Dog holding toy

Puppy training 101: Give

The Give cue is another essential cue that puppies need to learn early on. We need to teach puppies to give up items that they would rather keep, for example; socks, shoes, and tea towels! This may sound like an impossible task but if done right it’s quite easy. The key to this is showing your puppy that giving something up is actually worthwhile.

This can be done by exchanging what he has for something of equal or greater value to him, for example, a shoe for a pig’s ear. Stop thinking hostage exchange and think more calm exchange of presents at Christmas …. or is that worse?!

You can teach your puppy to “Give” by following these easy steps

1. Using a suitable toy that you and your pup can both safely grip without you risking your fingers, start a game of tug and get your puppy really involved.

2. When you are ready, you need to decrease the toy’s play value by stopping it moving, this makes it less fun and interesting to your puppy.

3. Then, offer your puppy a delicious treat or toy in exchange for the now boring, stationary toy.

4. As soon as your puppy releases the toy, praise and treat him. If you are swapping for another toy, start an exciting game with the new toy.

Teaching give

5. Repeat this until your puppy is giving up his toy reliably, then you can add the cue word “Give” as he is in the process of handing over the toy, so that he begins to associate the word with the action.

6. Try to give a variety of different rewards when training this, do not just use food rewards for your exchanges, or he may start to associate the swap with you taking his toys every time and become possessive over them. Every other swap should be for a toy that he gets to keep until he’s finished playing with it.

FAQs for training Give

My pup is running away with the toy

Do not chase him, start playing with an alternative toy like it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen! He’ll soon be back to investigate.

My pup isn’t willing to swap for food

Have you upped your treat game or are you using something he has regularly? Remember, when training new skills, you need high value rewards like cheese and sausage.

My pup isn’t interested in the toy

Try something else. Does he prefer balls, squeaky things, furry things? Experiment until you find something that gets his attention.

Try these puppy training treats

These grain-free, natural treats are perfect for motivating your puppy while they are training. Order no from We Love Nutrition.