How to Train a Puppy to Play Egg in Spoon

Medium
1-3 Months
Fun

Introduction

Imagine being at the county fair or a birthday party with your dog. It's time for everyone to choose their partner for the egg in a spoon relay contest. You choose your pup and get him ready for the race. Everyone smiles when they notice your adorable puppy standing on the starting line with an egg filled spoon held in his mouth. When the judge yells "Go!" and your pup takes off with the spoon, everyone cheers for him. They grin from ear to ear while they watch him make his way across the field. He makes his way to you, egg still intact, and you take the spoon from him and finish the second half of the race. Even though you do not end up winning the race, you both still earn loud applause and congratulations from everyone. Your pooch not only kept the egg from falling off of the spoon but he also brightened dozens of days and made the event more fun for everyone!

Defining Tasks

You can generally expect this trick to take between one and three months to train. Because this trick involves your pup learning several small tricks like holding an object, balancing something, and walking on cue, remember to be patient with your buddy and to celebrate his progress as he learns.

You can start by placing a small, light weight ball in the spoon rather than the heavier egg, and then transition to the egg after your pup learns how to balance the light weight ball first. Which type of egg you use for the final trick depends on your preference. If you wish, you can continue to use a hard boiled egg for this trick, rather than switching it out for a raw egg in the final step. To minimize mess and bacteria be sure to teach this trick with a hard boiled egg at first, when your puppy is likely to drop several eggs while he is still learning, and wait to use the raw egg until he is able to balance it better.

Getting Started

To get started, you will need a spoon that is longer than the width of your dog's mouth, lots of tasty, small treats and something to place them into, such as a treat pouch. You will also need lots of hard boiled eggs to practice with, a leash, and something to clip it to, such as a front clip harness or a collar. You will also need a small plastic ball, a clicker, or a slip leash with a loop that will easily tighten and loosen, depending on the method you choose. With all of the methods, you will need good timing, a great attitude, patience, good communication skills, and a willingness to have fun and potentially get some egg on you.

The Hold Method

Effective
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Step
1
Introduce the spoon
To begin, wiggle a spoon in front of your pup and encourage him to bite it or touch it with his mouth. When he does so, praise him and place a treat on the spoon for him to eat. Repeat this until he will automatically bite the spoon when you show it to him.
Step
2
Cup his mouth
Next, hold the spoon in front of your pup's mouth so that it is long ways and perpendicular to his muzzle. Tell him 'Take It', and encourage him to bite it. When he takes the spoon into his mouth, then tell him to 'Hold', and gently cup your hands around his mouth for two seconds to keep him from dropping the spoon. While your hands are around his mouth, praise him, and when the two seconds are up, tell him 'Drop', and let him spit the spoon out. Give him a treat as soon as he releases the spoon.
Step
3
Repeat
Repeat cupping his mouth while he holds the spoon and practicing the 'Take It', 'Hold', and 'Drop' commands. Do this until he will continue to hold onto the spoon without your help.
Step
4
Add a ball
While he is holding the spoon, place a small round ball or a hard boiled egg on the spoon. If he drops the spoon when the weight of the egg or the ball is added, then simply repeat the exercise until he can hold it up for one or two seconds. When he has held the ball or the egg in place on the spoon for one or two seconds, then allow him to drop it and reward him with a treat. Praise him while he is holding the egg in place so that he will know that he is succeeding before he gets the treat.
Step
5
Repeat balancing
Practice with the spoon and the egg or the ball often. As he improves, gradually increase the amount of time that he has to balance the spoon and the egg for until he has worked up to one minute. When he has worked up to one minute, replace the ball with a hard boiled egg and practice with that until he is used to balancing the weight of that also.
Step
6
Add movement
When your pup can balance the egg, attach a leash to him, have him balance the egg, and then while he is balancing, tell him 'Go' and gently pull forward on the leash until he takes one step forward. If he drops the egg when you do this, then simply start over and try again. Repeat this until he can take one step forward while balancing the egg. Praise him right when he takes the step and give him a treat after you have taken the spoon from him.
Step
7
Add more steps
Practice the single step with your pup until he has mastered that. When he has mastered that, then gradually add more steps. When he can take several steps in a row without dropping the egg, then command him to 'Go', but wait seven seconds before you pull on the leash to see if he will move forward on his own. Practice this until he will consistently move forward before you pull on the leash.
Step
8
Replace the egg if needed
Once your dog can take several steps forward on his own when you tell him to 'Go' and he can balance the egg the entire time, then if you wish for him to balance a raw egg, replace the boiled egg with a raw egg at this point. Now, go play egg in a spoon!
Recommend training method?

