Sign-up for our email Newsletter

Mobile Devices Note:

There's more to this site! Go to the bottom of the page for a list of posts or click "View Web Version" to see the whole site. Please excuse the Ads that keep this site free for you!

Find More Lessons and Articles

To see all the dog training posts (Over 260 pages)
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the list and most popular titles.

SEARCH Family Disaster Dogs 260+ pages

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Train a Dog to Retrieve and Fetch Emergency Items by Name

Retrieve and Go Get

Teaching the family dog to retrieve or go get objects for you can be one of the most helpful commands your dog learns. For instance, during an emergency, your dog can be asked to go get the first aid kit to enable you to be able to stay with the injured person.

Another area of survival that this skill can come into play during is in the event that you are trapped; your dog can bring you water or supplies plus bring rescuers to you.

Not to mention if you teach your dog the name for your keys, they can learn to find your keys when you can’t or sunglasses or whatever you lose often.

Teaching your dog the name of each item will be covered in the next lesson and added to your dog’s training while you teach your dog to retrieve or fetch.

Each disaster dog task your dog learns can be added onto other skills taught here for a well rounded education and all purpose Family Disaster Dog.

After your dog learns to retrieve or to go-get their toy or ball then you can ask your dog to find to find an object by name and bring it to you.

As with all lessons, start out slowly and build upon your dog’s success when learning to fetch a toy or ball with encouragement and praise.

This lesson is a great way to exercise your dog indoors and out. Many dogs have a favorite toy you can use to begin this lesson while other dogs could care less about a toy. It’s up to you to make this fun.

Teaching retrieve, go-get and fetch to your family dog is accomplished by teaching one stage or step at a time.

1. First get your dog’s interest in the toy

2. Chase or find the toy

3. Pick up the toy

4. Recall or come back with the toy

5. Drop or release the toy to you

To do so, use a soft toy, such as one of the furry animal like toys or a tennis ball. If your dog has a favorite toy then use it. 

Sit on the floor with your dog and play with the toy by shaking it, rolling it between your hands, bouncing it and drag the toy along the floor. You may have to snuggle the toy in your dog’s face to pretend like the toy is playing with your dog like dogs do. 

You may have to repeat this lesson a few times before your older dog shows any interest or if your dog acts like a Bloodhound whose wrinkles get in the way of seeing the toy. Bloodhounds are not big on retrieving because they can’t see most of the time with the head down, wrinkled fall in the way. Then the nose kicks in. 

It takes a few weeks of play to get an older Bloodhound attempting to bring a toy back too, or to play. They often think the right thing to do is to bring us to the toy and not the other way around. Don’t give up if your family dog acts like a Bloodhound. 

If your dog shows no interest after many attempts then stop and try again later and a couple of times a day using different toys and don’t give up. It may take your older dog time to realize they do not have to behave all the time like they were taught as pups to do. 

As a last resort, after many failed attempts to play you can use a food treat placed in the toy as incentive, and after you read about training with food treats in the training tip section and the toy method lesson. 

Once your dog has mastered playing with the toy you both have also mastered step 3 of the stages in teaching them to retrieve an object for you. Now we go back to step 2. Chase or find the toy in order for them to be able to bring it back to you.

If your dog is a Family Disaster Dog learning to do search work then you can hide the toy instead of teaching your dog to chase the toy or you can throw the toy during play and tell your dog to “get-it” or “fetch” .

Most dogs will be so into the game they will chase the toy but at first, they often stop and look back at us wondering why we didn’t chase the toy too? Or why did we stop playing instead of going with them.

This is when you encourage them to “get-it” or “fetch” again. At first you may have to run with your dog to the toy, get them to pick it up by playing with the toy and when they have the toy in their mouth both of you run back to where you started or threw the toy from.

After a few times, gradually reduce the distance you chase the toy with your dog to give your dog a chance to get to the toy first and at that moment, you will call your dog back to you toy. They may drop the toy in their excitement to return and if they do, encourage them to go back and get the toy before you praise them for coming back.

Only praise if they have the toy, otherwise send them back for the toy or go back with them to show them again.

The distance can be increased as your dog learns to return to you. Use encouraging words and commands like “fetch”, “over there”,” come”, “wait” whenever you can to direct your dog.

As your dog learns these words they learn how to follow your directions. Give your dog time to think about and understand what you’re asking and to carry the action out.

Step 4 has been completed when your dog is returning to you with the toy.

