Another way to train pulling on clothing needs your dog to have experience with targeting, take, hold, and forward (taking a few steps towards you) while holding an object. It is best used if your dog already knows the retrieve as this method is really a combination of a hold and retrieve. You can then use these cues to help explain what you want. (Check out our blog for details on teaching all of the above)
Sit on the bed or chair and extend your leg forward and teach your dog to nose target the toes of one foot. You can use a target stick or piece of tape, or just free shaping, depending on what’s easier for you. Use your treats to get her to move away from you between targeting. When she is doing that reliably no matter where you move your foot, you are ready for the next step.
Your dog’s next goal is to push the ring (shorts) over the stick (your foot). Start by c/t for taking the ring from you and just holding it (ideally by one side so the opening droops down). When you progress to the shorts or pants, you may want to ask your helper to tie the pant leg up with string on two or three sides so it really looks like a ring.
Now cue your dog to take and hold the ring in the manner above and target it to your toes. Shape his targeting so the ‘hoop’ goes over your toes. C/t for any attempt, then contact. Now she has just completed what the ring toss dog did in the video, except that gravity won’t move the ring sideways. Your dog has to learn that next.
When she can do that consistently, cue your dog to place the ring on your foot as above, and cue ‘forward’ (or free shape any forward pushing of the ring up your leg). As your dog moves forward, help him by moving your leg if it might help. C/t for any movement towards you, even if the ‘hoop’ doesn’t go higher. She might use her nose to push it if the ring is tight or changing her position to pull the ring (pants) might work better. When the ring slides up the leg, the ‘pant’ goes on.
When she is successful doing this, switch to short, then half leg, then full leg. If you have tied the pant leg up with string, tie it looser and looser so your dog learns to deal with the longer pant and eventually remove it. Progress to tighter clothing and then to socks as for method 1.
You may need to use a combination of these techniques, depending on the clothing, too. When training, use bulky clothing that you don’t care if it is handled roughly or torn until you know you can trust your dog to be careful.