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Earth Day – Put the rubbish in the bin!

Apr 18, 2024

To mark Earth Day this year, we are launching the Big Canine Clean Up!


The idea is simple, we ask our followers and members to pick up a few bits of litter on your dog walks! As a thank-you, and to keep you motivated, we have posted a series of tutorials teaching your dog to put your own litter in the bin!

To teach this super-cool trick, we break it down into three stages.

Firstly, you will teach your dog the Tidy Up trick!

This trick has several stages in itself, so you’ll need to work through them all at your dog’s pace, over a few sessions.

The stages and steps of the Tidy Up trick are as follows:

Stage One: The Box

1. Present a box or bowl to your dog, and mark & reward for any interest in the box.
Pop the treat into the box itself, rather than into the dog’s mouth
2. Toss a treat away, and as the dog comes back, reward them for returning to the box
3. Begin to move the box around a bit  to test that the dog understands to target the box, rather than yourself!

Stage Two: The Object

4. A) If your dog loves to pick things up, throw the item a short distance and mark as they return with it.
   B) If your dog is reluctant to pick up the item, mark & reward any interest in it, building up to mouthing it, then picking it up. Have a big party when they finally pick up the item.

Stage Three: Item in the Box

5. Offer the box as your dog returns with the item. Mark & reward inside the box if your dog keeps moving towards you.
6. Repeat, keeping throws short and giving bigger and/or better rewards for reps when the item actually lands in the box!

Stage Four: Generalising

7. Now your dog understands to put the item in the box, try a new box, new items and add more distance.

Depending on the size of your dog and which bin you use, you may need to teach the dog to put their paws up on the side of the bin in order to put your litter in there.



So, let’s teach Paws Up!

  1. Place a low, stable object in front of you and lure the dog, marking & feeding when the front feet land on the object
  2. Feed in position before releasing and tossing a treat for the dog to chase
  3. As the dog returns, mark for front paws on the object. Lure again if you need to!
  4. Add your cue “Paws Up” (or whatever cue you’d like to use)
  5. Practice with different lowish obstacles.
  6. Once your dog is confident, you can try with higher obstacles

Now we have taught Tidy Up and Paws Up, we can put them together to get our finished product!


Here’s how to put it all together:

  1. Practice a few easy reps of the Tidy Up trick to remind your dog what to do
  2. Now raise the box, just a little so that the picture changes from the dog’s perspective
  3. If the dog is successful with that, you can now raise it higher so that the dog has to put Paws Up to reach the box
  4. Raise your box even higher so that there is a bit of a stretch for the dog
  5. Now take it outside and try with a real bin!


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