What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?
DogForums.com is the premier dog Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

  1. #1
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    I am a new herding dog owner and I am looking for ideas for "jobs" to give my dog other than herding and agility. I am going to introduce her to herding this summer as well as agility, but I am looking for things that we can do at home that don't cost a lot of money. I am looking into purchasing a weighted dog backpack or maybe a wagon, something along those lines possibly. Today i exercised her for 2 1/2 hours and she never laid down or wanted to stop! So, she's a high energy dog, yet I'm lucky that she's a perfect angel indoors and knows how to lounge around with her people. That must be the English Setter in her. I believe that her other breed is either Border Collie or Australian Shepherd. I feel like I've been giving my dog enough physical exercise, so now I really want to focus on stimulating her mentally, and I'm hoping this will help wear her out and help us bond further. If anyone has experience with creative ways to mentally stimulate dogs with jobs, please, send some tips my way! Or, if you know anything about walking a dog with a weighted dog backpack and how to get your dog really interested in doing the task of carrying it every day on walks, that would also be amazing.

    Thank you!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Gulf Coast of FL
    Posts
    3,700

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    There's all sorts of things you can have your dog do around the house.
    I taught my dogs to

    Find, and bring to me:
    The remote
    The phone (best if cordless )
    My keys
    My purse
    Whatever I point to, or ask for by name (slippers, pillow, etc.)

    Carry in bags of groceries from the car (put some things away)
    Place junk mail in the garbage
    Haul the garbage bag down to the alley gate (braided an old towel to tie around the neck of the bag)
    Pick up their toys and place into toy box
    Sort laundry and place into laundry basket

    I had a rope pull on the refrigerator door, however, my male started raiding the 'fridge, so had to take it off! I have to get my own drinks, now.

  4. #3
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Thank you Poodleholic for the great ideas! Unfortunately I live with inlaws and indoor house training isn't really an option. Though in a couple of months when we move into our own place I plan to have Bowie helping with the groceries, the garbage, the laundry, etc. Although I think that I'll stick to getting my own drinks too. (;

    Any outdoor ideas?

  5. #4
    Senior Member Jod-dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,162

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Throw a bunch of tennis balls around the yard and have him "clean up" and place all the balls in a basket.
    Jodi and Scrappy
    My 12 lb Poodle/Schnauzer mix

    I LOVES me the Scruffy Dogs!

  6. #5
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Great idea, Jod! She loves tennis balls more than she loves food!
    Thank you!

  7. #6
    Senior Member That'llDo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    388

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    When you say "jobs" do you mean in the sense that you want her tasks to actually be useful to you, or in the sense that herding breed owners are always talking about "give the dog a job, or it will drive you crazy"? My dogs do lots of things but mostly they are useless, I mean, for entertainment purposes only

    I like to tire my dogs out by just teaching a lot of behaviors, and asking for them in challenging ways. They do not get any food in a bowl, every morsel is either the reward for doing something I asked for or comes from a food dispensing toy. I like to make them do "doggie dancing," by asking for several behaviors in a row (I'll say "Rigel forward. Back. Down. Sit. Wave. Stand. Spin" and only reward after the whole sequence, working on faster and faster responses). I like to make them find treats (you're getting warmer, warmer, colder), and go get toys based on the name of the toy (get your ball, get your duckie). Very distracting down-stays are tiring for them. Bonus points for a down-stay where you throw the toys out, then have her fetch them back to you in the order you ask for.

    You say she's new, so I don't know how much training you've already done, but if she is anything like the herding dogs I've owned, she probably loves to train. They act so proud when they do something you've asked for! I've never trained for the backpack, though I am planning on it in the future, but I have trained Rigel, who was initially afraid of his harness to come over and stick his head through when I hold it, and all that took was a bit of shaping with a clicker and a bunch of little treats. I bet the backpack would be similar. For mine, I think they classify anything I do with the clicker/verbal marker as work, so if I treat carrying something the same way, they look at it the same way. Hope that's helpful!

  8. #7
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by That'llDo View Post
    When you say "jobs" do you mean in the sense that you want her tasks to actually be useful to you, or in the sense that herding breed owners are always talking about "give the dog a job, or it will drive you crazy"? My dogs do lots of things but mostly they are useless, I mean, for entertainment purposes only

    I like to tire my dogs out by just teaching a lot of behaviors, and asking for them in challenging ways. They do not get any food in a bowl, every morsel is either the reward for doing something I asked for or comes from a food dispensing toy. I like to make them do "doggie dancing," by asking for several behaviors in a row (I'll say "Rigel forward. Back. Down. Sit. Wave. Stand. Spin" and only reward after the whole sequence, working on faster and faster responses). I like to make them find treats (you're getting warmer, warmer, colder), and go get toys based on the name of the toy (get your ball, get your duckie). Very distracting down-stays are tiring for them. Bonus points for a down-stay where you throw the toys out, then have her fetch them back to you in the order you ask for.

