This article will describe how simple it is to teach your dog to put laundry into a basket, or toys in a box, or trash in a can. If your dog already loves to retrieve, you could teach this trick to your dog within a week, training for just a few minutes a day!
When we teach dogs to retrieve, we begin with soft, easy items like socks, and advance to leather, wood, plastic, and finally metal items. Helping with the laundry is a fun rainy day game that is well suited to novice dogs and their handlers.
Teach your dog to do ‘laundry’
Step 1) Begin by tossing balled socks as though they were toys. After a couple successful retrieves, try again with a basket right in front of you. Use your cue to ‘drop it’ or simply offer them a treat at the right moment to get them to drop the sock into the basket. If the sock lands in the basket, mark with ‘yes!’ and give them a treat. If the sock lands outside the basket, ask them to retrieve it again.
Step 2) Try placing multiple items out to retrieve, beginning with small pieces of clothing like socks and underwear. Your dog might try to retrieve the first item out of the basket. Try to catch their nose with a treat so that they drop the first item again, and then lead them by the nose directly to the next item. Some dogs can be very determined that they should keep retrieving the first item out of the basket, it is adorable, so don’t get frustrated.
Step 3) Give your cue to do ‘laundry’ a few feet away from the basket, stepping toward it if they try to retrieve the item directly to you.
Not only is this trick easy, once you teach them to do retrieve to a target, you have already taught them the basic behaviour chain behind so many other cool tricks like putting trash in can, playing basketball, and putting toys in a box. Your kids will love teaching your dog to clean up their room, and you will be shocked by how soon you’ll have your own barking butler!