Sorry for the extra long post – thanks in advance for any advice.
I would like train a special trick that will be Scout’s birthday present to my husband in three months. That probably sounds like a lot of time, but we are starting from scratch here and are still doing something new every week in puppy class.
I’d like to teach Scout to get the newspaper, carry it to the kitchen and set it down on the seat of his chair. I just love the idea that she will have an actual job that fits into our routine every morning. Ideally, I see it looking something like this:
- Call Scout over to front door (if she’s not already there when he comes downstairs) and put on leash.
- Open door (regular door manners apply here). Instead of the usual “okay”, tell her something like “get the paper”
- Scouts goes down the steps, picks up the paper and comes back inside. DH closes door behind her.
- Walk into the kitchen together and over to the kitchen table where dh reads the paper.
- Say something along the lines of drop it and she drops it onto the seat of his chair.
Where possible, I’d like to break it down to basic/generic commands that we can practice individually and put it all together in secret later on. I’m just not sure how to get started.
Her “drop its” are great, but she is not a retriever by nature. It can be hard to get Scout interested in things like toys and balls. She is eager to please and has a great attention span. I’m thinking the key behaviors to learn are picking up something specific on command, carrying something around in her mouth, and dropping it in a specific place.
So I am open to any suggestions. Is that the right way to break it down? If so, where do we start? My instinct tells me I could probably figure out how to teach her to carry something if I give it to her, but I can’t figure out how to teach her to go pick something up.
P.S. How exciting to not be posting a “problem” today – just looking for help with something fun! It’s amazing what a difference a few weeks can make.