Operation Kindness Blog

Teaching Your Dog to Share

Teaching your dog to share

If you’ve ever played a frustrating game of keep-away with your dog, you know how challenging it can be when your furry friend grabs something and refuses to return it. However, turning this into a positive interaction is not impossible. In this blog post, we’ll explore effective ways to teach your dog to willingly give you items, making playtime enjoyable for both of you.

The Trade Game

One effective method to encourage your dog to give you things is by playing the trade game. When your dog has something you want, find an item of equal or greater value to trade. Since stolen items become more valuable, having some delicious treats or a brand-new toy can be enticing for your dog. Practice this trade game even when your dog hasn’t stolen anything to reinforce the concept that giving leads to receiving. The goal is to teach your dog that exchanging items with you results in getting something equal or better in return, making them more likely to cooperate.

Training Your Dog to Come

Teaching your dog to come to you when called is crucial, especially if they tend to run away with items. Create a positive association by placing a doggy cookie jar in a convenient location, like your kitchen or living room. Call your dog to you and reward them with a treat from the jar whenever you’re in that area. After repeated practice (about 100 times), your dog will associate coming to you with receiving something great. When your dog grabs an item you want back, go to the cookie jar, call them and offer a treat. As your dog enjoys the treat, you can easily retrieve the stolen item. With consistent practice, a simple call will be all it takes for your dog to return the item willingly.

Avoid Scolding

It’s crucial never to scold your dog after they come to you, regardless of how much you dislike their behavior. Scolding can create negative associations and make your dog hesitant to come to you in the future. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and reward-based training to encourage good behavior. By maintaining a positive and rewarding environment, you’ll make it more likely for your dog to willingly cooperate.

Transforming the keep-away game into a positive interaction with your dog involves patience, consistency and positive reinforcement. By incorporating the trade game and teaching your dog to come when called, you can create a fun and rewarding dynamic that enhances your bond. Remember, a positive approach yields positive results, making playtime enjoyable for both you and your furry companion.

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