Something to lighten the mood a little from my thread in the health forum...
I've taught Renji to pick up his toys (still working on doing them by name, needs to be a daily practice) and put them away into his toy box. This is a really cool behavior and fun to do with the clicker. At one point, on his own, he picked up a toy from the floor, dropped it into the basket, then chose another toy! That was really cool and I really rewarded that. I'm hoping to see it more often so I can continue to reinforce putting toys away before picking out new ones.
The next trick, and I am proud of this one, I did entirely by "clicker training" and not "training with a clicker." I sat back and gave no feedback nor direction whatsoever and let Renji "behave" and figure things out. I had the wastebasket and a crumpled piece of paper on the floor (which turned to several crumpled pieces due to drool). I started this out by marking interest in the wastebasket to the point where he would stick his muzzle down it, then I began to click for interest in the paper. It took a lot of treats but in just the first session he figured out that I wanted him to pick up the paper and throw it away. Now sometimes he'll take OUT paper and tissues from the wastebasket but I try to nip that in the bud by jubilantly marking dropping stuff IN and distracting him away from the wastebasket by treats and playtime for reward.
I am using both in daily practice- he will pick up tissues and paper on the floor and even A GLASS ROOT BEER BOTTLE and deposited them in the trash. Okay, first he had to lick out all the last delicious drops of root beer but who can blame him?
I am so shocked that he accomplished that; the glass bottle was a toughie for him, especially because I had to interrupt him if he started to get chewy. I do tell him to pick up his toys and put them away which helps with keeping the room tidy. Both are fun tricks to train!
This has also helped him with picking up random objects. The other day I dropped my glove as I was on my way out the door, and my joints are pretty well falling apart and I just did not want to bend over. I pointed to it and asked him to pick it up, and lo and behold he did! We've worked on picking up the remote, getting my keys, etc. He'll never be a service dog due to his temperament but it's good practice for me if my joints get to a point where an assistance dog makes sense and it's also a lot of fun for him; he loves to work.
I will get video of these behaviors when he's feeling better and when he's a bit more polished.
I am probably going to teach him to find my iPhone. It has a plastic and rubber case which I may rub some vanilla or other scent in, then teach him to track it down by that scent. We had a scare once where I lost my phone in the cattle pasture and since then I've been thinking that it would be ever so wonderful if he could search out the phone's scent on command. I sure do lose it enough.