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How to teach your dog to find or bring things to you?


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I don't know if any of you have read Temple Grandin's book "Animals in Translation," but DH is listening to it on CD now. Dr. Grandin suggests that people teach their dogs to find their car keys (on the theory that animals are far more tuned in to the details of their surroundings than humans).

 

As I'm always looking for my car keys, DH thinks this is a great idea.

 

I know lots of you teach your dogs to go and get objects and bring them to you. I looked through the FAQ's but couldn't find anything on this topic.

 

Would anyone please like to explain how one goes about this?

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It will be handy one day...

 

Read my old thread here: Find the keys

 

My lunch is waiting so I am going to try and explain as quick as possible :rolleyes:

 

I first taught her to touch an object. For the keys, I attached them to a fluffy sheep key chain so that it's easier for her to carry it. Fabric holds scent better than metals too.

 

I use clicker, if the dog touches it, click - treat. When the dog gets the idea what she's supposed to touch, then I add a command 'keys'.

Keys - touch - click

 

When the dog masters the touch, now you wait for the dog to put it in the mouth. Mine gets frustrated when she doesn't get rewarded for touch, she offers different behaviors - one of them is usually 'pick it up'. You just wait out and when the dog does anything close to 'pick it up', click and big reward. Ask for more precise action gradually.

 

When the dog masters the 'pick it up', now you increase the distance between the object and you. My dogs already know the command 'bring it' so if I ask, she'd bring it to me. You can teach that command seperately.

 

Now when the dog masters all this, you put it all together and do the find game. In the begining, make it really easy. Put the keys where the dog can still see - but in distance. If the dog succeeds, make it harder by hiding behind a furniture etc. Don't add any other objects at this stage.

 

I'm sure there are other ways but that's how I taught mine to find my keys. I used different methods for other stuff.

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OOOOOh! Im not an expert but people on here recently helped me teach Riven the "bring" command. I first taught her "take". Such as handing the item to her and saying take. At first when she just took it in her mouth, praise praise praise and treats. Then the longer she'd hold it more treats and praise. Then I said take it to daddy, and my hubby would call her. Then praise praise and treats when she'd go to him with the object.

 

Then we did exactly whatn INU described in teaching her to go get something herself. The only problem Im having is now she thinks everything is suitable for her mouth and she can chew on it.. :rolleyes:

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