How To Get Your Dog To Bring The Toy Back

This week’s blog is a continuation of last weeks blog in which we are going to discuss another method on how to get your dog to bring the toy back.

Step 1 – Treat Throws

To start with take some high-value treats and start with your dog in front of you. Throw a treat off to one side and as your dog collects it off of the floor you are then going to call them back to you, as they start to follow after you, throw a treat in the opposite direction, and then repeat the process.

Step 2 – Treat toss/ toy swap

For the next step what you’re going to need is one of your dog’s toys and some more high-value treats. To start the session throw your dog’s toy just a short distance and as they collect it you’re going to call them back to you. As they’re coming back into you throw a treat ahead so that they drop the toy and go to get the treat. To start with, what you might find is that when your dog picks the toy up and they’re bringing it back to you they might drop it before they get all the way to you which is absolutely fine, what we’re going to do is to work small steps so they get a little bit closer to you each time. 

Step 3 – Hand delivery food swap

Once your dog is bringing the toy back to you and letting go for the treat, what we can then start to do is, as they return back to you with the toy you can catch on to it and swap them for a treat from hand rather than throwing it on the floor.

Step 4 – Fetch

Once your dog’s consistently bringing the toy back to your hand and you’re able to swap for food, it’s really important to make sure that you keep your rewards high value. If you stop using food too quickly your dog could start to delay coming back towards you in anticipation of not getting a reward so try to make sure that you fade out the treats slowly rather than taking it all away immediately. 

Step 5 – Tugging 

Alternatively, if your dog finds tugging reinforcing when they come back to you, you can alternate between having a game of tug with them and swapping for food whilst you continue to throw the toy and encourage them back into you.


-It’s important to remember that when you’re getting your dog to bring the toy back that the reward with you is much greater than anything else in the environment.

-When you start these steps it’s important to use really high value food 

-Work in an environment that doesn’t have too many distractions to start and then build your way up to harder environments over time

-It’s also really important to remember that if your dog has got into the habit of running around with a particular toy in their mouth it might be worth changing to a different toy to begin with so that you start from a fresh page 

We hope you enjoy working through these steps in how to get your dog to bring the toy back.

All toys shown in the video can be found at

About Ogilvie Dogs

Marita & Craig offer dog training with a difference. Decades of experience paired with international appearances, a purpose-built training venue and a dose of genuine authenticity has resulted in a training offering like no other – Ogilve Dogs.

Recent Posts: