What could be cuter than having your dog walk alongside you carrying a basket with a few of his favorite toys in it? Imagine how much fun it would be if you could take your dog trick or treating with the kids carrying his own "candy basket"--your neighbors are sure to get a big kick out of this. In all reality, most dogs love to feel as though they are being useful and carrying a basket is a great "trick" for your pup to master.
Teaching your dog to carry anything involves getting him used to putting things in his mouth to carry rather than eat them. As with any type of training, teaching your dog to carry a basket should be done in short training sessions of 10 to 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a day and involve plenty of praise and, of course, treats to let him know he is doing a good job.
Essentially, you will be training your dog to pick up a basket and either carry it along with you as you walk or to bring it to you wherever you happen to be. You can use any command for this, but the one you choose needs to be unique to avoid any chances of confusion on his part. Try something simple like "get your basket" or more simply just "basket" as these are easier for him to understand.
This chore is more fun than it is work for the most part, but of course, you can always teach him to put a few toys in his basket so he can take them along with everyone. Imagine being able to tell your dog to put toys in his basket and then bring it along in the car when you go places.
It doesn't take long for most dogs to grasp what is being asked of them, most will learn to carry a basket within 2 to 4 weeks. You do, however, need to wait until your dog has matured enough to handle the weight and to understand what is being asked of him.
You won't need much to start training your dog to carry a basket. In fact, all you should need is:
Treats: to reward him when he gets it right.
Clicker: a training clicker can help with certain training methods.
A basket: choose one that fits your dog's mouth and size comfortably.
Patience: you will need plenty of patience during the training phase.
A quiet place: all training should start out in a quiet place free from things that might cause distractions such as kids, other animals, television, and traffic.
Of these, patience is the most important, as even the smartest breeds need time to learn what is being taught. Take your time, spend 10 to 15 minutes per training session several times a day and it won't be long before your furry four-legged friend is carrying his own basket everywhere.