Have you ever lost an item while out on a walk? When I'm fumbling with leashes, poop bags and gloves, I often drop something. The first time I lost a glove, I decided right then to teach my dog to find items for me on cue. It quickly became one of his favourite games and I've taught every dog since to play it.
It's fun and practical!
Now, when I drop a glove on a walk, either on purpose or accidentally, I have the option of sending my dog to retrieve it. This works on their scenting skills, retrieving skills and the skill of holding an item. Incidentally, they LOVE the challenge of finding the dropped item as most dogs love using their noses.
Teaching Get the Glove!
- Start in a quiet location. Your dog will need a retrieve skill. If you haven't taught them to retrieve yet, visit our previous blog post to teach this skill
- Practise your retrieve with the glove you'll be using. I keep a special glove for my dogs so that I don't have to muddy my own gloves on purpose.
- Have your dog sit and watch as you place their glove a few feet from you
- Return to them and send them on your cue. I use "get glove" as my cue, but you can choose whatever you'd like
- As they start to understand, you can repeat this leaving the glove further away and then eventually, out of direct sight. Start easy, trying things like leaving the glove on a stair or around the corner and build to the point where it's tucked under the couch or behind a curtain so that your dog has to start using their nose
- Bring the game outdoors - again, start with easy set ups and grow them as your dog shows their understanding. Truly, the sky is the limit with this fun game!
Always be mindful of traffic or other safety concerns. Even if you can only play this game in the backyard, it's still a great game to teach!
Have fun and as always,
As always, Happy Training!
Hi! I'm Shannon and I joined the McCann team in 1999 while training Quincey, my wonderful and spirited Rottweiler, to have good listening skills. I'm the Director of Online Training and Content for McCann Professional Dog Trainers and I enjoy writing about dogs and dog training for the McCann blog. I currently share my life with 2 Tollers (Reggie & Ned) and I love helping people develop the best possible relationship with their 4-legged family members.