Putting a toy away


This is just a game that teaches your dog to value accuracy and finesse at high energy with a little self control to boot. On an agility field sometimes it is hard for a dog to bring a toy back to you, It is a prize. Victory laps are common as are dogs who drop the toy just out of reach. This is a foundation skill to make that a little easier to work through.

If your dog knows fetch, then this is simply a fetch where they release the toy into a bowl/box instead of at your feet or into your hand.

Build this behavior using the foundation skills you already have - for example, if you already have a give, just hold the bowl in your hand at first and then work up to marking your dog for dropping it in the bowl, then into the bowl on the floor, then into a bowl farther away or in interesting locations (such as somewhere they have to climb to get to).

Create as much energy and momentum as you can so your dog has to learn to manage their speed and body as part of the game

Tip: Backchaining

Any time you have a complicated behavior chain to teach a dog (find your toy, pick it up, bring it to the bowl, let it go, leave it there) - it is good practice to train it backwards starting with the last piece of the behavior first.

For example, you might start with the toy in the bowl and teach your dog to “get it” and immediately “give” it back to the bowl - until your dog can pick up the toy and drop it instantly right back in the bowl.

Then you can put the toy on the floor right next to the bowl and see if they can “get it” and “give” it to the bowl by just moving their head.

Then you can add the “bring” part of the game to the puzzle and ultimately connect all of this to the fetch behaviors you already have.

© 2017 by Andrea Dexter @ Agilityflix