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The Best Way to Teach Your Dog to Put Away His Toys

MeetSEOWriter

A fun training exercise that strengthens your bond with your dog and helps keep the house clean is teaching him to put his toys away.

It is important for your dog to know the "take it" and "drop it" training cues before beginning this exercise. One good thing is that your dog will quickly master these cues.

Take the dog’s favorite toy out of your hand and begin moving it around. Just before the dog reaches for it, say “take it” and mark it with a “good,” “yes” or “click”. Extend lavish praise and pet your dog.

How to Train Your Dog

“Take It” Command

Take the dog’s favorite toy out of your hand and begin moving it around. Just before the dog reaches for it, say “take it” and mark it with a “good,” “yes” or “click”. Extend lavish praise and pet your dog.

“Drop It” Command

You need to teach your dog to drop the toy while holding a treat that your dog is particularly fond of in your hand.

Say “drop it,” and, once he does, mark and give him the treat. Your dog may be reluctant to give up his favorite toy, but if your treat is more appealing, such as a piece of chicken, he will gladly exchange it for the tasty treat.

Once your dog drops the toy during practice nine times out of ten, you can begin the next exercise.

Put it in the Basket Lesson

Choose a few of your dog’s favorite toys and keep a basket with them. For consistency, place the basket in the same spot of the house—this will make it easier for your dog. Touch a toy and say “take it.” 

Next, hold a treat in your hand and lure your dog over to the basket. Don’t forget to generously reward your dog when he successfully drops the toy in the basket. Practice this consistently and then move the toys further away from the basket.

Then, after your dog puts two or three toys in the basket nine times out of 10, begin to pay him only for the correct behaviors. Say “clean up” and “put the toys away” at first to sequence the behaviors. Eventually you won't have to give any verbal commands.