Dogs are a brilliant pet to have, but there's nothing more frustrating when they pick something up in their mouth, you don't know what it is, and they won't drop it.
Some breeds may do this more than others, but inevitably it's a primal instinct of theirs.
Don't worry; today we will teach you some helpful techniques on how to teach your dog to drop it.
But before you proceed any further, you need to understand why this is important.
Why teaching a dog to drop it is important?
Apart from saving your precious valuables from being chewed and ruined by lots of saliva, this technique can potentially save your canine's life! You may be familiar with trying to get something out of your dog's mouth, and all they do is run away. After all, dogs love a good game of chase.
This is a dangerous move because at this moment when dogs run away; they can easily swallow the item they have in their mouth or, at worse, choke on it. Similarly, they can easily detect the chase's thrill and associate this with good behavior and want to repeat this.
Teaching your dog to drop it also helps it learn other tricks too. For instance, when learning the likes of fetch, this will help pick it up quicker. Instead of your dog dropping objects on the floor, it will help them bring them to your hand.
How to teach your dog to drop it?
Now that you have an insight on why teaching your dog to drop it is necessary, let's learn how to do it. It's really easy; all it takes is some time and consistency.
Plus, the best way to do this is with a reward, i.e., a treat, to allow it to feel like it's getting something else in return. Similarly, try and offer them a better treat than what they have in their mouth, so they think they have a purpose.
Now, you will need to do the following:
- Collect some objects that your dog likes, such as small treats, toys, or food.
- Then using your spare hand, get a piece of food and at the same time use your other hand to put one of your dog's favorite chew toys in front of their mouth.
- As soon as your dog picks up the toy and places it in their mouth, put the food or treat next to its nose. Then command your dog to “drop it.”
- If your dog drops the toy for the food, praise your dog and stroke it. Similarly, if you have a clicker, press it to signify good behavior.
- Next, you will want to repeat this process and hide the toy behind your back when your dog eats the food. If your dog chooses not to take the object as well, don't worry. Just try later on in the day.
- After doing this successfully 10 times, you will need to do this without having a treat in your hand. Practice the same technique, but pretend to have a treat in your hand while doing so, then ask your dog to drop it. Most likely, your dog will have been deceived and drop the object. After doing so, provide your dogs with a treat to reward good behavior. Keep repeating this, and they will eventually drop it with no treats.
- It would help if you also practiced this technique with your dog using objects that it likes from the outside. That way, it becomes familiar, and you reduce the risk of your dog swallowing or choking on anything bad.
Sometimes though, this technique isn't always that easy, depending on your dog's personality. If your dog chooses to run away when doing so, you might want to practice this technique when it's on a leash.
Plus, when you repeat this technique if your dog tries to get the toy from you immediately, try throwing a treat a bit far away, so it gets distracted by the treat first.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.