Here’s a real neat trick: Train your dog to pick up your dirty laundry!! This is not a joke, I have actually done it with my dogs, and I call it the ‘laundry pickup trick’. After your dog is well trained to react to the command ‘pick up the laundry’, it will run into each room in the house and collect the dirty clothes on the floor, and get this–place it in the clothes hamper in your home!!
“Will this turn my dog into a laundry thief and start hiding pieces of clothing in its bed?” Well, as funny as it seems, dogs who have the habit of stealing laundry are usually the best candidates for this trick, as they already have the tendency to pick up clothes!
Start by teaching your dog vocabulary terms. Collect some clean laundry as well as a low basket where your dog can put its head into. Next, place the basket on the floor in the smallest room in your house. This may be your bathroom, or hallway, that does not have much space.
Then start praising your dog to grab its attention after you place the basket on the floor. You have to appear happy and positive by praising it whenever it approaches the basket, which is the current goal. You are trying to show your dog the connection between the basket and something special, like a dog treat.
After that, you should start using the phrase ‘get the laundry’ in a fast tone of voice, and then repeat it often so that your dog will get it, while having a piece of dirty laundry with you at the same time. Having the dirty laundry with you will help the dog tell apart the difference between the clean and soiled clothes. Then twirl the item you are holding in the air while saying ‘get the laundry’ repeatedly. Let him grab the sock and praise him endlessly.
Now that he has gotten hold of the sock, show him the basket and take the sock out so that you can place it into the basket right in front of him. Then praise him some more, as well as pet him. This is to be repeated as much as you can.
Slowly introduce more items of clothing, such as multiple dirty socks, or t-shirts and so on. These pieces of clothing must be piled together, and after he grabs them, show him to the basket and put the laundry in it.
Last of all, it is time to show your dog a room with dirty laundry. Start in an empty room and place the laundry basket on the ground. Give the command ‘get the laundry’ and once your dog starts to collect the laundry, guide him to the next room with the laundry basket so that he can drop the laundry in the basket. Then remember to praise him for a job well done. Keep this up until your dog is properly trained, and before you know it, your laundry will be collected at a single command! See below for more information.