training Your Dog to Bring Items by Name

They say the average trained dog can learn around 160 words, or commands.  There’s a Border Collie named Chaser who is said to be able to identify 1,022 objects by name.  That’s a lot of objects, and words. Most people only train their dogs to learn about 20 words or commands.  But since your dog can learn so much more, and you want to keep your training sessions interesting and fun, you can work on training your dog to bring items by name, and help increase your dog’s vocabulary.  And make him seem that much more intelligent to your friends, of course.

It’s not that hard to do, especially if your dog already knows Fetch.

Training Your Dog to Bring Items by Name

If your dog already knows Fetch, and you start with an object that your dog really likes, and already knows the name of.  One of his favorite toys, or balls works great.

So what you’ll need: your [amazon_textlink asin=’B00CBTA6R0′ text=’high value dog training treats’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thefosterp0bc-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c7a07b24-f588-11e7-ab8a-3daba33183fe’], the object (or objects) you want your dog to recognize and bring you, an uncluttered room, and of course your dog.  A few extra familiar, but un-interesting to your dog, items can be helpful too.

If your dog doesn’t already know Fetch, it’s helpful to work on this until he masters it first.

Okay, let’s get started training your dog to bring items by name if he already knows Fetch:

Lay out your items, the objects to be identified and the un-interesting items, in an array on the floor.

If you’re using at least one object that your dog already knows the name of, such as a ball, tell your dog to “Find Ball”.  Praise him as soon as he touches the ball.  Then use Fetch to have him bring it to you.

If he brings you the item you asked for, the ball in this case, praise and reward him with treats, instead of playing with the ball.  Playing with the toy might teach him to bring only toys, instead of other objects also.

Another good tip is not to try to throw the object back into the selection of items, as this encourages a rousing game of Fetch instead of a nice calm training session.

Keep practicing until he fetches the item from the selection easily, and brings it to you without the having to give the Fetch command, just the Find Ball (or item).

Add in more objects

Then add a second familiar toy or item to the selection.  If he doesn’t know the name of the second item yet, work on that first.  When he touches the second item, say it’s name and give him a treat.  Practice this until your dog can find the second item by name.

Once your dog regularly picks up and touches the second object when asked to find it, start working on having him bring it to you with the Fetch command.  Keep practicing until he finds and brings it you you with just the Find (Item) command.

Next you’ll want to put the objects back in their regular spots, toy box, etc. and work on having your dog find the item and bring it to you, no matter where it is.  You’d be amazed at how often they know where their favorite things are, even if you don’t.  But then they can see under the furniture much better than we humans can.

You can work with as many items as you wish, teaching him the name of each first, before having him find and bring it to you.  Pretty soon your dog will be fetching your slippers, or his leash, and many more items.

Have fun with it, and remember training your dog is about more than just teaching him new tricks to impress your friends with.  It’s about keeping his mind engaged, and bonding time with you.  You’re his favorite thing in the universe.

This post is part of the series Dog Training Commands: Beyond the Basics

Other posts in this series:

  1. Dog Training: Greet Visitors Calmly
  2. 14 Dog Training Commands: Beyond the Basics
  3. Beyond the Basics: Quiet Dog Training Command

 

Continue reading this series:

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