Training your Dog to Hold Objects in his Mouth

One of the funnest games for your dog is to make him bring back objects or toys, but before that, your dog must have learned to hold objects or toys in his mouth. Don't use noisy toys in this exercise because your dog will want to chew on them. Instead, use a small piece of rolled carpet or a special roll like the ones you can find in a supermarket. You shouldn't reward your dog with more than simple pets and compliments because your dog has to keep on holding the object in his mouth.

Holding an Object
1. Kneel down next to your dog -- he should be sitting. Hold the leash between your knees, and with your left arm go round the head of your dog. Open the dog's mouth kindly while you say "good". Then, softly open hisjaw with your thumb.

2. After showing the dog the object he is supposed to bring, but without giving it to the animal, and when you notice the dog is mad or nervous, hold his head up high and put the object in his mouth while you give him the order to "hold".

3. Your dog should hold the object voluntarily and correctly, right behind his canine teeth and with his tongue towards the back. Effusively congratulate the dog saying "good" and pet him affectionately.

Picking Up the Object
1. Now you can teach the dog to pick up the object off the floor. Prompt the dog by putting the object on the floor in front of his snout.

2. Lower the object to the floor. The dog must be interested and carefully follow the object with hi eyes. Reward him by saying "good".

3. Leave the object on the floor without dropping it. Order your dog to "hold" when the dog gives a step forward to grab the object with his mouth.

4. Take your hand away from the object and the dog will be able to pick it up. At the same time, repeat the order "hold", making sure that the dog doesn't let the object fall.

Problems and Solutions
If your dog tries to drop the object say "bah" and put the object back in its place. Don't say "hold" because he will associate this word with the experience of holding something he doesn't like. Repeat the exercise.

If your dog turns his head away from the object, follow the movements of his head always holding the object in front of his snout.

Some dog breeds like the Deutscher or the Boxer have extremely short jaws so they have to hold the object in front of their canine teeth and not behind them as the rest of the dogs do.

seeFIDOAdvanced Dog TrainingHead CollarsTraining a Dog to "Sit" and "Stay"Training your Dog to "Come" & "Sit"Teaching your Dog to "Lie Down"Training your Dog to "Lie Down" and be "Quiet"Keeping the OrderDog BarkingUseful Dog Training VariationsTeaching your Dog to Walk Alongside YouTraining your Dog to Hold Objects in his MouthTeaching your Dog to Bring ObjectsDogs and ChildrenHow to Play with a DogTeaching your Dog to Play with Other DogsAnswering to OrdersGetting Rid of your Dog's Bad Habits