How to Train Your Dog to Bring You the Newspaper

Medium
4-6 Weeks
Chores

Introduction

Having your newspaper delivered to you every day is exciting enough because you get to sit in your pajamas and slippers and drink a cup of coffee while you catch up on the day's news. What could be better than that? Having your dog deliver the newspaper directly to you, so your neighbors do not have to see you standing in your bathrobe and your slippers spilling coffee all over your feet while you bend over and pick up the newspaper could be better than just having a newspaper delivered to your door. Teaching your dog to fetch the newspaper for you can be not only helpful and beneficial, but also a fun trick to teach your dog. Your dog will be pleased to do something nice for you, and he will enjoy the rewards he receives.

Defining Tasks

Teaching your dog to fetch a newspaper is a useful trick and can be carried across to items other than a newspaper. Be sure your dog knows basic commands, such as sit and stay, and is familiar with placing items in his mouth. Practicing fetch with a ball or a toy will help prepare your dog to fetch a newspaper. You will need to teach your dog what it is he needs to get, how to pick it up, how to bring it back to you, and to drop it at your feet once he has it. Work with your dog in short training sessions of about 5 to 10 minutes apiece each day for several weeks.

Getting Started

To teach your dog to fetch a newspaper, you are going to need some yummy treats to entice him and reward him for positive behavior. Be prepared to teach fetching a newspaper in several phases, starting with mouthing an object and ending with giving it to you. Be sure to practice each new step every day so your dog becomes more familiar with your expectations.

The Simple Retrieve Method

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Simple Retrieve method for Bring You the Newspaper
Step
1
Introduce your dog to the newspaper
To introduce your dog to a newspaper and ensure he is comfortable carrying it in his mouth you need to show him what it is and how it arrives on your doorstep.
Step
2
Holding the newspaper
Hand your dog a rolled-up newspaper encouraging him to put it in his mouth. Don't leave it in his mouth for very long.
Step
3
Releasing the newspaper
As soon as he gives it back to you offer him a treat. If he will not release the newspaper and begins to chew on it, show him the treat as soon as you put it in his mouth to encourage him to give it up for the treat.
Step
4
Extended holding time
As your dog gets used to holding the newspaper in his mouth and giving it back to you, extend the time he keeps it by a few minutes without offering him a treat until time is up.
Step
5
Introduce command
Choose a command word or phrase such as ‘fetch newspaper’ and begin to say this command as you pick up the newspaper, give it to your dog, and then take it out of his mouth before giving him a treat.
Step
6
Create distance
Once your dog is used to the command, leave the newspaper on the floor on the opposite side of the room and give the command. Wait for your dog to put the newspaper in his mouth and bring it to you before rewarding him.
Step
7
Practice, practice, practice
If your dog is used to playing fetch with toys, bringing a newspaper is not a difficult task to do. However, he will need some practice understanding that that is the item you wish to have. If your dog does not immediately bring the newspaper to you and drop it, you can train the drop it command or entice with a treat.
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The Drop It Command Method

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Drop It Command method for Bring You the Newspaper
Step
1
Introduce command
Starting with the drop it command, teach your dog to hold on to the newspaper and then give it back to you by saying the words “drop it”.
Step
2
Drop it
Place a newspaper in your dog’s mouth. Once she has the newspaper in her mouth, hold a treat up to her nose and say the command words ‘drop it.’ At this point your dog should drop what's in her mouth to take the treat.
Step
3
Pick it up
Using the command, ‘pick it up’, put the newspaper in your dog's mouth and say the command, ‘pick it up.’ Offer verbal praise for holding it. Because your dog should know ‘drop it’ once, let the newspaper stay in her mouth for a moment then use the command, ‘drop it’ and give her a treat.
Step
4
Practice
Repeat these two commands together, leaving the paper on the ground and asking your dog to pick it up and then using the drop it command, expecting her to put it down. Do not treat her until both steps are complete.
Step
5
Move away
Continue to practice ‘pick it up’ and ‘drop it’, but further away from the paper. Place the paper on the opposite side of the room, working your way up to a longer distance. Using the command ‘pick it up,’ ask your dog to pick up the paper and give her verbal praise. When she brings it back to you, use the command ‘drop it’ for her to release the paper at your feet.
Step
6
Practice with a leash
For your dog to make the connections with your commands to the paper you may want to walk her on a leash a few times as you begin to practice putting the steps together and the paper further away.
Step
7
Newspaper command
Once your dog has ‘pick it up’ and ‘drop it’ mastered with the newspaper, set the newspaper on the front doorstep and practice the commands from a distance. To do this, start putting the newspaper in the same place where she will find it every day and use the command ‘newspaper’ so that she understands the newspaper will be on the front porch every day and that it is the object she will retrieve pick up and drop at your feet.
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The Clicker Training Method

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Clicker Training method for Bring You the Newspaper
Step
1
Introduce the newspaper
Give your dog a newspaper to hold say the word ‘newspaper.’ Once she takes the newspaper, click and offer her treat. She should drop the newspaper when she hears the click because she knows a treat is coming.
Step
2
Practice and Repeat
Continue practicing this 10 to 15 minutes a day for about a week, getting her to understand the newspaper you are putting in her mouth is the item you will want her to retrieve. As she is more versed in understanding the newspaper is the object, put the newspaper down on the ground and use the word ‘newspaper’, encouraging her to pick it up in her mouth. Every time she puts the newspaper in her mouth, click and treat.
Step
3
Drop It
Once your dog has retrieving the newspaper down, begin to use the command ‘drop it.’ With a treat and your clicker in one hand, when she has the newspaper in her mouth, say the command to drop it. As soon as she drops the newspaper, click and treat.
Step
4
Toss the newspaper
Once your dog can pick up the newspaper and drop it by command, practice tossing the newspaper a few feet away and asking your dog to pick it up with the ‘newspaper’ command and then drop it once she brings it back to you. Be sure to click and treat once you have the newspaper from your dog.
Step
5
Practice makes perfect
Keep practicing these steps with your dog and a newspaper, only extend the distance between you and the newspaper each time your dog successfully has a new distance down. Over time, you should be able to have your dog fetch the newspaper from the sidewalk or the front porch where he will normally find the newspaper as he learns that is what you wish for him to fetch and bring to you.
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Written by Amy Caldwell

Published: 10/08/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Yoda
Labrador Retriever
9 Months
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Question
0 found helpful
Yoda
Labrador Retriever
9 Months

He doesn't pick up the newspaper even if I place it in his mouth he drops it

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, there are a few things you can try. Start with the Lure Method here, to get Yoda used to carrying things: https://wagwalking.com/training/carry-things. As well, this guide on fetching a dumbell has tips that can be used as training for the newspaper.https://wagwalking.com/training/fetch-a-dumbell. Start training Yoda with a favorite toy smeared with a little peanut butter (do not use peanut butter with xylitol as it is toxic!!). Let him lick it, and then put the toy in his mouth. Train 5 minutes a day, telling him "hold". He should accept the toy no problem because of the yummy peanut butter. Once he accepts the toy without hesitation, you can switch to the newspaper. Good luck!

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Question
Pooka
Dachshund
8 Weeks
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Question
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Pooka
Dachshund
8 Weeks

She doesn't really go potty when we bring her out, but when we get back in, she does. I've tried putting pee pads but she doesn't quite seem to get how to use them. She also cries when I leave her alone in a room

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
230 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use the crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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