    You say she's new, so I don't know how much training you've already done, but if she is anything like the herding dogs I've owned, she probably loves to train. They act so proud when they do something you've asked for! I've never trained for the backpack, though I am planning on it in the future, but I have trained Rigel, who was initially afraid of his harness to come over and stick his head through when I hold it, and all that took was a bit of shaping with a clicker and a bunch of little treats. I bet the backpack would be similar. For mine, I think they classify anything I do with the clicker/verbal marker as work, so if I treat carrying something the same way, they look at it the same way. Hope that's helpful!
    That's exactly what i was talking about, That'llDo. I'm trying to wear her out mentally with "herding dog jobs", and still haven't grasped the whole concept of what exactly that means. I am training her at home on my own right now (with my boyfriend constantly countering my hard work, grrrr) and I would say the hardest thing about training her is her getting over excited and me not knowing how to slow her down. She is more ball driven than treat driven, and when i have a ball she gets extremely hyper. Any ideas on how to slow her excitement down so i can actually teach her how to jump over a bench the way i want her to jump over it (warming up for agility classes)?

    I think it's a good idea to work more with her on her "stay" when we're outside. I can get her to sit and stay before i throw the ball for a long time, but i can't seem to get her to stay once i've thrown it. Maybe a long leash would help with this training or even a short/regular one?

    The neighbor dog just found her Kong in the woods! Yay! Again, my boyfriend countering everything i'm trying to do with her, he throws her kong into the woods and loses it. What a dork. I should put it to more good use and feed her with it every night. Good idea.

    I still haven't completely grasped the clicker training yet, other than i taught her to not bark when we're playing fetch (she was pretty obsessive about the barking), and reinforced her dropping the ball when she's running towards me and giving it a kick towards me. Although whenever she's frustrated she starts obnoxiously barking, so i get the impression this is just something that's going to take several more weeks to reinforce.

    Is it just me or does training take forever! I mean yeah, she learns quick, but it's still exhausting trying to reinforce everything you want! I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

  9. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    North Western PA.
    Posts
    3,440

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    A good game you can teach anywhere basically that works all your control commands such as wait, stay, leave it, fine it, sit, and even down is scent training. All you need are some glad disposable stoarge cartons, dog cookies and patients. I have explained this game several times in other threads (maybe you can do a thread search) as an excellent way to build confidence, teamwork, and trust.

  10. #9
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Unfortunately i started doing some scent training with her already to find my kitty that's missing. I had her smell a t-shirt he slept on and said "find it!" like when i hide her tennis balls, and her nose went right to the ground on a search. She found all of his poop on the property and some fur and blood. I took her to all of the neighbors' yards looking for him but i'm pretty sure the evidence said a coyote got him. I'm pretty devastated but still searching in case he did escape and someone found him. Bowie helps me search every day on our walks through the woods.

    Dog_Shrink, it's a really good idea. I will be sure to look up your threads. I think that i have a general idea of what you're talking about and i know that it would be a great challenge for Bowie. Thank you.

  11. #10
    Senior Member ozzy29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    205

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    I have a flat coat retriever, and he loves his tennis ball more than anything. I use the ball to train. I do not throw the ball until he complies.
    He learned to "jump" as part of fetch.
    I also distance train using the tennis ball. I give a release command before I throw.
    We play hide and seek in the yard, with the ball. He knows he is close if my voices gets excited and I tell him to find it.
    What about Frisbee?

  12. #11
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozzy29 View Post
    What about Frisbee?
    Strangely, she doesn't take much interest in frisbee. She doesn't even chase it.

    I have her jumping over my leg before i throw the ball for her, but sometimes she'll just give me a lazy "jump", if you can even call it that, and she just kind of lands on my leg. She's so excitable and afraid that she's going to miss the ball if she's jumping over my leg. What a nut case! It seems like just when i've got her to stop barking when we play fetch, she'll start again if i try to teach her something new. I think she's mentally wearing me out more than i her.

    What is distance training, Ozzy?
    Last edited by Bowie Valentine; 05-13-2010 at 01:08 AM.

  13. #12
    Senior Member ozzy29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    205

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Distance training is basically off leash commands.
    My dog is trained to answer both hand and verbal commands. He will sit, stay, come etc. when he is 100 feet away from me. I don't have to yell at him, he just has to be able to see me.
    My dog was the same. He will not play with a Frisbee if there is a ball anywhere nearby. But we kept at it and he will now play with the Frisbee but he still prefers the ball. Oh, and he likes the green ones the best IDK why.
    Last edited by ozzy29; 05-13-2010 at 01:48 AM.

