I Need Help With A Trick


New Member
I have to teach my dog to get a can of drink from the refrigerator or cupboard...........
Part of a course i am doing requires me to teach my dog to fetch a can from the fridge. the dog has to be able to do it four times in a row. We are doing Assistance dog training
I am planning on back-chaining. Has anyone taught this trick?
Any short-cut ideas/help from anyone?


Experienced Member
There's basically 3 separate behaviors
- Tug
- Retrieve (metal object, from a shelf, and upright object-turn head sideways)
- Paw touch

I would make sure my dog was solid on all 3 behaviors before I started to chain them and then it really shouldn't be hard at all to chain them together. Are you struggling with the the individual pieces or the actual chaining?


New Member
My Katy does tug, does retrieve, fetch it, hold it, thank you........
I have problems in trying to chain the open door, get drink, close door and bring drink to me.
I know I should chain backwards, but I am having a sequence problem


Experienced Member
I'm sorry, but I'm still not sure what your specific problem/question is...

She's just staring at you when you give a cue? Or you can do all the sequences chained but only with a treat and the next verbal cue after each one? Or she's insanely confused on what behavior you want- such as keeps tugging when you want it closed?

Without a question I guess I'll just give you the general way I teach it (not pure back chaining):
1. Make sure all 3 behaviors are solid on a verbal. Including the dog knowing the difference between tugging an object and touching that same object.

2. a)Work distance on the dog going to an already opened fridge and grabbing a can off the shelf and bringing it to me.
b) Separately work distance on the dog going to the fridge and closing it (I have the dog close it after the retrieve is done, not with the can in their mouth, but you easily could do it as the 3rd step in the entire chain and would make it easier to be a continuous chain instead of 2)

3. Go back really close, get dog to tug fridge open to retrieve the can. Shouldn't be terribly hard if the dog has that verbal beer cue, it's just a little problem solving. STart with the fridge slightly opened already so it's more of a nose flip rather than a tug but the can is still out of sight. Then add the tug.

4. Distance again with tug-bring can

5. Add your distance close after you have the can.

6. If you need it to be one continuous chain without the verbal close cue (instead of 2 chains) you can either go back to a close distance and let the dog problem solve OR start having a manners minder or person call the dog back into the kitchen and reward there after the retrieve. The dog will start automatically going there to get the treat. Then have that 2nd person, or your verbal cue if using a MM cue the dog before giving the treat there. Dog will be more likely to automatically go and close it since she's already there anticipating the reward there.