Teaching your dog the “drop it” command is as important as other commands or training. The main purpose of this command is to teach your furry friend to drop whatever he has in his mouth instantly, be it a toy, bone, or other things he shouldn’t try to eat or chew like slippers and shoes.
If you’re planning to do it but don’t know where you should start, then you’re in the right place.
In this guide, you will learn how to teach your dog the drop it command. Aside from that, we will also include other helpful information that is sure to help you throughout the process.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
How to Teach Your Dog The “Drop It” Command
Step 1: Give Your Dog a Toy
To begin with the process, make sure you have a treat in one hand and a toy in the other. Then hold the toy in front of the mouth of your dog.
Wait for your pet to sniff it and at the same time take it. For this method, it is like you are hitting two birds in one stone. Meaning, your dog will learn to do both the drop and take things in the process.
As a piece of advice, make sure to use the same command at all times.
Step 2: Say “Drop It” and Give A Treat
While the toy is in the mouth of your dog, hold a treat in front of its nose. The moment it releases the toy, immediately give the treat.
Aside from giving treats, you can also say “drop it”. While holding the treat near the nose of your dog, say the command clearly and firmly. After that, try to hold the treat farther away.
If your pet is still responding to the command, increase the distance bit by bit. Then, consider saying the cue without the treat, if it responds, make sure to praise your dog.
Step 3: Do the training constantly
No one knows when a teaching moment will present itself. That is why you need to keep treats all the time. But if you don’t want to give treats, give your dog something that has a greater value. For instance, you can swap the remote of your television for a dog toy.
Additional Tips To Consider When Training Your Dog the Drop It Command
1. Practice in Different Surroundings
For sure you want to improve the understanding of your dog of the drop it command as much as you can. Keep in mind that dogs are intelligent animals. That said, your dog may only associate the command to specific places or with its toys. Thus, train your dog in different surroundings.
2. Use Acceptable Chewing Items
When practicing the command, use things that your dog can accept easily. Of course, you do not want to encourage your pet to take and drop something you would not otherwise want him/her getting a grip of.
Let’s say, if your dog loves to chew on your slippers, then do not use this thing when teaching the command, because you may end up associating chewing on your slippers with getting treats.
3. Begin Training When Your Dog Is About Three Months Old
Teaching your dog the drop it command as early as possible is very important. Since the dog is still young, make the training session short since it has a limited attention span. Nevertheless, every session should last around 15 minutes.
4. Look for Great Treats
When it comes to choosing treats, it is very important that you have a value system in your mind that your furry friend will follow. Tasty treats are the best options. You can opt for treats that are made from cheese, turkey, or chicken.
However, make sure to keep the amount very small since you will be using it often during the training session.
5. Get Your Leash
If your pet tends to run with its treats or toys, then it is a good practice that you keep it in on a leash during your training.
But aside from that, consider keeping your dog in restricted space that has minimal distractions. Keep in mind that your main objective is to focus on the attention of your dog and not on playing.
6. Be Patient
When teaching your dog the command you need to have a realistic expectation. Yes, it is possible for your dog to learn the drop it command in just a few days or so. However, it’s more realistic to anticipate small but noticeable improvements. Do not rush things, instead, be patient.
Mistakes to Avoid
Despite the fact that it may look like innate, please don’t attempt to pull a treat or toy from the mouth of your dog or grab its head to remove something. Don’t ever try to open the jaws of your dog. Why? Simply because it may send the incorrect message making the action look like a punishment or a game. In addition to that, it’ll cause the dog to hold the thing tightly or in worse cases, the pet will swallow it. Furthermore, you might get bitten.
That being said, if your pet has something in his mouth that can cause trouble, one of the best ways that you can do is put a lot of treats in front of it.
Another mistake that you need to avoid is using command words that narrowly mimic another command. For instance, “stop” and “drop” rhyme and will more likely to confuse your pet when you utilize them for various commands.
Make sure to use unique phrases and words that you can say in a positive and upbeat voice that your pet will come to relate to the drop behavior.
Why You Should Teach Your Dog The Drop It Command?
1. Teach tricks
If you want to teach your dog to set aside its toys, grab you a can of beer, fetch the newspaper, or carry a bag, the drop it command is a crucial part of all these tricks.
2. Avoid the Chase
Dogs love being chased. As a matter of fact, it becomes apparent to your furry friend that if it picks the right thing, its owner will chase it around. As a result, your dog will have a good time while you end up feeling frustrated.
However, by simply teaching the command, you will be able to put an end to unwanted games and may help you keep your stability with a playful dog.
3. Prevent Resource Guarding
As mentioned earlier, taking something away from the mouth of your dog is extremely dangerous. What’s more, it may create a resource guarding behavior which may possibly lead to bites.
But, if your dog is familiar with the drop it command, you can get it to spit out a thing without initiating guarding behaviors.
As a pet owner, having an idea of how to teach your dog the “drop it” command is very important. Based on the information provided above, this command is beneficial in so many ways.
Nevertheless, if you are having a hard time teaching your dog the said command, then look no further than this guide.
Hopefully, you have learned a lot from this article.