  14. #13
    Senior Member That'llDo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    388

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bowie Valentine View Post
    That's exactly what i was talking about, That'llDo. I'm trying to wear her out mentally with "herding dog jobs", and still haven't grasped the whole concept of what exactly that means. I am training her at home on my own right now (with my boyfriend constantly countering my hard work, grrrr) and I would say the hardest thing about training her is her getting over excited and me not knowing how to slow her down. She is more ball driven than treat driven, and when i have a ball she gets extremely hyper. Any ideas on how to slow her excitement down so i can actually teach her how to jump over a bench the way i want her to jump over it (warming up for agility classes)?
    Herding dog jobs are anything you ask her to do. It'll help even if you ask her to do simple things, but ask them for everything she wants. My dogs have to sit politely and wait for doors to be opened, they have to lay down to be petted or to be let out of the crate, they have to do tricks for me to put down their food toys.

    It is actually great that she is so ball driven, because you can use the ball as a reward. You should teach her that the way to get the ball (the ONLY way to get the ball, forever and always) is to respond to your commands. The first thing is to teach her to be calmer when you have it. This makes it easier for you to deal with her, easier for her to attend what you say, and as a bonus, is a self-control exercise which is itself tiring. Perfect, right? I teach this by having a way to hide the object (the ball, or leash, or whatever causes the excitement). I pull the object out, and the dog starts to act excited, and I ask for sit. If she is at a point where she can do that, even for a second, wait until she sits and then say "Yes!" and throw the ball. When she brings it back, do it again, and ask for longer and longer sits, or other behaviors before throwing it. Eventually, she will learn that she will get the ball as long as she is paying attention. Then you will be the object of some hard-core herding dog staring, but that's a good thing

    If she can't even break the excitement enough to sit after you tell her to, say "Too bad" or "wrong choice" or whatever your signal that she guessed wrong is, and turn your back on her. Same idea as with jumping up, an over-excited dog is the most boring thing you've even encountered. Back turned, arms crossed, ball hidden, looking up at that cloud, which is much more interesting than over-excited dog. She'll run around you and maybe bark at you for attention, but just keep turning away until she settles. Then, ask for sit, and when she does it, say "yes," produce the ball like magic and throw it for her.

    I think it's a good idea to work more with her on her "stay" when we're outside. I can get her to sit and stay before i throw the ball for a long time, but i can't seem to get her to stay once i've thrown it. Maybe a long leash would help with this training or even a short/regular one?
    Throwing the ball is something you really have to work up to. You have to overcome that part of her doggie brain that sees something move and irresistibly says "catch that!!!" Put her in stay, crouch down, and sloooooowwly put the ball on the ground. Keep your hand near it if you think she will lunge for it, keep her in stay, and then release her. Let her get the ball, then throw it and let her fetch it before the next trial. Do it in steps, so first you work until she is successful at staying when you put the ball down right in front of her, then until she stays when you drop the ball from a standing position, then you toss it a tiny short distance, and finally throw it far away. (Make sure you also work on stays where you bring a reward TO her in the same spot, so she doesn't learn that all stays end with her running off, or you will likely regret it at the dog park!!)

    The neighbor dog just found her Kong in the woods! Yay! Again, my boyfriend countering everything i'm trying to do with her, he throws her kong into the woods and loses it. What a dork. I should put it to more good use and feed her with it every night. Good idea.
    Ack! Kongs are pricey, no losing in the woods! Check out the Tricky Treat ball, I love that thing, it is very entertaining watching my dogs push it all around my house with their noses. Most of my guests try to take videos of it.

    I still haven't completely grasped the clicker training yet, other than i taught her to not bark when we're playing fetch (she was pretty obsessive about the barking), and reinforced her dropping the ball when she's running towards me and giving it a kick towards me. Although whenever she's frustrated she starts obnoxiously barking, so i get the impression this is just something that's going to take several more weeks to reinforce.
    Barky dogs are also extremely boring at my house

    Is it just me or does training take forever! I mean yeah, she learns quick, but it's still exhausting trying to reinforce everything you want! I'm exhausted just thinking about it!
    You'll have her for a very long time. Don't feel like you need to teach her everything at once. And I bet you will find it so rewarding to see her getting it that soon you will be as excited as she is

    Jeez, I'm really long-winded, huh?

