Teaching Your Dog to ‘Drop It’

Drop it’ is an extremely useful command for your dog to learn. The command lets the dog know that whatever is in it’s mouth needs to be dropped immediately. This is a great command to have if you drop something accidentally on the ground and your dog grabs it, or if your dog picks something repulsive up while on a walk – and we all know how dogs are mysteriously drawn to disgusting things.

The easiest way to teach this command is with a toy that your dog really loves. The dog will not understand the command immediately, but it is important not to start pulling on the toy. The dog will think that ‘drop it’ means ‘let’s play tug-o-war’ and that’s pretty much the opposite of what you want to happen. 

Hand the dog whichever is his favorite toy and say ‘take it’.

Once the dog has taken the toy, do not take your hand off. In your other hand, have another favorite toy or a treat. Treats work better in the early stages of learning this command as food can be a powerful motivator for most canines.

Show the dog the treat and at the same time say “drop it” and give the toy in his mouth a little tug. It should be a trade off. The dog gets the treat in return for dropping the toy.

As your dog becomes more comfortable with the command, practice leaving your hand off the toy once it is in the dog’s mouth so that he drops it onto the floor once you give the command.

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