Learning to Drop




Teaching your dog to happily drop items on cue is a really useful exercise to teach in case they pick up anything which you don’t want them to have or might be dangerous if ingested.

One way to teach this is through play with your dog. Start by instigating a game of tug with one toy. As your dog gets really into it, stop moving your hand, so the toy goes ‘dead’.

As you do this, bring out a second toy and show it to your dog. You can wiggle it about to get their interest if needed. Your dog will likely let go of the first toy, which has become boring, in favour of playing with the other toy.

Mark and reward by playing with the new toy.

Hide the first toy behind you back and play for a while before holding still and repeating the switch.

Over time your dog will get quicker and quicker at dropping one toy when you present the other.

You can start to mix it up by throwing the toy for them to chase after. When they pick it up and run back to you, show them the other toy, and wait for them to drop. Mark and reward by throwing the toy in your hand for them.

Repeat this game until your dog is quickly letting go of the toy, knowing that it will start a new game.

At this stage you can add the cue ‘drop’ just before they let go of the toy each time. Mark and reward with more play every time they drop.

In time your dog will be an expert at drop and you can practice in a variety of location and with lots of different objects.

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