You can’t help it—you’ve bought your dog a lot of toys. From squeakers to puzzles to indestructible alligators to flyers to yak cheese chews…they all serve a purpose, right? Right. And your dog is the best dog ever, so naturally, she deserves them.
But what do you do when all of those toys are spread around your living room? We’ve gathered a few tips and tricks to help you teach your dog to clean up their very own toys.
Training Your Dog to Clean Up Toys: Step-by-Step
Teaching your dog to clean up their toys is not only great for the state of your home, it’s mental stimulation for your pet and bonding time for the two of you. All you need is a container, your dog’s toys, and some tasty treats.
Now comes the tricky part—how do you get them to put that toy in the box?
- When your dog isn’t looking, place some of their favorite, high value treats in the toy box.
- Ask your dog to carry their toy to the box by encouraging them to walk alongside you.
- Show them the treats in the box.
- As your dog opens their mouth to take a treat and the toy falls into the box, give them lots of praise.
- Pair the action of the toy falling with a command like “Tidy Up.”
- Repeat this training as often as you can in short bursts until your dog understands that “tidy up” means grab a toy and put it in the toy box.
- Once they have that down, you can wait to give them their treat after they’ve put more and more toys away—eventually only rewarding them when they’ve picked everything up.
Tips and Tricks
That’s easier said than done right? Your training will go a lot more smoothly if you keep the following in mind.
- Use high value treats at first. Your dog will be the most motivated to work for food that is exciting.
- Keep the toy bin in one spot. Moving the toy bin will confuse your dog and make the process longer for them to learn.
- Remember, your dog has no concept of things being clean—they probably enjoy having all of their toys and chews strewn around the house. It’s going to take a little while for them to understand what you want them to do.
- Be patient. Maybe your best friend brings their toy right to the edge of the box and then drops it on the floor. Maybe they decide that instead of putting their toy away, they’re going to entice you into a game of chase. The calmer and more focused you are, the easier it will be for your dog.
- Have fun! This is bonding time for you and your pet. No matter how successful you are at your training, time spent with your dog is never time wasted.
It’s always fun to teach your dog new things, especially when it’s something like a helpful chore. Talk about a win-win.
You can even get a toy bin with a dog’s face right on it. $16 on Amazon.