How to Train Your Dog to Play Egg in Spoon

Medium
1-3 Months
Fun

Introduction

Imagine an adorable lineup of dogs. They are all eager, patiently waiting for the "Go!" signal. They all have spoons with an egg resting on the end of each one. Suddenly the judge yells "Go!" and the pups make their way across the field to their owners on the other side. Some are methodical and slow, making their way across the field very carefully, a bit worried about all of the commotion around them that is interfering with their job while others get over excited and drop the egg off of the spoon. Your pup keeps a deliberate pace, making his way over and walking over the fallen eggs. Your pup crosses the finish line and you cheer, feeding him lots of treats for a job well done. Everyone really enjoyed the game. Not only was it fun to watch for the people but it also gave all of the dogs a wonderful job to do. A job that required coordination, self-control, balance, and multi-tasking for the dogs. Not a bad way to stimulate your pup who loves having a job to do!

Defining Tasks

Training your pup to play the egg in the spoon game actually involves teaching your dog to perform several different things. It involves teaching him how to take something into his mouth, how to hold something in his mouth, how to balance something, how to move forward on command, and how to multi-task. Because this game is actually several different small tricks all put together, it can take between one and three months to train. 

To decrease mess and bacterial exposure, use hard boiled eggs to teach this trick. Once your pup can walk forward while balancing an egg and the chance of him dropping one is less high, then you can switch to raw eggs if you would like to.

Some dogs will be naturally better at this game than others. That's one of the fun parts about playing this game with others. When you play this game with other dogs who have also learned how to balance an egg, then you get to cheer your pup on and find out who will win.

Getting Started

To get started, you will need hard boiled eggs, tasty treats, a collar or non-tightening front clip harness, a leash, a spoon that is longer than the width of your dog's mouth, and a quiet location. If you are using the 'Click It' method, then you will also need a training clicker. If you are using the 'Loop It' method, then you will also need a slip leash with a loop on the end that can be easily tightened and loosened. With all of the methods, you will need a great attitude, a willingness to have fun, good timing, and a gentle touch. You might also want a bit of peanut butter to apply to the spoon to encourage your dog to bite it. 

The Hold It Method

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Step
1
Get ready
To begin, grab a spoon that is longer than the width of your dog's mouth. Grab boiled eggs, tasty treats, a collar or a front clip harness, and a leash, and go to a calm location with your pooch.
Step
2
Tempt with the spoon
Get your dog's attention, hold the spoon in front of him sideways, tell him to 'Take It', and encourage him to bite the spoon by wiggling it around in front of him. As soon as he touches or bites it, praise him and immediately give him a treat. If he will not bite the spoon, then try putting a little bit of peanut butter on the middle of it to tempt him. Repeat all of this until he will consistently take the spoon when you tell him to 'Take It'.
Step
3
Add 'Hold It'
When your pup will bite the spoon, tell him to take the spoon. While he is holding it, gently cup your hand underneath his chin for two seconds to keep him from spitting it out. Praise him while he holds it, and after two seconds, tell him to 'Drop It', take the spoon from him, and give him a treat.
Step
4
Add duration
Practice the two second 'Hold It' command with your buddy until he can do it without your hand touching his chin. When he can do that, then gradually increase the amount of time that he must hold the spoon for before you tell him to 'Drop It'. If he begins to spit it out too soon, then remind him to hold it by placing your hand underneath his chin again. Practice this until he can hold the spoon for one minute.
Step
5
Add an egg
Add a hard boiled egg to the spoon while he is holding the spoon, and have him hold that for two seconds. As he improves at balancing, then gradually increase the amount of time that he must balance the egg for. Practice this until you have worked up to one minute again. If he is struggling not to drop the egg, help him adjust to the weight of it by placing your finger underneath the spoon. As he improves, gradually move your finger away from the spoon until he can hold the egg on his own.
Step
6
Add movement
When your pup can balance the egg, then put the collar or non-tightening front clip harness on him and attach the leash. Tell him to 'Hold' the spoon with the egg on it, and then tell him to 'Go', and gently pull forward on the leash until he takes a step forward. When he takes a step, praise him, take the spoon from him, and give him a treat. Repeat this until he will consistently take a step when you say 'Go'.
Step
7
Add steps
Practice 'Go' until your buddy will consistently take a step forward when you say 'Go', without dropping the egg. When he can do that, slowly add more steps as he improves until he can walk several feet while balancing the egg.
Step
8
Phase out the pulling
When Buddy can take several steps without dropping the egg, phase out the leash by telling him to 'Go', and then waiting five seconds before pulling on the leash. Repeat this until he will consistently move forward before you have pulled him with the leash.
Step
9
Substitute a raw egg
When your pup can walk several feet without dropping the egg when you tell him to 'Go', replace the hard boiled egg with a raw egg if you want to. Now, practice the egg in the spoon game until your pup is a pro at it.
Recommend training method?

