Drop It – Please and Thank You!
Does your dog take things they shouldn’t? Do you have to chase them around the house, begging them to drop your remote? Wouldn’t it be nice if your dog would willingly drop anything they have on command? Of course! But how do you get them to do that?
The drop it cue is super useful whether you are trying to get something your puppy shouldn’t have or if they just don’t want to give the ball back during fetch. Remember to never forcefully remove something from your dog’s mouth unless it’s an emergency – this could build up a negative association with you handling them which would be detrimental to your bond. Stay calm and patient, using a bright, training-friendly voice.
Start introducing “drop it” during a game of fetch or when your puppy picks up something you don’t want them to have, like a sock. Use low-value items to build this skill up, but use high-value treats when needed. Make sure it’s something more enticing to your dog than what they have. If they love a particular ball, use that to get them to drop the stick you don’t want them chewing on.
FOOD VS. TOYS – CHOOSE BOTH!
Mix it up too! Alternate between using food and toy rewards when possible. Training should be consistent but never boring! With steady sessions and then incorporating “drop it” into your day, you’ll see your dog reliably respond to you, even if they have the stinkiest sock! Well, you’ll have a shot at that anyway! Just make sure you have a high enough value item for your dog to want to trade you.
Be patient and praise them for dropping that item! Work at your dog’s pace and use their favourites to make training fun! Never use a harsh tone of voice – training is fun!
For ideas on crate games, check out our blog post here.