Can a dog clean up his toys? Whether or not it’s ever occurred to you to try to teach your dog to clean up after himself, I have great news! According to many canine owners and dog experts alike, it really CAN be done! No more tripping over dog bones in the middle of the night or stepping on squeaky toys. Keep reading, to learn more.
You might think the only reason to teach your dog to do this is so that you won’t have to do it yourself. But, in reality, it’s wonderful for your dog’s health and well-being. The task gives him something to do that makes him think. It also releases some of his pent up energy and may even help him sleep better at night.
How Can a Dog Clean Up His Toys?
Teach Your Dog to Fetch
If your dog doesn’t know how to fetch, the first thing you need to do is teach him how. The easiest way to do this is to sit on the floor with your dog. Toss one of his favorite toys, within your reach. Encourage him to bring it back to you. When he does, give him a treat. Do this, over and over again, until he gets the idea. This typically takes several days of practice.
Toy Box Introduction
Once your dog learns how to fetch, it’s time to introduce him to the toy box. Choose a container with a wide opening. Sit near the toy box and toss one of your dog’s favorite toys, asking him to bring it back to you.
When he picks it up, point to the box. If he drops in the box, praise him and drop a few treats into the box. If he doesn’t put the toy in a box, don’t say anything. Pick up the toy and throw it again.
As soon as he begins to understand, move the box away from you and continue with the toss and retrieval process. It’s important to remember to reward him by putting his treat INSIDE the toy box, every time he gets it right. Eventually, your dog will learn to pick up a stationary toy and put it in a box. All it takes is practice.
Add a Cue
Next, you need to add a cue. It can be any command you choose. For example, “pick up your toys” or “clean up.” Give the cue, each time your dog successfully drops his toy in the box. Before you know it, your dog will be comfortable picking up more than one toy with a single command.
Make It Fun
Teaching your dog to pick up his toys should be fun, not frustrating. Whenever he starts to act agitated stop and start fresh the next day. You don’t want him to lose interest altogether.
Of course, teaching your dog to clean up his toys won’t happen overnight. However, with a little bit of patience and several yummy dog treats, your house will probably look tidier before you know it… usually within a few short weeks.