How to Teach a Dog to Drop It

Your dog is out to the park then, and the next thing you know, your dog has been able to grab something gross, such as an animal bone or, more likely, roadkill. What’s next?

The majority of pet owners do not want to get into their dog’s mouths to remove the offensive object, but the alternative of letting your dog eat it isn’t an alternative also. Enter: “Drop it.”

“Drop It “drop it” cue can be a real lifesaver if your dog is caught with something dangerous. However, it is also useful for casual interactions, for example, during a game of tug or fetch. As you include”drop it” or “drop it” into your dog’s training practice, the easier you’ll find it to use in the situations you’ll need it.

Why Teach “Drop It”?

The dogs are naturally curious. Their active and curious minds often lead them to grab things they should not. Trying to keep contraband out of reach is not a good idea, as dogs like to eat all kinds of gross foods. In addition, most dogs are competitive in tug-of-war games with sour prizes. Some contraband items must be handled promptly, for example, drugs that fell to the floor.

“Drop it” also comes in handy when a pet does not want to release the ball when playing fetch or for dogs who become extremely agitated during tug. Inviting the dog “drop” allows for an interruption in the game and makes playtime more enjoyable.

Before You Begin

Certain dogs are prone to becoming obsessive when they get items they like, be it an old wooden spoon that was snatched in the kitchen or filthy socks–and may resort to resource protection to stop the owner from removing it.

If your dog is stiff, grunts, or lunges when you approach him to recover stolen items, Consider enlisting the assistance of a trained training instructor who can use positive reinforcement.

Be aware that each dog has a set of values; therefore, before you start “drop it” training, you must know your dog’s values. It’s easier to begin training with simple objects your dog would willingly give up to receive treats.

Of course, storing tasty, high-value snacks is essential because you’ll be running many trials throughout every training session. The treats should be more engaging than those you’ll use for drop-training, so go for tasty treats like a piece of cheese, lunch food, or hot dogs.

Keep your training positive and fun. Yes, finding out the best method to teach dogs to stop is crucial for safety reasons, and it can be a bit stress-inducing, but you’ll be much more successful if you keep the training process enjoyable.

How to Teach “Drop It” in 9 Steps

If you’ve found an item that isn’t high on your dog’s hierarchy, you can now train your dog to take it off. For dogs that are motivated by play, it could be their least preferred ball. Consider an empty treat-dispensing rubber toy often filled with food to boost your pup with food.

1. Bring the treat to the pet and let him take it into his mouth. Do not force him to grab the item. If you think he’s not interested, choose a more affordable object.

Second step: Put a food item close enough to the dog’s nose to be smelled and wait for him to let the treat go in anticipation of receiving the reward.

Step 3. When released from the joy, give your pet the treat, and then praise him for doing a great job. Dogs will often eat the treat and then try to grab it in the future, so if your dog does manage to grab it, repeat the procedure and this time, throw the treat just a few steps away from your pet so that he isn’t chasing it. You’ll also have the chance to grab it before your dog does it.

Fourth step: Bring the treat to the pet once more after putting it inside his mouth; repeat step 3.

Phase 5 If you’re placing the treat before your dog’s nostrils, encourage him to take it off and then try repeating it to ensure the pleasure is accessible but not near your dog, such as by your side. This stops treats from turning into a mandatory element in your “drop it” process; your dog shouldn’t need to be able to see the joy to be able to surrender the item.

Sixth step: When your pet lets go of the object, add the word “drop” or “drop it” when the thing is released. In this step, it is your job to teach the dog to do this by connecting the phrase or word with the task he’s engaged in. The dog should begin to combine the two after about ten times, after which you can provide your dog with the item and request for him”drop. “drop it.”

7th Step: Remember that few wins in a training situation don’t mean “drop it” mastery. Increase your dog’s level of the structure by using more complex items, like an item that is a favorite toy or a dry piece of pasta. Remember to back each win with a reward.

8. Keep practicing various settings like outdoors by starting with objects with low value and gradually increasing the worth of the things your pet asks to throw.

9. When your pet consistently drops at your request, do several “cold trials” by planting favorite objects on the ground in the vicinity of the outside of your home and then asking your dog “drop it.” Quick response in these situations means your dog understands what is happening.

What If My Dog Won’t Drop It? Helpful Tips

You’re trying to teach your dog to dispose of objects; however, it’s not working; think about these possible issues:

It’s boring to give your dog food. “Drop it” can be an extremely challenging command; therefore, provide your dog with high-quality treats for all the hard work he has put in.

You attempted to leap from trials for training to the real world too fast. Just because your dog can “drop it” in your family room wearing an old sock, it doesn’t mean he’ll instantly be able to accomplish it when he picks up hamburger wrappers on the street. It takes time and focuses on mastering this cue in reality.

You stopped practicing. You and your dog must maintain this “drop it” muscle in good condition by working it on frequently. This is a “use it or lose it” warning, so you should never put off working on it.

When you and the dog master how to use the “drop it” cue, you’ll be amazed by how useful it is. If you find a chicken bone during your walk, you’ll be glad that your pup and you have spent some time as you worked on finding the proper signal to get him to let go.

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