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When I heard the inventor of the remote control Robert Adler (a few years ago), I realized that my dog’s ability to find and bring the remote control to me on command might be of interest to some dog owners.
This is actually a fun dog trick that you can teach your dog!
My dog Jersey, an American Eskimo, loved to bring me the remote control.
For most of Jersey’s 15 years of life, his greatest joy in life was to “bring me the TV”. (For us, it was quicker and easier to say “TV” than to say “remote control”.)
“Bring It” Is A Dog Trick That I Use A Lot!
Anytime I’d hop into bed at night and then fumble around looking for where I’d left the TV’s remote control, Jersey would seem to sense what I was doing — and he would be on a nose-to-the-ground mission to be the first one to “find the TV”.
Same with watching TV in the living room…
Jersey could usually sniff out the exact location of the remote control unit — no matter where it was! Whether it was stuck between the sofa cushions… or it had slid under the chair legs… even when the remote control was right where it belonged (on the end table in the living room)… he would sit quietly in front of the table and wait for me to notice him looking at it.
What a smart dog, huh?
And the best part: If I asked him to “bring me the TV,” he was so incredibly gentle with the remote control.
He never wanted to ‘hurt’ it in any way — so he gently grabbed it with his mouth each time, without leaving teeth marks on it.
It was so sweet to watch my dog ever-so-gently (and so proudly) carry that TV remote control to me each time!
How To Teach Your Dog To Bring You The Remote Control, Step By Step
It’s easiest to create a “dog command” or “dog trick” to build on a behavior that your dog already does.
So, any time you see your dog nudging the TV remote control or putting his mouth on it, immediately say, “Good TV!” (or “Good remote.) And… “Is that the TV?” (or “Is that the remote?”).
At this point, you’re simply giving the item a name.
Spend a few days, weeks, or months simply using that phrase in front of your dog — especially at times that your dog is 100% focused on you and that remote control.
If you do that every single time your dog gets anywhere near the TV’s remote control, soon he will clearly know what that phrase means.
TIP: Give your dog a treat any time he seems to recognize that you’re talking to him about the remote control.
If you want your dog to actually find the remote control and/or bring it to you, then (after your dog clearly knows the name of the item) give it a different phrase — like “Bring me the remote” (or “Bring me the TV”). And “Find the remote” (or “Find the TV”).
On the flip side, any time that your dog is overly eager to bring you the TV remote control, but you don’t want your dog to touch it, just say “Leave it!”
Must read: See how to teach your dog to leave something alone.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel on Robert Adler’s passing:
The inventor of the remote control, a gentleman named Robert Adler, passed away in Boise today at the age of 93. Could we all take a moment of ‘mute’ to remember his passing?… At Mr. Adler’s request, he’ll be buried in the cushions of a sofa next to a quarter, a gum wrapper, and a comb.
Read more about Robert Adler’s invention of the TV remote.
NOTE: Not All Dogs Are Gentle With Remotes!
It’s important to be aware of the fact that not all dogs will be as gentle with the remote control as my dog Jersey was.
My Dog Tenor’s Experience With Remote Controls
For example, our Black Lab/Great Pyrenees dog Tenor could not be taught this dog trick.
There was this one incident with Tenor involving a remote control when he was a pup. It went something like this:
“What??? I didn’t do anything…” “Uh oh… I think she knows. She must’ve matched up the teeth marks.” “Ha ha ha… I fooled her again! She’ll never be able to tell my teeth marks from Destin’s.” [Wrong!
I must say, we are blessed that Tenor truly does learn right from wrong the first (or at most second) time he does something mischievous. So, we are fortunate that things like this don’t happen in our home very often.
In this case, Tenor learned right away that TV remote controls are not dog toys! And to this day, Tenor will not even go near the TV remote control.
In case you’re wondering, no… we didn’t beat him. Our dogs just know what a stern “NO!” means around here. It’s as simple as that.
We are 100% consistent about what we expect from our dogs. We’re also 100% consistent with our rewards for their good behavior. It’s a win-win for everyone.
My Dog Destin’s Experience With Remote Controls
This is Destin, our other Black Lab mixed breed dog.
He clearly knows that remote control units are not dog toys. Not in this house!
He too, learned very early in his puppyhood that you can take the remote control to someone, but you can’t bite it or play with it.
More Fun Dog Tricks
These are all of the dog tricks that we’ve successfully taught our dogs.
Check out this list of 101 dog tricks, and see how you can teach your dog to do them, too!
When training dogs, it’s important that your dog succeeds every time you ask them to do something. Never set your dog up to fail.
Here are my top 5 secrets to teaching your dog any trick.
And if you’re interested… here’s a little more about our dogs.
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I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn’t think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I’ve always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I’ve been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what’s ‘normal’ and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I’m not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I’ve written over 600 articles for dog owners on this site! Many of them have upwards of 200K shares.