Originally Posted By: Nerrej
Just wanted to share that with everyone since I think its a neat little game to play. I really had/have no idea what I'm doing or why I wanted her to find something in this fashion other than I want her to feel like she has a Job to do or something to work for. She really enjoyed it though.
Excellent stuff. Definitely expand it.
I teach my dog find it, and bring it, and put it among many other things.
You can start teaching them names of all kinds of objects and have them find them and bring them (keys, wallet, checkbook, ball, frisbee, whatever you can teach the name of). I start with toys until they know them by name, then move to other things.
You can also teach places like bed, bedroom, bathroom, inside, outside, backyard, lap, table, closet etc. and have them go find something, and go put it somewhere.
I teach a lot of this just by repeating a word consistently. Every time I go out back I say "backyard", I go into the bedroom and say "bedroom" every time I go get her leash I say "leash", every time I play with the ball I say ball or whatever toy it is. I only use one toy a day though. They tend to get the association naturally after a while and once they start learning names of several things and places and using those names it starts going much faster.
I test it by hiding a ball or something, saying "find the ball" and then saying in the bedroom! (or wherever I hid it) if she goes straight to the bedroom it's working and much praise is lavished. If not sometimes I'll say "bedroom" as I go in the room and show her where I hid the ball and just keep on with it.
I also just repeat things like "drink your water" every time she drinks, "eat your food" every time she eats, and "do your business" every time she's going potty, "go lay down" when she goes into a corner to lay down in the evening etc. or for any routine activity I want to mark and eventually those become associated and become cues to do those things with almost no real training effort required.
It takes time but it sure is fun once they really start getting a big vocabulary. It gets pretty amazing after a few years of this kind of thing.
I've had my latest adult rescue dog only about 6-7 weeks and she's already picked up "get your ball" without much real effort, I just said ball a lot every time I did something with the ball and "get the ball" every time I tossed it for her, and just said it to her every now and then when not playing to see her response. The other day when I said it, she pops up, searches the house and comes trotting in with it.. To a very big petting and treat bonanza from me.
Tried it a few more times the next day and she's definitely got it. I'm only just getting started with her but it appears she's going to be pretty good student.