Quite possibly every dog owner has at some point wished that their dog could bring them a cold drink while they sit comfortably on the couch. Whether you are working away in the office, or you just don’t want to miss one second of the game; training your furry friend to run this errand, would be a great relief. While it is much more complex than many commands, if you work incrementally, your dog should be able to get this trick down without a problem! The important key is to teach your dog three separate tricks, and then combine them into one “Go get me a drink” command. Look at our step-by-step training guideline below:
Opening the Fridge
- Tie a rope to the fridge door.
- Bring your dog next to the towel, and say “Get me a drink” (or whichever command you plan on using.) Then put the rope in his mouth. Do this a few times, then give him a treat and praise him.
- When the rope is in his mouth next time, say “Get me a drink” and help your dog tug on the fridge to pull it open. Keep practicing this until he can do so alone.
Getting the drink
- Start by getting the fridge ready: make sure that the bottles of water, soda or beer cans are on the lowest shelf, or are easily accessible to your pooch. (Some owners even lay the drinks on their side, for easy holding access.) Make enough space near the bottles, so your dog won’t be distracted by the other items around.
- Using an empty bottle of water or empty beer or soda can, practice playing fetch with your dog. Continue this game for a while, saying “Go fetch” until he is comfortable with holding the bottle and having a good time.
- Use a chair or rope to hold the refrigerator open, and in the middle of your indoor game of fetch, go put the beer can/bottle you have been using in the fridge. Standing near the fridge, command your dog, saying “Go fetch.” (If he doesn’t understand at first, give the command again, and then put the bottle in his mouth. )
- Once he is retrieving the bottle from the fridge, practicing commanding your pal to “drop” the bottle in your hand.
- Keep practicing this until your pup is comfortable going to get the bottle out of the refrigerator and bring it back to you on command. Do this farther and farther from the fridge until you are sitting on the couch and giving the command. Do not move on from this section until you are positive your pup is solid fetching the bottle from the refrigerator.
Closing the door
- Start back at the refrigerator, where the rope is hanging on the door handle. Open the door a few inches.
- Hold a treat up against the door to encourage your pup to learn up against the door with his legs. Then say “Close it” as the door is closing (you can use a clicker too). Give him the treat. Practice this several times saying “Close it,” and always rewarding him with a treat.
Put it all together
- Stand by the fridge and tell your dog “Go get me a drink.”
- When the door of the refrigerator is open, tell him to “Fetch.” When he brings you the bottle, be sure to reward him.
- Now, tell him to fetch again, but this time while the bottle is in his mouth, tell your pup to “Close it” so that he will shut the front door. Practice this and reward him with a doggie treat.
- Now, stand a little farther off and command “Go get me a drink.” Watch him go through the steps. If he forgets, just help him remember, and give the verbal command simultaneously. Reward your pup without fail every time he succeeds in the task from start to finish. Continue to practice with him over and over, standing more and more distant from the refrigerator, until you are seated in the couch or at your desk.
Remember your dog is a smart cookie. (Well, he is smart enough to LIKE cookies, anyway!) But you have worked hard with him, and you can expect that he will be able to retain the commands and the skills if you just work diligently to practice. Don’t lose faith in your pet pal; he doesn’t lose faith in you! Even if it feels like slow going, stick with the training and remember the payoff is worth the effort.