Skip to main content

How to Teach Your Dog to Get a Tissue, Part 1

Learn how to teach your dog to get a tissue from professional dog trainer Andrea Arden in this Howcast dog training video, part 1 of a 2-part series.


Maeby and I are going to show you how to teach your dog to retrieve a tissue. This is a very fun but pretty complex behavior. When teaching your dog to retrieve a tissue you're basically teaching them to retrieve a stationary object. So we're going to start with something that the dog's more likely to want to pick up in their mouth like a toy.

So we'll start with this tennis ball here. I'm going to have Maeby do a sit and stay while I set this ball on the floor. And then I will release her to go get it. When she brings it back to me I'm going to say good and then reward her.

Okay. Good. And I'm rewarding her with a treat. Sit. Stay. Okay. Good.

Once your dog is easily retrieving the toy while it's stationary, so I'm not throwing it for her, then you're going to be ready to move on to the next step. Now, I tried to go right into having her retrieve a tissue, and I found that Maeby would shred that tissue and get pieces of it stuck in her mouth. So it really wasn't working for me. So I had to do a middle step where I used a washcloth, similar to a tissue but a little easier for her to grab on to.

So, I'm going to repeat the same process that I did with the tennis ball but now with a washcloth.

Okay. Good.

Now, if the dog shakes the rag or they run and play with it you're not going to reward that. You want the dog to simply pick it up and bring it right to you. Otherwise, they will shred that tissue. So, you'd repeat this a number of times with the washcloth.

Okay. Good.

Popular Categories