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Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekly Wag #4:
Bond by Teaching Toy Names

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Carrie Boyko
Tanner Returns Gator and Yellow

Wow, is this a fun game for your dog. And you'll find it is soon your favorite too. It's a great way to show your uncertain friends how smart your dog is. Here's how Tanner learned his Fetch toys' names:

© Carrie Boyko
Tanner Returns Donut
  1. Start by playing with one toy and one toy only. Give it a simple one or two syllable name and use it each time you or  Fido touches it. Feel free to reward for progress toward success with treats or by use of a clicker.
  2. Soon Fido will be able to get the toy you request by name. Have a party each time he gets it right--praise, treats and lots of happiness along with belly rubs.
  3. Now work another toy, playing exclusively with it for a few days until he masters the name of this toy also. Continue in this way until you have named all the toys you'd like Fido to remember by name.
  4. Now for the test. Start simple. Place 2 toys on the floor side by side. Ask Fido to get one particular toy, using its name. Ignore an incorrect response and try again. When he gets it right, be sure to reward and praise.
  5. Gradually add to the sampling of toys, to practice selective Fetching by name.
  6. Pretty soon, your dog will know many of his toys by name. Tanner's favorite pool game is when I toss several fetch toys into the pool at different locations. Before I give him permission to "Swim", I tell him which toy to bring me. He will fetch that one first and look to me for his next assignment.
  7. © Carrie Boyko
    Double was a Favorite Toy!
  8. A more advanced game is to Fetch all the toys before receiving another round of praise and tossing. This is a fun game to watch, as Tanner has favorites and often will drop one toy when he spots his favorite on the other side of the pool. It sometimes takes 10-15 minutes for 5 or 6 toys to be returned to my feet.  This game never fails to entertain ME! Thanks Tanner :)
© Carrie Boyko
This Toy's Name is Red
The first time we played this last, more advanced game, Tanner was swimming nonstop for nearly 30 minutes before all the toys finally made it out of the pool. He dropped exhausted at my feet and napped on the pool deck for 2 solid hours. He was one satisfied Fetcher.

These games don't need to be played in a pool, and certainly during Winter it is not an option for many of you. Your home or back yard will do just fine. Have fun playing the naming game, and leave a comment about your success. See you next week for another Weekly Wag.

Missed a Weekly Wag? 
Or just want to sign up to win prizes for participation? 
Check these out:
Say Cheese!
Scentwork: Great Fun for Fido!
Stay and Come to Get in Shape

Today's post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop hosted by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs and  Confessions of the Plume. Feel free to link up your pet post here and enjoy the hop. I recommend you check with one of the hosts' sites for review of their hopping rules. Enjoy!


When I Grow Up I Want to be a Vet said...

That looks so fun! Tanner must be really smart to learn all of those toy names!

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

He is VERY toy motivated!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to playing this game with Schooner and Skipper. It will be interesting to see who picks up the game faster.

Sharon Gilbert

Bassetmomma said...

Tanner is pretty smart! What a great game!

Anonymous said...

The toys look cool! But you can keep the swimming- I don't like getting wet.

Kolchak Puggle said...

Kolchak knows a few toy names (Ball, Ducky) but we've never considered naming them all! What a challenge :0) Definitely something to think about!

Peggy Frezon said...

This always amazes me that dogs can learn this! Kelly knows the name of one of her toys, Snakey.

Prudence said...

This is a great tip, I know my "squirrelly" and "racoon". Your pool looks terrific, may need to work on mom to get one fur our yard!

Melissa T. said...

Great tips, thank you. We've started to name Magnum's toys by color since 'get your toy' or 'get your chewie' just gets him excited & he'll grab the first thing he sees. Silly dog. :)

cdmtx said...

:) both of our dogs know their names of their toys ..kinda amazing how smart dogs are :)

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