“Pull Off My Socks”
This is a wonderful trick for anyone who has trouble pulling off their own socks, or for moms hoping to speed up the undressing process while trying to herd the kids into the tub. You may want to start this trick with an old pair of socks — the more dedicated retrievers will find this trick particularly exciting, and they'll tend to rip a pair or two before they are able to perfect their technique. Here are the shaping steps for teaching “Pull off my socks”:
Place an old sock on the floor and tell your Golden “Take it.”
Hold the ankle part of the sock, and shape your dog to take it by the toe.
Repeat until he is reliably taking the sock by the toe.
Add some resistance, and pull back gently when he takes the toe.
Delay the click until your Golden is holding and pulling slightly for a second or two.
Gradually delay the click until he is hanging on and tugging.
Put the sock on your foot so that most of it is hanging off, and start from the top.
Gradually delay the click until your dog is pulling the sock off your foot.
Gradually pull the sock further up your foot until it's almost all the way on.
Label the behavior “Pull my sock” when it is happening reliably.
When teaching this behavior, use an adult as the sock wearer until your dog learns to use his mouth gently and not nibble your toes. Once your dog is a pro, you can gradually introduce new people, though you should always supervise young children.