The Dog Drop It Command by Angad Singh |Published 09-10-2019
Teaching your dog the “drop it” command is essential and can even save your dog’s life. Imagine a situation in which you are busy in some household work, and your dog starts to fiddle with toilet cleaner inside the bathroom.
Just when you watch him fiddle with the opener of the cleaner, the bottle opens. And your dog tries to taste the toilet cleaner.
Don’t you think if you have already taught a command like “Drop”, it would be a really valuable tool to tackle this kind of a situation?
If you invest 15 minutes a day for a month, you will be able to teach your dog with the ‘drop’ command. Keep short 5-minute training sessions. Be sure to keep small-sized treats with you to reward the good behavior of your dog.
You can also reward with vocal praises and love gestures, but rewards seem to be working pretty well with every breed of dogs.
When teaching the “drop” command, we want our dog to drop anything in his mouth when he hears our verbal command. It would be better if your dog is already trained for basic commands like sit, stay, and recall.
Also, you should have spent some time in training your dog’s brain using puzzle and other games, as that kind of games Activates the Brain cells of your dog and makes him 10 times smarter and Intelligent.
I would highly recommend you to get Brain Training for Dogs for this purpose. It is one of the best Dog training course I have seen in recent times. Here is a detailed review of Brain training for dogs.
So let’s start with the training.
Before you begin, you'll want to gather up anything you will need during your training session,
Get an attractive toy for your dog. Let your dog play with his favorite toy for a minute or two. Make sure he doesn’t get bored while playing with it. Let him only play for a minute or two.
When he gets excited and starts to enjoy the toy, show him that you have his favorite treats in your hand by holding the treat around his nose and face. If your dog leaves the toy and goes for the treat, reward him with that treat.
This is a win for you. Repeat this 6-8 times till the time you feel your dog is responding well to this technique.
Add the verbal cue such as “drop it” or “leave it.” Say the cue firmly and clearly. Hold the treat near your dog’s nose while calling the verbal cue. Repeat this for 3-5 times.
Gradually, hold the treat farther and if your dog still responds and gets attracted to it. Reward your dog. Make sure he should be leaving his toy to get the treat.
Gradually, remove the treats and start to praise the dog for leaving the toy and coming to you. Though, you can still use treats around his nose to lure him.
Don't settle for using the same favorite toy during each training session, otherwise, your dog will only associate the "drop it" command with a certain toy. Find ways to incorporate many different objects, both toys and non-toy objects.
The most common problem that dog parents face while training their dog for this command is that their dogs might leave the toy, but they may eat the treats and go back and grab the toy again. How can you solve this problem?
First of all, if your dog tries to pick up the item again, do not yell or take that item away from him. Instead, go to your dog and give the verbal cue “drop” again and reward with treat if he leaves the toy. Repeating this will teach him that listening to his parent is more beneficial than attaching himself to the toy.
You should always use Positive reinforcement to train your dog with the drop it command. It might take a month or 40 days for your dog to completely learn this verbal command. So be patient and consistent.
A lot of parents might want to hold the jaws of their dog and pull the item out of his mouth. Never Do This.
Never try to pull something out of your dog’s mouth as it sends a wrong message to him. He may think this is some kind of a game and will even hold the item tighter and may even swallow it.
If there’s an emergency and your dog is chewing or has put something harmful in his mouth, dump a lot of treats in front of him under his head, and there are high chances that he will leave that item to grab the treats.
Also, a lot of dogs confuse the ‘drop’ command to ‘stop’ command. Hence it’s important to either use any other verbal command or say the word ‘drop’ in a positive and clear manner.
It is important that your dog can associate this command with dropping anything he has in his mouth and rushing towards the owner.
All dog commands are important, but those that have a potentially life saving element are especially crucial if you want to keep your dog safe. Teaching your dog how to drop something that might harm him will give you peace of mind, keep your dog safe, and save you unwanted and costly trips to the emergency vet
Angad Singh is a passionate dog trainer and a dog parent from last 3 years :). I am very passionate on training variety of dogs and how dogs behave under different conditions.
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