Give praise; ask your dog to sit and release the toy to you, or to “drop it”.

Say a command each time and your dog will learn the word for drop it or release, which can be a very import word for your dog to learn if they ever get a hold of something they are not suppose to have.

Your dog is now playing fetch and retrieving for you.

If your dog is slow to learn this lesson, don’t get discouraged. Remember each dog is an individual and learns at their own pace, and as a young puppy they were taught not to pick up most items found in our lives.

Once your dog has learn the above steps then add a name to each object you want them to fetch. Practice using the name of the object with fetch on a regular bases and your dog will learn to get that item when you say the name with "fetch" or "get"

Have fun !

Check out more lessons that teach your dog to rescue you and find loved ones missing after disasters at  

Read a Free Preview and Get The Family Disaster Dogs Book Click here

155 pages of fun game lessons you can do at home with any age or size dog to teach them to assist you in emergencies and to find lost family members.

You'll find my new book How to evacuate with Pets on the book page too !

Training a Messenger Dog- Teach any Dog

Training a Messenger Dog
Go Between 2 people

My books are in the UK too! Click here to go to my Amazon UK author page.


Click to Waldorf Publishing Page to order  "My Puppy Can Find Me" children picture book by Amber Higgins with art by UK Cartoonist Helen "Scotty" King 

Training a Messenger Dog- Teach any Dog Go 2 People for Help

Your family disaster dog can be a huge asset in the event that you are ever trapped or separated from your loved ones. For instance, after a tornado or earthquake when rubble is everywhere and you may be unable to reach a family member or them you because of debris in the way. Your dog can go under or over the wreckage to deliver supplies or messages between you and your family. 

Military and war dogs are trained as messenger dogs and many have honored as a hero after running through explosives, gunfire, and razor wire in order to deliver a message between soldiers. Your family dog can be your hero too by simply following the lessons here at Family Disaster Dogs.

You can send your dog to locate a loved one and carry a first aid kit, food or water. Be sure to include a pen and paper in your dog’s go-bag backpack so the other person can write you a message and you can send messages back and fourth.

Also, include a dog tag on your dog’s collar and a luggage tag on the backpack that says,  ” send dog- say  ”Return” or  the command you will teach your dog in this lesson. Be sure all of your friends and family members know the command to send your dog to you and other people. Write instructions on a note that is in a clear plastic cover and attached to your dogs backpack so people will be able to use your dog to find you if you are ever unconscious and trapped.

You will teach this lesson after your dog has learned to retrieve or fetch in the previous lessons and as you practice the fetch lessons you will incorporate this lesson into your sessions teaching your dog to carry objects on command by asking your dog to keep a hold of the object they retrieved as you walk with your dog tell your dog to “carry”.

This lesson will use 2 people and basically what you do is send your dog back and fourth between yourself and another person by using “Come” (click for lesson) and “Return” or “Go-To” then later after your dog is doing this exercise you will ask your dog to carry an object to the other person and they ask the dog to return to you with a the item or a new item.

Start out with the other person close by, within sight of you and about 30 paces or steps away from you.

Ask them to call your dog and immediately you will command your dog to “Go to name”. If the person is somebody your dog knows, be sure to use the person’s name so your dog will learn to go to them by name.

If the person is not somebody you will be finding in a real event then you do not have to use the name because your dog will learn to find any human being if you send them out to “Go” to a person. They will look for a person until they find one.

You can even teach your dog at this point to go to people dressed or smelling a certain way, such as a person dressed in an army uniform instead of civilian clothes. The dog will learn to only go to those in that uniform and not another uniform if no other uniform or smell is used during training.

Drug dogs can be taught to go to a person smelling like the drug, explosive dogs can learn to indicate a person who smells like they have been in the same room as the explosive materials used in bombs.  A dog can be taught to go to find food, water or shelter if these items are gradually added into this lesson one at a time by command.

After you send your dog to the other person and when your dog reaches the other person, the person will praise your dog then send the dog back to you using the “Return” or another command you want. At the same time you will call your dog to “Come” and praise when your dog comes back to you.

Repeat this 4 or 5 times, make it fun and keep it fun. If your dog becomes bored with this game and stops to look at you like “hey, why don’t you two people walk to each other instead of me running” then it is up to you to make this game more interesting.

Get your dog and yourself a Family Disaster Dog T-shirt !Show the world your dog is a Family Disaster Dog !

