Did you know that all play and no work makes Fido a dull dog? Like their owners, dogs need a purpose in life. Otherwise, they’ll find it by barking, digging, or eating the furniture. And those are traits you’d rather he didn’t acquire. To help you out, below is a list of four easy jobs your dog can learn to do.
Carry the trash. Even small dogs can be taught to carry a light weight bag of trash or groceries. Our dog, Corky Porky Pie, performs this job whenever given the opportunity. We have to be careful not to leave a sack lying around–he’ll grab it and bring it to us. This is one of the easy jobs your dog can learn to do that will be really helpful–working or herding breeds do well at it.
Retrieve items from tight spaces. How many times have you accidentally dropped something behind your desk or other furniture and wished you didn’t have to crawl under/behind to get it? This is another of the easy jobs your dog can learn to do that not only benefits him, but the family, too. Things constantly fall off my desk, and Corky Porky runs and brings them out as soon as he hears them fall. Poodles, Welsh Corgis and many small dogs excel at this.
Find lost stuff. Many dogs with a good nose can find lost things. Our Gordon Setter didn’t enjoy standard tricks–performed them with an attitude. “There, I’ve done it. Hope you’re happy.” However, ask him to find something lost in the yard and he’d rip around until he found it, then bring it back with a smile on his face. Setters, labs and tracking hounds are particularly good at this.
Entertain company. Even a dog who doesn’t learn quickly can learn a few standard tricks. Our Sheltie would get so excited when given a command that he’d bark and run in circles. But, that can be a trick, too! For pooches who aren’t very adept, teach them to wag their tail or bark. For dogs that learn quickly, teach them standard tricks plus how to toss a biscuit in the air and eat it, or play dead when shot with an imaginary gun. And then have them show off for company. Almost any breed is willing to entertain company, especially when treats, praise or attention are involved. If your dog is particularly good with people and tricks, you can even consider training him to be a therapy dog.
Try this list of “Easy Jobs Your Dog Can Do” and see if your pooch is not only happier, but more of a help around the house. Seriously … the only thing better would be to teach him to pay the bills!
“Be a Responsible Dog Owner,” American Kennel Club.
More articles from this contributor:
Remedies for Overweight Dogs
Top Five Cool Sayings Inspired by Bees
Scent Enrichment for Your Older Cat