Retriever Dog Tricks: Teach Your Dog To Find The TV Remote Control

Sad news in the world of television (…and in the eyes of my dog Jersey, may he rest in peace): The inventor of the remote control, Robert Adler, died last Thursday.

Jersey, an American Eskimo dog, loved the remote control.

Somehow, early in his puppyhood, I must have given him so much praise one time for “bringing it to me” that he actually begged for occasions in which he could bring me the remote.

I don’t remember the actual day that I taught him this trick, but I do know that for most of Jersey’s 15 years of life, his greatest joy in life was to “bring me the TV”.

(It was just easier to say TV than remote.)

How it played out on a daily basis in our life:

Anytime I’d hop into bed at night, and then fumble around looking for where I’d left the 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: He was so incredibly gentle with the remote control. He never wanted to put teeth marks on it or ‘hurt’ it in any way. It was so sweet to watch him ever-so-gently (and so proudly) carry that remote control to me each time.

Jimmy Kimmel on Robert Adler’s passing:

The co-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.

Not all dogs are gentle with remotes…

As we all know, not all dogs are as gentle with the remote control as my dog, Jersey, was.

Case in point: our Black Lab/Great Pyrenees dog, Tenor.

There was this one incident with Tenor involving a remote control when he was a pup. It went something like this… (hover to read the photo captions)

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. 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 the word “NO!” means around here. It’s as simple as that. We are 100% consistent about what we expect from our dogs. We are also 100% consistent with our rewards for their good behavior. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Our other dog’s point-of-view:

This is Destin.

He clearly knows that remote control units aren’t 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.

Want more?… Here’s a little about our dogs.

Check out this list of great dog tricks, and see how you can teach your dog to do them, too!

About Lynnette

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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