This video by Kristin Crestejo is a great demonstration of teaching a dog to know each of its toys by name. This promotes dog intelligence because it helps analyze the things around it and differentiate between different objects. This type of training is backed up with positive reinforcement wherein you reward your dog for success at each and every step of the way. By utilizing a clicker and treats, your dog will be able to understand whether it performs correctly or not. This training helps your dog to understand that with every proper gesture, something positive is waiting in the end. Either a verbal praise or a dog treat can help motivate your dog. A further technique is to reward the dog with a “jackpot” of treats whenever your dog performs unusually well.
The video showcases four important steps to help train your dog. The first step is to introduce the object to your dog and let it have a fun atmosphere at the same time. Start off by showing the toy then as soon as your dog pays attention to it, click then reward it immediately. By taking these tiny little steps, your dog will eventually go for that toy.
The second step is to make the dog move towards the object. You have to name the toy, and make it as the verbal cue. As you drop the toy on the ground, mention the cue word (in the video “piggy” was used). As your dog goes for it, reward it immediately. Practice this over and over again until your dog gets highly familiarized with the toy and the associated verbal cue.
The third step is to command your dog to fetch the toy. Make sure that your dog goes for the toy 10 out of 10 times before you raise the criteria. The last step is to add another toy. This will test your dog’s true familiarity with the previous toy. Basically, you have to reward it the moment it picks up the correct toy among the two. Even though your dog might get distracted or confused, if you have properly trained your dog with each of the steps, it will be easier for it to accomplish the task.
You might have to take extra time and patience for this training because each step really needs a lot of practice. In the end, the reward will all be worth it. This training will showcase your dog’s focus, analysis and familiarity with things. It will also develop the bond between you and your dog. People will be in awe when they see your dog perform this trick.