The Click It Method

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Step
1
Gather supplies
To begin, grab a spoon that is longer than the width of your dog's mouth. Grab a clicker, tasty treats, hard boiled eggs, and a front clip harness or collar, and a leash. Next, go to a calm and quiet location with your pup.
Step
2
Add 'Take It'
Hold the spoon longways in front of your pup, tell him 'Take It'. Wiggle the spoon around and encourage him to bite it. When he bites it or touches it with his mouth, then click your clicker and give him a treat. Repeat this until he will consistently grab the spoon when you tell him to 'Take It'.
Step
3
Add holding
When your pup will take the spoon, then tell him to 'Take It'. While it is in his mouth, tell him to 'Hold', and after one second, click your clicker. Take the spoon from him and give him a treat. If he spits the spoon out too soon, then simply do not reward him that time and try it again until he succeeds.
Step
4
Increase holding duration
As your pup improves at holding the spoon when you tell him to, gradually increase the amount of time that he must hold it for before you click the clicker and give him a reward. Do this until he can hold the spoon for one minute.
Step
5
Add an egg
When your pup can hold the spoon for one minute, tell him to 'Hold' the spoon. While he is holding it, place a hard boiled egg onto it. Have him hold the egg there for two seconds, then click the clicker. Take the egg and the spoon and give him a treat. As he improves, gradually increase the amount of time that he must hold the egg there for until you have reached one minute again with both the egg and the spoon.
Step
6
Add movement
When Fido can balance the egg on the spoon for one minute, then put the collar or front clip harness on him and attach the leash to him. While he is balancing the egg on the spoon, tell him 'Go' and gently pull him forward with the leash. As soon as he gives into the leash and takes a step forward, click your clicker, take the spoon and the egg, and give him a treat.
Step
7
Add steps
Practice the one step forward with your pup until he can consistently balance the egg while he takes that step. When he can do that, encourage him to take additional steps. Click your clicker and reward him whenever he makes more progress than he did before.
Step
8
Remove the leash
When your pup can walk several feet while balancing the egg, then phase out the leash. To phase out the leash, tell him 'Go', and then wait seven seconds before you pull him forward. Repeat this until he will consistently walk forward when you say 'Go' before you have pulled on the leash.
Step
9
Practice
Now that your pup can play egg in a spoon, practice this game with him until he is a skilled competitor. If you wish to use a raw egg rather than a hard boiled egg, you can exchange the boiled egg for a raw egg at this point.
Recommend training method?

The Loop It Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Get setup
To begin, grab a slip leash, hard boiled eggs, lots of tasty treats, a spoon that is longer than the width of your dog's mouth, a collar or a non-tightening front clip harness, and a regular leash. Go to a distraction-free location with your pup.
Step
2
Introduce a spoon
Get your pup's attention and hold the spoon in front of him sideways. Tell him to 'Take It' and encourage him to bite it by wiggling it around. When he bites it, immediately praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this until he will take the spoon into his mouth when you tell him to 'Take It', even if you do not wiggle it.
Step
3
Add a loop
When your pup will bite the spoon, create a loop the size of your dog's head with the slip leash. Hold the spoon in the middle of the loop and tell him to 'Take It'. When he does so, gently slip the loop around your pup's muzzle and tighten it by lifting up on the leash. Do this just enough to keep him from dropping the spoon. Tell him to 'Hold' while you do this. Hold the leash there for two seconds while you praise him, then lower the leash to loosen the loop, take the spoon from him, and give him a treat.
Step
4
Add time
Practice 'Hold' for two seconds with the leash until your pup is comfortable with it and will continue to hold the spoon even when you lower your arm back down to loosen the loop. When he can do that, gradually increase the amount of time that he holds the spoon for. Do this until he can hold it for one minute even while the loop is loose during that minute.
Step
5
Add a hard boiled egg
When your pup can hold the spoon for one minute, add a hard boiled egg to the end of the spoon and have him hold the spoon with the egg on it for two seconds. If he begins to drop the egg, then lift up on the leash to help him hold it better, and then gradually loosen the loop again as he improves. As Fido improves, gradually increase how long he holds the spoon and the egg for until you have worked up to one minute again.
Step
6
Add forward movement
When your pup can hold the spoon with the egg on it for one minute without needing the leash loop to help him, then put your pup's collar or front clip harness on and attach a leash. Have him hold the spoon with the egg, then tell him to 'Go'. Carefully pull forward on the leash until he takes a step. When he takes a step, then praise him enthusiastically, take the spoon from him, and give him a treat. Repeat this until he can reliably take a step forward without dropping the egg. If he drops the egg, then simply try again and do not give him a treat until he takes a step without dropping the egg.
Step
7
Add more steps
When Fido can take one step without dropping the egg, gradually add additional steps until he can walk forward several feet without dropping the egg. If he is still depending on the leash to pull him forward, then phase out the leash by telling him to 'Go', and waiting seven seconds before pulling on the leash. Practice this until he will walk forward before you pull on the leash.
Step
8
Practice
When your pup can reliably balance an egg on a spoon while walking, then practice this trick until he is ready to beat all of his competition. If you would like to use a raw egg for this instead, then you can substitute a raw egg for the hard boiled egg at this point.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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