A simple command, such as "drop it," comes in handy during a game of fetch and can potentially save your dog's live and protect your valuables from damage. Instead of running after your dog, or using intimidation and force, which can make him fear you, teaching your dog this command gives you peace of mind, because you'll always be able to retrieve whatever he has in his mouth. With a healthy dose of patience and consistency, you'll have an obedient dog in no time.
Arm yourself with a dog toy and a bag with some dog treats. Use a dog toy that your pet companion likes but isn't fond of to the point that he'll ignore the treats when you offer them.
Take your dog to a room in the house that is free of distractions. Restrict noise from the television, radio and other family members, and close the curtains if windows might display other animals or distracting activities outside.
Show your pet companion the dog toy and allow him to take it in his mouth and chew on it for a few seconds.
Take a treat out of the treat bag and show it to your dog. The moment he opens his mouth and drops the toy to get to the treat, say "drop it." Feed him the treat with one hand while you grab the toy from the floor with your other hand. Praise him as you give him the treat. After a moment, give the dog toy back to him. Practice several times to make sure he consistently drops the toy to get the treat.
Give your dog the "drop it" command before showing him a treat. If he drops the toy, praise him and give him a treat. If he doesn't drop the toy, go back to steps 3 and 4, because you might be progressing too fast and your furry pal might not have associated the command with dropping the toy.
Practice the "drop it" command throughout the house and each time you walk him outside so he gets used to obeying in any environment, even with other distractions around. Give your dog a toy to hold in his mouth, or use the command when you catch him with an item in his mouth. Reinforce good behavior by giving treats and praise; gradually start using items that are of great value to your dog, ultimately using his favorite chew toy and his favorite treats.
Reduce the frequency with which you give your dog treats for obeying the "drop it" command. Predominantly use verbal praise, and give treats every now and then. You want there to always be the possibility of getting a treat so your dog keeps obeying you.
Items You Will Need
- Dog toys
- Dog treats
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.