In the beginning, I like to create an even exchange. I want the dog to exchange something, that has more value and is directly associated to me. I could for example take a treat ball on a rope. My dogs like to play with those and we will be tugging with it. Next I will isolate the ball, to where it doesn’t have any more movement at all and then I come up with a second ball. When that second, identical ball comes out, I put a lot of movement in it. Though the balls are identical, if one of them is not moving and is not fun anymore, you increase the likelihood of the dog to go to the ball that is in motion. Now the dog let go of one ball and plays with the opposite one. I keep switching back and forth.
Next, I teach this exchange in a hallway, that has a boxed in feature, like the front door or a hallway with a wall at the end of it. I will then throw one ball to the end of the hallway and when the dog turns around I will show them the second ball and continue the exchange.
There are mistakes you can make, when you teach your dog to give. For example, if your dog has gone into your closet and taken your favorite shoes and you begin to yell “No”, while you are chasing your dog, that is a mistake. Your “No” is going to mean to your dog, that he is faster than you and will lose it’s value. The dog will not only outrun you, but is getting rewarded by the act of running. This is one of the reasons, why young puppies need to be supervised very closely at all times.
I have a favorite pair of shoes and my dog Gabby will sometimes get one of those out of the closet. This usually happens after we have played or trained. When I ask her to let go or bring it to me, she will do so, but this is her way of letting me know, that she would like a little more time and attention from me. I don’t reward her, unless she brings me the shoe and of course there is the possibility, that she will bring me the shoe over and over to engage with me. However, I work my dogs every morning and do a pretty good job at wearing them out. The exception are rainy days, when we can’t be outside.
So, if your dog takes something of yours, encourage them to bring it to you instead of chasing them. When they do, tell them what a good dog they are and maybe stop what you are doing and spend a little time with them.
Longoriahaus Dog Training is a dog training service in the Kingwood, Humble and Houston area. Longoriahaus Dog Training can help you raise a happy and reliable dog.