  15. #14
    Senior Member ozzy29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    205

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Oh, if you are having trouble with the Frisbee, look for ones that come with a rubber edge. I found some at the dollar store and the dog really loves these. Plus he doesn't crack them when he is trying to pick them up Big bonus there

  16. #15
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozzy29 View Post
    Oh, if you are having trouble with the Frisbee, look for ones that come with a rubber edge. I found some at the dollar store and the dog really loves these. Plus he doesn't crack them when he is trying to pick them up Big bonus there
    Oh I know how that goes! The first frisbee we ever threw for her she caught in the air and it was in several different pieces all over the yard when she brought it back. Maybe that's why she doesn't even want to try the new one? hahaha. It must be the ball, so i will have to try again with the frisbee before she even sees a ball all day.

  17. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5,713

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    I like to find difference stuffed animals, give them names and then teach them to the dog. Then you place them around the house and say things like bring me "Derek" or bring me "Susan." I think it's entertaining and it mentally exercises the dog.

  18. #17
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by That'llDo View Post
    Herding dog jobs are anything you ask her to do. It'll help even if you ask her to do simple things, but ask them for everything she wants. My dogs have to sit politely and wait for doors to be opened, they have to lay down to be petted or to be let out of the crate, they have to do tricks for me to put down their food toys.
    I've got the bases down with waiting for doors with a sit and tricks for food (just last night I broke out the kong and before i did that i had her do some "leave it" exercises for some food). The only thing making these things difficult is my boyfriend who clearly doesn't care what bad manners he teaches her. Any tips on how i train my boyfriend? Seriously! hahaha. He's so bad that he will ask her to do things we've never taught her to do, and then when she doesn't do anything or she tries 10 different tricks in a row, he'll give her a treat. Way to confuse her! Now she thinks that if she does 10 tricks in a row whenever i have a treat she will automatically get a treat.

    [/QUOTE]Eventually, she will learn that she will get the ball as long as she is paying attention. Then you will be the object of some hard-core herding dog staring, but that's a good thing [/QUOTE]

    Too late. already get the hard-core herding stare when i make her sit and stay before i throw the ball. I even do some fake throws just to see if i can get her to stop flinching and eventually she stops and just "mean mugs" me hahaha. I've already created a monster!

    [/QUOTE]Same idea as with jumping up, an over-excited dog is the most boring thing you've even encountered. Back turned, arms crossed, ball hidden, looking up at that cloud, which is much more interesting than over-excited dog. She'll run around you and maybe bark at you for attention, but just keep turning away until she settles. Then, ask for sit, and when she does it, say "yes," produce the ball like magic and throw it for her. [/QUOTE]

    Thank you for confirming my instincts here. I've been turning my back to her and staring up into the trees ignoring her when she's barking, which can actually make her more "agro" and bark more, but instead of sticking with it i've been walking off to distract her and to break the barking. So i should probably try to stay with the ignoring in one place (which i've only avoided trying to not irritate the neighbors or go deaf myself)

    [/QUOTE](Make sure you also work on stays where you bring a reward TO her in the same spot, so she doesn't learn that all stays end with her running off, or you will likely regret it at the dog park!!)[/QUOTE]

    Noted! Lately "stay" when we're outside means "stay until i throw the ball". Oops! Already regretted!

    [/QUOTE]Ack! Kongs are pricey, no losing in the woods! Check out the Tricky Treat ball, I love that thing, it is very entertaining watching my dogs push it all around my house with their noses. Most of my guests try to take videos of it.[/QUOTE]

    I will have to check that out!

    [/QUOTE]Barky dogs are also extremely boring at my house [/QUOTE]

    Woah, that sky is beautiful! hahaha! I think i've got it down now, even at the price of my own ear drums.

    [/QUOTE]You'll have her for a very long time. Don't feel like you need to teach her everything at once. And I bet you will find it so rewarding to see her getting it that soon you will be as excited as she is

    Jeez, I'm really long-winded, huh?[/QUOTE]

    I appreciate all of the specific details you've given! Long-winded or not, very helpful! Thank you!
    Last edited by Bowie Valentine; 05-13-2010 at 03:55 PM.

  19. #18
    Member Bowie Valentine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    63

    Re: What are some different ways to give my dog jobs at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michiyo-Fir View Post
    I like to find difference stuffed animals, give them names and then teach them to the dog. Then you place them around the house and say things like bring me "Derek" or bring me "Susan." I think it's entertaining and it mentally exercises the dog.
    That is hilarious that you give them people names!!! hahaha!! I'm stealing that.

  20. Remove Advertisements
    DogForums.com
    Advertisements
     

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

  • Decrease Size
    Increase Size
  • Remove Text Formatting
  • Insert Link Insert Image Insert Video
  • Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.