Teacher’s Pet: Teach Your Dog to Clean Up His Toys

Hello hello, and welcome back to Teacher’s Pet, a column on all things training!  Every other #TrainingTuesday, Brussels.Sprout, will share his how-tos for learning new tricks, updates on his own adventures in agility competition, and his favorite tips for helping you and your pup bond over training.

How to Teach Your Dog to Clean Up His Toys

Is your dog really good at making a mess and horrible at cleaning it up?  Is her favorite toy whatever happens to be at the very very bottom of the toy bin?

Well, just because your child has fur doesn’t mean he can’t also have chores.  Teaching your dog to help clean up toys isn’t just adorable – it’s practical!

Here are our tips for perfecting this trick:

  • This trick builds on a “leave it,” “give it” or other similar release command, which is incredibly valuable and potentially life-saving.  If you haven’t taught your pup that yet, pause and do so.  (Here’s a how-to from expert trainer Andrea Arden to get you started.)
  • Use a low box or basket to teach the trick so you dog has an easier time dropping toys in.
  • Work with toys small enough for him to easily pick up and then progress to the larger toys.
  • Start by rewarding after putting away 1 toy.  After your dog gets good at that, make him clean up 2 before getting a treat.  And then 3 and so on…


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Brussels Sprout

Sprout is a perpetually pouty, 2 year old smooth-coated Brussels Griffon. This tiny little tastemaker loves sweater weather, brunch, giving back to less fortunate dogs, and teeny-tiny tennis balls. He is passionate about lengthy naps and higher education, with dreams of one day becoming an agility champion.

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