The “Tidy up! ” command

“Tidy up”: Have you had enough of tidying up your dog’s toys? Teach your dog to tidy up! For this trick, you need a basket, a container or box in which your dog can easily drop his toys.

Use one word only, and always the same word, to give your dog a command. Say your dog’s name before giving the command. For example: Cheeky, tidy up! Your dog will therefore soon make a connection between the sound and the action to be performed. Keep the sessions short, no longer than ten minutes, and pleasant for your dog. If you think your dog is becoming tired or losing concentration, do not insist or get cross, but simply change activity and start again later. Reward your dog with a treat at the exact moment he performs the desired action. As your dog learns the trick, you can give him a pat and verbal praise instead of the treat! For example: “That’s right!” or “Good dog!”

Tidy up!

  1. Spread your dog’s toys around the room, pick up his favourite toy, and ask your dog to follow you to the basket.
  2. Hold out the toy and encourage him to take it in his mouth.
  3. Place a treat in your hand and entice your dog over the basket.
  4. Give your dog the treat. When he drops the toy, say “Tidy up!”, then praise him.
  5. Repeat the exercise several times a day, always with your dog’s favourite toy, until he fully understands what is expected of him. You can then increase the number of toys, along with the distance between you and the basket.

Dog trainer: Karina Laproye. Specialising in dog casting, coaching and training, the DogActing® firm provides film, television, advertising, photography and events professionals with its specialty dog services. For more information, visit

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