Change Locations often when Training a Dog

Change locations by having the other person move off to the side from where they were the first time so your dog has to look for them to make the game more challenging. Add toys and move about the yard to change the course, you can throw a ball between each other and release the dog using the commands to add variety to the game.

In no time your dog will be going between you and another person on command. Then you can add a third person as yourself; while you stand on the sideline and have your dog go between 2 other people as you use the commands to work your dog.

If you use the people’s names then your dog will learn to go between those people in a crowd. Eventually, you can teach your dog the name of everybody in the house, club or group and have your dog carry items back and fourth. Just like service dogs that retrieve items for disabled people your dog can get you items too if you teach your dog the name.

Don’t forget to put the Dog Go-Bag back pack on your dog and practice using it to carry items between people. Some dogs are better at carrying items a long distance in their mouths then others and the backpack can carry much more then one dog’s mouth.

Your dog will be very proud to carry items for you and you will be able to see the joy in how they work this lesson. Once they have reached the stage of working this lesson well, you can add this skill to the tracking and trailing lessons.

To do so follow these steps, after your dog finds a person by tracking or trailing, the dog returns to handler then you give the dog the first aid kit and send the dog back to the person. The person takes the first aid kit, praises your dog and commands your dog to go-to you and your dog comes back for you to follow them to the person.

Daisy Fetch

Now that your dog knows people by name and how to go-to, you can do the same lesson in reverse, where you hide and ask a person to tell your dog to find you in case you are ever missing. Your wife or family member can ask the dog to, “ Go-to you by name”, your dog will  find you.

If you are unconscious and unable to speak to your dog, because of this training the dog will try to “alert” you, if that does not work then your dog will return to who sent him to bring them to you. All of the training in all of these lessons fit together to teach your dog a whole mission of tasks that are possible to do in the event of an emergency.

Always have a person use your name when sending your dog back to you or a code name, such as handler, so that one word means YOU. Then your dog will find you only. This is very important lesson for your dog to learn in case you are ever missing.

These lessons teach the dog how to think like a person in order to communicate with us and help us. We are not only teaching the dog to do as we say but to think for us to find our family members or to save our life.

In the next lesson we will go over how to teach your dog to find you in more detail.

All the previous lessons can be found at this lesson page. and on the page tab on the left side of this page.

Read the Free Preview of each book below or get your copy of all the lessons in an easy download for under 4 bucks!

Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
Click Pic to Visit my author page

Welcome UK and Worldwide Visitors

Welcome UK and worldwide visitors and friends to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland trained Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates training in the book, plus American dogs using my training methods. A portion of sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies were donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or use the contact page to order from me. When you click the links will take you to your own county pages of this site.

Start Mantrailing Free Preview on Audible, Kindle and Paperback

Featured Lesson

My Dog is Prepared Are You ?

How are you Prepared?  Post answers in the comments...we'd love to hear from you! Be ready for pet medical emergencies with one of these...

Popular Posts

My Children's Picture Book

My Children's Picture Book
Click the Image to see the Book

Past Posts and Lessons

To see all the lessons and dog care articles on this site:

Look at the dates listed below and click one date to bring up all the articles and lessons published at this site in one page for each date.

There are well over 200 pages that have been published here at Family Disaster Dogs since 2011.

New lessons or dog care articles continue to be posted weekly.

The list below is the easiest way to find all the information here.

Enjoy the search and follow that dog!

Blog Archive

Let's Share on Social Media !

Let's enable each family to respond

and do something while waiting for help

during neighborhood emergency and disaster incidents,

extreme weather and terrorist attacks.

Good Luck and Be Safe !

Read a Free Preview or Buy !

Help Keep Free Books Free for everyone-Donate Today!

Dog Bug-out Bag book

Free Preview

Read and Review my books on Goodreads

Family Disaster Dogs

Advertising Disclosure

Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links that I have reviewed and approved. Additionally links to products such as at Amazon are products I have personally used. Affiliate links means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. The proceeds earned are not much and used to keep this Family Disaster Dogs website free to the public. Thank you for your support.

Purchases from affiliate links help Keep Family Disaster Dogs Site Free!

Check this deal out and support us! Thanks

Sign up for Audible Plus, an all-you-can-listen membership that offers access to thousands of titles, including the Family Disaster Dogs audiobooks and a vast array of other audiobooks, podcasts and originals that span genres, lengths, and formats.