Once your dog is playing fetch and retrieving it is time to add-on “go-get survival gear” for you in case you can’t reach the gear and other objects by name that you and your family will need.
Service dogs retrieve items for their owners daily, they open doors and find wallets,keys and cell phones. Your family dog can do the same if you teach them the name of the item you want.
During the retrieval lessons you will be teaching your dog to associate the word with the gear and the name of objects.
Start slowly, one item at a time. Start with small items and work up to larger heavier objects. As an example, let’s use a small first aid kit, show this to your dog and tell your dog the name, like, ”Medkit” .
Keep the name or command simple and short. First Aid Kit is to long of word.
A soft carry case first aid kit like the one pictured is a good example.
Hide the “Medkit” with your dog watching then ask your already trained scenting dog to "find" the “Medkit” by name. Or toss the item as you say “Medkit”, for your dog to fetch and bring back to you.
Praise your dog.
To teach your dog to bring you gear and items by name once your dog is retrieving, you are basically going to be teaching the dog the names of the objects so you can send them to retrieve for you.
Teaching your dog the name of the objects you might need during an emergency or disaster situation can be done during all of the lessons by simply including the name of the object while you’re training.
Some of these Family Disaster Dog lessons are retraining your dog to do things they were taught not to do as puppies and teaching them the name of an object they were previously told to leave alone will take longer then had they never been conditioned to leave the object alone.
For this reason, always say your dog’s name and following the name use the same word to name each object or word you want your dog to learn to retrieve for you.
If you incorporate the name of the object into the training you will be surprised how quickly your dog can learn our words. We often forget to speak to our dogs or give them a chance to show us they know our words.
Always allow your dog time to show you and read your dog like they have to read us in order to work as our teammate.
Which items will you need your dog to get for you? Which words do they have to learn?
Large dogs can learn to get your go-bag or bug-out bag and their own dog backpack and take these items to the front door or a location of your choice.
Large and medium size dogs can move a lot of things into a vehicle or to another location in the event that we have to evacuate or move locations.
Small dog’s can learn to grab small items, like first aid kits, flashlight, maps, your purse or wallet. In an emergency I would consider my wallet very safe if my dog was holding onto it.
With practice your dog can learn to find the car keys and meet you at the car while you are getting the family to the car to evacuate. It would be great to see your dog waiting with the keys in the car.
Do teach these skills, all you do is plan the lesson on paper, then set up the session where you run through what you want your dog to do, step by step you will show your dog the way you planned them to take, and the items you want them to pick up, and where to go and then ask your dog to lay-stay or sit-stay or return to you.
Repeat the steps again and again on different days using the same commands for your dog to "go get gear" and "load car", take your dog to each gear item say "get gear" then "load car" , take your dog to the car where they deposit the item and you repeat the steps with the next item.
Praise and love at the end for a job well done. Encourage them and help until they get the idea.
Assign each object you want your dog to know a name, always use the same word. Always use your dog’s name first or they might think you are talking to somebody else.
Repeat your lesson plane several times over a couple of week’s time without any changes and your dog will learn what you want.
Only after the first job or mission is mastered do you introduce another plan or job for your dog to learn and do the same as before by repeating the exercise until your dog has mastered the lesson over a couple of weeks.
At other times when your dog is with the object, always get in the habit of speaking with your dog by saying the objects name.
If you are packing the baby's bag- say “ baby's bag”; when you pick up your wallet or handbag show your dog and say "wallet", if you are getting into the car- say “car”, walking to the back yard-say “yard”, when getting your dog's water- say ”water” because someday you may need your dog to find water for you.
Just like a human child with time and practice, animals, can learn our language too.