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Teaching Your Dog the Clean Up Command


All dogs require mental stimulation, some more than others.  If your pet is constantly zooming around the house looking for a job to do, these two commands are perfect for teaching to your pet.  Here, teaching your dog the clean up command and name recognition will be discussed.

Benefits of these Commands
The benefits of teaching your dog these complex – yet surprisingly simple – commands are vast.  First, you will provide your dog a job to perform, which is necessary for many breeds, particularly those with a working background.  If you have a German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Border Collie, or any other breed that was originally bred for work you should consider training the name recognition and clean up command.

Next, these games are fun.  You can impress your friends and family by telling your dog to retrieve the purple dinosaur, and watch as they are amazed that he or she found the correct item from a pile of toys.

Finally, any time you teach your dog a new trick you are providing mental stimulation.  Like humans, dogs require both physical and mental stimulation in order to remain content and well-behaved members of the household.

Teaching Name Recognition
To teach your dog to recognize the names of toys, first arm yourself with a handful of training treats and your dog’s favorite toy.

Next, hold the toy in front of you while saying the toy’s name.  When your dog looks at the toy or takes it away from you, mark the correct behavior with a treat and praise.  Repeat these steps 10 more times, once or twice per day.  Once your dog has mastered the name of one toy, move on to the next.

Teaching the Clean Up Command
First, place your dog’s toy box in an area where it can stay for a long duration.  For your dog to learn this trick, it is important that he or she knows exactly where the toy box is located at all times.  Arm yourself with treats and your dog’s favorite toy.

Next, call your dog over to the toy box and provide the toy.  Now, snap your fingers inside the toy box to cause your dog to look into the open area.  When your dog has the toy positioned over the box, ask your dog to drop the toy.  If your dog does not know the “drop it” command, offer your dog a treat which will cause him or her to drop the item.  Provide lots of praise when the toy falls into the box.

Once your dog understands this concept, overlay the clean up command.  Over time, ask your dog to “clean up” from a distance farther and farther from the toy box.  Eventually, ask your dog to pick up toys from the floor in order to clean up.  Next, place multiple toys on the ground and only reward your dog when two toys are dropped in the box, then 3, and so on.  Before you know it, your dog will love to clean up!


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Anna Weber

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