Drop it

How to Train Your Dog to Drop it

To teach your dog to reliably drop items on cue, you will need to use treats that are higher in value than the items you are asking him to drop. If you fail to do so, he may realize it’s not a good deal dropping items if what he gets in exchange isn’t worthy enough. After ali, how would you feel if somebody asked you to trade your gold ring for a plastic one? Most likely you would hold on tight to your gold ring… But what if somebody offered you a diamond ńng in exchange?

In order to train your dog to “drop it,” you will need to ask him to drop items that aren’t

very valuable at first. We’ll start by using a toy he sees around all the time. So grab that toy, play with it, make it interesting, and then give it to him or toss it on the floor in front of him. He will probably pick it up, but if he doesn’t, you can always use the Ake” cue we learned earlier.

The moment your dog has the toy in his mouth, say “drop it” and show him a treat by holding it next to his nose. He will most likely drop the toy so he can get the treat. As soon as he drops the toy, use your verbal marker or click the dicker and give him the treat.

I say drop it and hold the treat in front of Einstein. Men he drops the toy to get the treat, I use my verbal marker and then let him have the treat.

Repeat this simple process a few times in a row until your dog shows signs of understanding the exercise.

At some point, when your dog has the toy in his mouth, say “drop if’ without showing him a treat. The moment he drops the item, use your verbal marker or click the clicked and give him two or three treats in a row. Make sure you keep these treats completely out of sight (behind your back or in your treat bag, for example) until he has dropped the item. Repeat this form of the exercise several times, asking your dog to “drop if’ without showing him a treat. Continue to use your verbal marker/ctick the clicker and give him multiple treats when he successfully drops the item after you ask him to “drop it.”

Einstein drops the Bali he was holding when I tell him to “drop it” In this instance I am using the cue to train The Tidy UD Game found later in the Couse.

Troubleshooting Problems

Some dogs may be reluctant to drop items if they do not see the treat. In such a case, you will need to work on this problem, as you don’t want to be stuck with a dog who only obeys if a treat is in sight, especially if one day he picks up something harmful and you have no treats with you to make him drop it!

To diminish your dog’s reliance on seeing treats, you will need to gradually make them less visible. So while you showed your dog a treat by placing it next to his nose when you first started the training exercise, begin making the treat less visible by holding it farther from his nose and hiding it more and more inside your hand each time. Because a reluctance to drop items is often a trust issue, You want to show your dog that even if he doesn’t see the treat, he wilf still get it. Imagine how uncomfortable you’d feel if you gave your gold ring to someone who

left with it, promising to show up later with a diamond one to exchange. With time, however, you would begin trusting this person if he established a history of being honest.

Caution: Some dogs may be reluctant to drop items they are possessive of. If your dog shows signs of aggression such as stiffening, growling, or showing teeth, please stop training this exercise and consult with a professional.

Increase the Challenge

As your dog gets good at dropping toys on cue, you will need to work your way up to teaching him to drop higher-value items. Remember the golden rule: The reward you give your dog for dropping an item on cue should always be significantly higher in value than the item dropped. So if you used kibble to train your dog to drop a toy, when you start asking him to drop a large bread roll, you would offer him some yummy high-value treats (e.g., pieces of plain cooked chicken breast) in exchange.

Because this could one day be a lifesaving cue, always praise and reward your dog for dropping an item. Then, if that day comes when you really need him to drop something, he will respond reliably by dropping the item so you can collect it as he waits for his treats. Your dog likely won’t get a treat in this case because you were caught unprepared, but you can always remedy this by praising him a whole lot, then later on, when you have access to treats again, you can ask him to drop other items and reward him to create new positive associations.

Take/Leave It

Objective: Your dog must pick up or leave items on cue.

You Will Need:

Clicker or verbal marker Different types of treats Toys

The “leave it” cue can prevent your dog from getting ill and can even be a lifesaver for those vacuum-mouthed dogs who suck up everything in their paths. Although it may be harmless for your dog to eat a morsel of food he found on the kitchen floor, the fact is there are many dangerous things that dogs can swallow if you aren’t careful. Think about the consequences of dropping a pill or a large piece of baker’s chocolate on the floor. What if your dog were to gulp it down? With the “leave it” cue, you can train your dog to avoid eating dangerous items; and the best part is, this training works well even for those Hoovers dogs who have been wolfing down items they find lying around for a good chunk of their lives!

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