Hoping to learn some tricks myself!


New Member
:msngrin:Hello, I'm Deanna, and I am hoping to get some insight into the practice of training dogs. I don't have one, but my husband and I are staying with my mother for a while, and while we're here I'd like to help her teach her dog some tricks.

My mom's dog is names "Frisby," which is hilariously ironic as he cannot catch anything for the life of him. He is some kind of doberman mix and he's literally the sweetest, gentlest dog I've ever met! Every morning, he greets the world and each person in it with intense enthusiam. Okay, wow, I'm totally rambling about a dog here...

Anyway, my mom owns an acre of property that she manages by herself - including climbing oaks to get mistletoe out, falling trees, chopping timber for winter, stacking wood, mowing her lawn with a tractor, weed wacking the even parts - it's a LOT of work for one person. My husband and I have been helping.

When we're working outside, Frisby desperately wants to help, and he's SO happy to be outside. I really would like to teach him how to pick up sticks and load them into a wheel barrow. I tried teaching him yesterday, but I don't have the skills. I was afraid of confusing him. He was very eager to please, but soon bored of the confusion.

Any ideas? I look forward to hearing from you all and learning about your stories.

Thank you.


Honored Member
Staff member
Hi and welcome to the Academy! The classroom can teach you all about clicker training, which could really help with your stick training.

He needs to learn "take it" and "drop it." The best way to start this is with a toy; something he naturally wants to grab. You sit the toy down, and if he looks at it, click and treat. Even if it is a very brief glance, click and treat. If he does not look at it, push it gently or move it. The movement should attract his attention, so he should look at it. Click and treat. Continue this, and eventually he will start to work harder to earn the reward by pawing, nosing, or grasping it. Click the first several glances, then start asking for more(stop clicking for just a glance, and wait for him to paw or nose it). Continue this pattern until he will grab and lift the toy/stick, even if just a centimeter. You can add the command, "Take it!" or whatever you want, then move the toy a bit further away. If he doesn't bring it back, then go back to just asking for him to pick it up right it front of you. But this time, he needs to learn "drop it" or "give." The classroom has lessons on this that can really help you. Teaching him the basics with clicker training will help him understand that the click means he is doing something right, which he needs to understand when you start teaching him to pick up sticks and put them away. There is also a lesson in the classroom for "put your toys away" which you can easily use to teach him to be a handy stick helper.

Welcome to the Academy, and good luck! Dobies are extremely intelligent and very eager to please, so if the Dobie part in him comes out, he should be very easy to train. :)