Train Your Dog to Tidy Up Their Own Toys How to Teach a Dog to Put Away His Toys? 4 Easy Steps

How to Teach a Dog to Put Away His Toys? 4 Easy Steps

Playtime with your dog is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by both you and your pet, but sometimes, it ends in a big mess on your living room floor. Most dog owners struggle with the constant scattering of toys around the house.

dog picking up his toys to play with them

Teaching your dog a few commands, such as “take it” and “drop it,” will help you train them to clean and clean up after playtime. Consistently repeating these with different toys will help your dog fall into a routine habit of putting his toys away.

Their interest in their toys is the key.

Teaching your dog, a chained series of small commands daily will lead them to pick up and put away their toys. Our furry friends are an intelligent species that benefit from mental stimulation, allowing them to learn quickly.

You can start by introducing the following steps to your daily play routine. Break down the behavior needed into steps. What does your dog need to know that you can combine into a new skill? He needs to know what object you refer to, using terms such as “your toys.”

toy poodle with food shaped toys

Step 1: Teaching the command “take it”

Hold your dog’s favorite toy and dangle it before him to excite him. Pay close attention to the moment when he is about to grab the toy from your hand and as soon as he’s about to say, “Take it.” Once he takes the toy, praise him or give him a little treat. Repeat this verbal cue after small intervals and reward each time he follows it.

Practice with different toys.

Step 2: Teaching the command “drop it”

When your dog is holding the toy, put your hand forward and ask him to “drop it” while having a treat in your other hand to show you’re presenting it to him. I struggled to teach my pal; he was hesitant to let go. So, my solution was to give him a treat he couldn’t refuse, such as a piece of chicken or his favorite treat. He gladly let go of the toy in exchange for the treat.

Step 3: Introducing the toy bin

Keep a toy bin in a designated corner of the house for your ease. Sit beside the bin and place the toys around it. Touch a toy, preferably his favorite one, to cue and ask your dog to take it. Hold a treat in the other hand and direct your dog towards the bin; once the toy is over the basket, verbally cue him to drop it. Generously reward them when they succeed and keep practicing this over short intervals.

dog putting away his toys in the basket

Use a low, wide container so that your dog can drop the toys while being much more precise. Another handy tip is to let your dog familiarize himself with the empty container.

Proceed with this step only when the dog has mastered the first two steps.

Step 4: Repeat and reinforce

Combine all of the steps above and keep repeating them daily. Once your furry friend becomes used to the process, reduce the number of treats. Offer a treat when they have put away two or three toys and gradually increase the toy count. Eventually, the process of cleaning up becomes. However, there’s no harm in giving them treats occasionally.

  • Keep the teaching time short and fun to prevent your pet from getting frustrated.
  • Always use positive reinforcement and encouraging comments.
  • Be patient and consistent, as some dogs may take longer to learn than others.
  • If your dog struggles with picking up or dropping toys, go back to basics and reinforce these behaviors before attempting to combine them again.
  • Celebrate success and always make the process fun and engaging.

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