Does this sound familiar….
“My dog steals socks and runs around the house with them in his mouth. He knows hes not supposed to have it, but looks at me because he loves when I chase him.”
“My dog just ate my favorite flip flops, I tried to get them from her, but by the time I was able to, she had done too much damage.”
“Toilet paper is my dogs favorite toy. Oh, well the stuffing from his toys is up there too.”
These are all real stories from real clients. To some dogs, there is nothing more fun than stealing something they know they shouldn’t have and watching you squirm to get it back. If you begin the “drop it” command at a very young age, you will be able to avoid this type of behavior. Drop it can be taught in a very fun and interactive way and can be started at any age. Even the most stubborn dog will not be able to resist this game.
The first thing you need to get is two of the same exact toy (preferably a ball). Same color, size, shape, brand, etc. The reason for this is that you want your dog to value both of the toys equally. If one of the toys are more exciting than the other, your dog will just decide to take that toy, go in a corner, and play with it himself. I have an 83 pound pit mix and I use two Kong balls, they are tough and can handle some chewing.
Next you need to make sure that these toys are special and are only used when interacting with you. You are the main element of fun in this game and it is up to you to keep your dog engaged in the game. Only bringing out these toys during this game will help.
Hold both balls in your hands and then throw one. If your dog enjoys chasing a ball, this will automatically cause your dog to run and go get it. After your dog gets the first ball, lure him back to you by playing with the second ball. You want to taunt him a little, throw and catch it, make it look really fun and appealing. Call your dog to bring the first ball to you and when he gets to you say “drop it” while making the ball you have in your hand look SO much more fun. Wait until he voluntarily drops the ball in his mouth and as soon as he does, say “yes” immediately and then throw the ball in your hand. As he goes to chase the second ball, pick up the first and repeat the process.
Your dog will love this game and it is educational at the same time. You dont have to exert much energy since your dog is bringing the ball back to you each time and your dog is learning that when he drops something for you, he gets an even better reward, which is another round of fetch.
Enjoy and have fun while you train!