Here is how my dogs help with laundry. My big boy doesn't like to go up on the washing machine so I haven't taught him to drop the clothes into the washer.
I started by tossing a wash cloth onto the floor. When my pup picked it up to investigate it I Gasped and clapped. I marked it with Find Laundry
. Once he got good at Find Laundry
I would run to the washing machine every time he picked up the wash cloth. I had hoped he'd get excited and follow me and not think about dropping the cloth first. It worked. When he got close to the door of the laundry I traded the cloth for a small treat. That I marked with Bring Laundry
. There was no treat for dropping the cloth, though. I say YES
as a reward marker. That way I don't have to have the treat immediately in my hand when they have the bit of clothing like I did at first.
We moved and had a new laundry room. Now he had to follow me into the laundry room. That was easy to pick up. I also have the basket on the floor and he can pick things up and give them to me.
Do sort your clothing. Anything with long arms or legs gets tricky to carry as it can be stepped on. You might want to avoid dress shirts.
My big boy dog also Finds Coffee, as my husband likes to hide my cup in the morning before he goes to work. My dogs love apples and they each get a nice big crunchy slice when the mug of coffee is found.
I started by showing him the mug of coffee and if he sniffed the mug he got a small piece of apple. I marked it with Coffee
. Then I put the coffee on a table. Find Coffee
got rewarded when he pointed his nose to the cup, nearly touching it. Now, my hubby hides my cup before I and the dogs drop him off at the bus stop. When I get home, the dogs do their "business". When we come in, my boy goes right to Find Coffee. My hubby can even hide my mug behind closed doors of a low cabinet. When my boy finds it he stops and looks at me to indicate (his own idea) I reward with a nice big slice of crunch juicy apple.
My little she-pup hasn't learned this yet. I think she is not wanting to get into my boy's way. She only seemed to search once on her own. I suspect if I separated them, she would pick it up quickly.
Oh, and my he-dog does not indicate empty mugs, so it is the coffee he is searching for, not just the cup.