To teach a dog to drop something he has we start by “trading up” or giving him something of higher value.
To teach “drop it,” complete the following steps:
- Give a dog a toy to play with. Play with him and the toy for a few seconds.
- While the dog is grabbing/chewing on a toy, say the command “drop it” and hold a treat up to his nose. Repeat this until the dog drops the toy immediately when you hold up the treat. If the dog does not release when you hold the treat up, try with a higher value treat. This is good to work on in the play yard, since often dogs play with toys there more than in their kennel.
- Once the dog drops the treat immediately when you start to bring the treat up to his nose, start to increase the time between when you say “drop it” and hold the treat up. You want to get the dog to drop the toy before you have the treat to his face. Continue waiting longer and longer until the dog drops the toy as soon as you say “drop it.”