Chores for Dogs: What Can You Ask Them to Do?

Dogs' huge intelligence allows them to learn a wide variety of actions. With a little patience and a consistency, these actions can become almost automatic. Of course, you have to use positive reinforcement to make sure they learn best. It's important for dogs not to do things out of fear. They should be done because they are supposed be man's best friends.
Chores for Dogs: What Can You Ask Them to Do?
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 22 December, 2022

Everyone loves watching their pet show their intelligence by learning new things. Dogs can be trained to do a lot of useful things that are easy to train. In order to help you train your dog, you can look at these chores that are a great for beginning his training.

What to teach your do: 5 chores for dogs

If you decide to teach your dog some chores, you have to start with the basic commands for obedience. These exercises are the first step of training for all dogs, whether they’re service dogs, sport dogs, or household dogs.

They’re all general, simple commands like “heel,” “sit,” “lay down,” “calm down,” “come here,” and “fetch.” They’re the foundation of your dog’s education, and they’ll help you teach them more complex things, like the following chores for dogs.

1. Picking up their own toys

Your dog probably loves to have fun with all his toys, but what if he picked up after himself too? This is a really simple chore, and it’s actually very useful for your dog. Other than just helping you keep your house organized, it’s also a great way to establish a peaceful living environment.

Dog playing with interactive toy

2. Turning off the light

The idea of a dog turning off a light with its furry little paws probably sounds like something out of a movie, but honestly it only requires a little training. As long as your dog is tall enough to reach the switch, he can definitely learn to do this!

3. Bringing your slippers

There isn’t anything better than having your dog bring your slippers once arrive home after a hard day at work and want to relax. This chore only requires some training and your dog will enjoy doing it and even boost his cognitive skills. The best part of all: any dog can learn to do it, as long as you’re dedicated enough.

4. Closing the door

This is a great chore for dogs that can go outside when you’re not at homeDepending on how big your dog is, you can teach him to close the door with his paws or head. How? As always, you just need patience and positive reinforcement.

5. Picking up dirty laundry and taking it where it belongs

This chore follows the same basic principles as teaching your dog to pick up its toys. Once he has learned to pick up his toys, then he’ll be ready to help you pick up the dirty clothes you have laying around your house where they belong.

Advice on how to train your dog


It’s extremely important to be consistent when you’re training your dog. They need to completely internalize the commands, which means you have to be consistent and patient with them.

Man training German Shepherd

If you don’t have the time to train your dog, you can always find a professional trainer instead.

How long should you train them for

When you’re just teaching them the basic obedience commands, you can spend around 10-20 minutes per day practicing with your dog. For the more complex chores, you should set aside 30-40 minutes per day.

The most important thing is to not overwhelm your dog. He’ll just end up getting distracted, and that will become counterproductive for his training.

How to train them

You should work on commands and tricks one at a time. This is the best way to make sure your dog really internalizes them. It’s best to usually spend 3-10 days on introducing and training each command.

Owner on laptop looking up chores for dogs

The time it takes to learn a skill is different for every dog and depends on how dedicated you are at teaching your dog. It’s been proven that some breeds learn things more easily. For example, Border Collies can learn one command a day with the proper training system.

Using positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is about rewarding proper behavior. This stimulates them when it comes to learning new skills and becoming obedient. It’s essential to reward your dog and praise him when he does what he’s supposed to. This is the best way to get him to learn tricks fast. He will also get better at learning in general, and will have a better self-confidence.

You have to give him the reward immediately so he connects it to a specific behavior. The moment he correctly does what you’re training him to do, give him a reward.

Find the best place

In order to avoid having distractions, especially with puppies, it’s important to find a calm place to train your dog. This means finding a place that’s free of outside stimuli like other dogs, noises, music, smells (especially food), etc.

Remember the commands they’ve learned

It’s essential to spend one or two days a week making sure your dog remembers each and every one of the chores you’ve taught him. Otherwise your dog might forget the commands or confuse them. Therefore, practicing the commands on a regular basis is essential for having your dog obey them.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.