Have you ever tried to pry your dog’s mouth open to get out your tennis shoe? Your dog probably thought this was a wonderful game of tug and held on tighter! With “drop it,” your dog will learn to drop an object into your hand on command. This can come in handy in many different situations. All you need is your dog’s toy, some high-value treats (slices of hot dogs are a good example), and, of course, your dog!
- Get out one of your dog’s toys and start playing with it with your furry friend. Some dogs will simply hoard the toy and refuse to let go. If this is the case, don’t try to wrench the toy from your dog. Instead, offer your dog a high-value treat. He will probably drop it right away! Remember to slip in the command “drop it” before you offer the treat. Do this several times.
- Now that your dog is starting to respond when you say “drop it,” start insisting that your dog drops the toy in your hand. This can be very convenient if you’re tired of bending over to get your dog’s toy during fetch.
- After much practice of this, start weaning your dog off of the treats. Find out what motivates your pet most. A belly rub? Just a good word? A game of fetch? Every once in a while, reward your dog that way. Remember, don’t suddenly stop giving treats. This will discourage your dog and cause him not to obey. It has to be gradual.
Sissy’s Tips and Techniques
- You may have to try several different treats to find out what motivates your dog best. Here are some examples: bananas, ham, bacon-flavored treats, carrots.
- Some dogs prefer to keep their beloved toys, no matter how wonderful the treat. Don’t ever yell at your dog, hit him, or mumble angry words. Your dog will know that you’re disappointed and feel discouraged. Be patient and kind, and your dog will eventually catch on.
Sometimes, dogs will get something dangerous in their mouths. If your dog does, you need to get it out right away. Prying your dog’s mouth open sometimes won’t work, and hitting and yelling at him is ineffective. This will only frighten him and make him hold on tighter. If your dog doesn’t respond to a high-value treat, try blowing in his nose or applying a little pressure to his ear.