The Clicker Method

Effective
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Step
1
Grab a spoon
Hold the spoon long ways in front of your pup's mouth. Tell him 'Take It' and tempt him with the spoon by wiggling it front of him. When he bites the spoon, then click your clicker and give him a treat. Repeat this until he will consistently bite the spoon when you tell him to 'Take It' and show it to him, even if you do not wiggle it.
Step
2
Increase time
Wait until he has held the spoon in his mouth for one second before you click the clicker and give him a treat. As he improves, gradually increase the amount of time that he has to hold the spoon for before you will click the clicker and give him a treat. Add one second at a time. Practice this until he can hold the spoon in his mouth for one minute.
Step
3
Add an egg
When Fido can hold a spoon for one minute, then add a hard boiled egg to the spoon and have him balance the egg for two seconds. After two seconds, click the clicker, take the spoon from him, and give him a treat. As his balancing skills improve, then gradually increase the amount of time that he has to hold the spoon with the egg in it for, until he can balance it for one minute without dropping the egg.
Step
4
Add movement
Next, place a front clip harness on your dog and attach a leash to it. Tell your dog to 'Hold' the spoon with the egg, and then tell him 'Go' and gently pull forward on the leash. Do this until he takes one step forward. When he takes a step, then immediately click your clicker, take the egg from him, and give him a treat. Practice this until he will consistently take a step forward when you tell him 'Go' without dropping the egg.
Step
5
Add distance
As he improves, gradually add more steps until he can walk several feet without dropping the egg. If he is still depending on the leash pulling to go, then phase out the leash pulling by telling him 'Go', and then wait seven seconds before pulling on the leash. Practice this until he will consistently walk before you have pulled on the leash.
Step
6
Switch out the eggs
When your pup can hold the egg in the spoon and walk forward with it when you tell him to 'Go', then replace the hard boiled egg with a raw egg if you prefer for him to balance a raw egg instead. Now play egg in a spoon!
Recommend training method?

The Leash Loop Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Tempt with the spoon
To begin, introduce your pup to a spoon. Tell Fido 'Take It' and wiggle the spoon in front of his mouth to encourage him to bite it. When he puts his mouth on it, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this until he will immediately bite the spoon when you tell him to 'Take It'.
Step
2
Make a loop
Grab a slip leash and create a loop that is the size of your dog's head. Place the spoon in the middle of the loop and tell your puppy to 'Take It'. When he does so, gently close the loop around his muzzle while he is holding the spoon to keep him from dropping the spoon, and tell him to 'Hold'. Praise him while he is holding onto the spoon, and after two seconds, release the tension on the leash and tell him to 'Drop' the spoon into your hand. Give him a treat for complying when his mouth is free again.
Step
3
Repeat
Practice with the spoon and the slip leash until you can gradually release the tension in the leash and he will continue to hold onto the spoon.
Step
4
Add an egg
When your pup will hold onto the spoon by choice, place a hard boiled egg onto the spoon while he is holding it. If he starts to drop the spoon because of the extra weight, then lift up on the leash a little bit so that his muzzle is supported by the loop. As he improves at balancing the egg, gradually add more slack back into the leash again, until he is balancing the egg all on his own.
Step
5
Add a step
Move the leash loop to his neck and have him balance the egg again. While he is balancing the egg, tell him 'Go' and gently pull forward on the leash until he takes one step forward. When he takes a step, praise him, take the spoon from him, and give him a treat.
Step
6
Add more steps
Practice the step forward and spoon balancing until he can consistently take a step forward when you say 'Go' without dropping the egg or the spoon. When he can do that, add more steps one at a time until he can take several steps in a row without dropping anything.
Step
7
Phase out the leash
When your pup can take several steps forward, phase out the leash by telling him 'Go' and then wait seven seconds before pulling on the leash. Practice this until he will consistently walk forward before you have pulled on the leash.
Step
8
Make it raw
If you wish to use a raw egg for the egg in the spoon game, then substitute the boiled egg for a raw egg now that your pup can balance an egg in a spoon while walking. Have fun playing egg in a spoon with your buddy!
Recommend training method?

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