View Full Version : How to teach "Drop it"

11th June 2008, 09:23 PM
Lola loves to play fetch but when she brings back the ball or toy, she will not drop it and it becomnes a tug of war. What is the best way to teach "drop it"? I've tried distracting her with another toy but that hasn't worked so far....

11th June 2008, 10:20 PM
I started by offering a treat,at the same time of offering it to him i wouls say LEAVE.Then lots of praise.I was gentle when i took the object of him,and i said it to something he wasnt to bothered with to start with.Try that.

12th June 2008, 12:09 AM
A treat reward (or a second toy reward) is a good tip to try. Most dogs respond to this technique.

If your dog really enjoys fetch, simply ignoring the dog when it brings the toy back works too. Our Cedar is a fetch-oholic. At first, she would bring the toy back and then try to play tug when I tried to grab it. When she pulled back, I simply let go, assuming the fetch game was over. She would then drop the toy because she wanted me to throw it again. She quickly learned that if she tugged, I let go and fetch was over.

You can teach "drop it" as a formal command so that the dog drops anything you tell it to drop. But if you're just focusing on fetch, one of the two techniques should get the result you want.

12th June 2008, 12:10 AM
Just be careful about the word you want to use. 'Leave' generally is used in training classes for not touching something that you never want the dog to have, while drop it or give is used to ask a dog to surrender an item it has from its mouth. You can use 'leave' for this action but then you need a different command when you actually mean 'leave it' as in ignore and don't touch that at all. That's a very different request from asking a dog to drop something already in its mouth. :thmbsup:

Offering a food trade or a preferred toy -- whatever most interests the dog -- is the right way to teach this.

12th June 2008, 12:14 AM
Worth mentioning too that by playing tug of war, you are being trained by her to do a desired behaviour when she asks. She doesn't understand you want her to drop the item -- which probably isn't at all logical to her when tug of war is lots of fun, or having you chase her to try and retrieve the item. With an activity like fetch the dog needs to be taught the separate components that make up the desired behaviour. There are three parts to fetch -- 1) go get the item; 2) carry back the item to me; 3) place the item on the ground or in my hand (or whatever ) so that I can throw it again.

12th June 2008, 02:15 AM
Thanks for the tips! I will try them as soon as the lilttle princess wakes up!;)

12th June 2008, 10:08 AM
Yep Karlins right,never thought of it that way.Drop and leave are two different commands.

13th June 2008, 03:31 PM
Yes, I agree. Tug of war is banned in my house as Dylan has not learnt reliably let go when asked. He plays fetch nicely with me because I will never even put the slightest tension on the toy while taking it out of his mouth, if I do, he won't let go! Leave it needs to be said before he touches something. I do this every time I put his food down. "Leave it" and "take it", are two useful commands. Not good at drop it yet unless I have a treat to trade!

13th June 2008, 04:08 PM
This 2 articles explain how we train leave it and drop it. Hope they help.


14th June 2008, 07:54 AM
At doggy obedience we use the term "give". The idea was to have a treat in hand & say "give". At first the dog would get rewarded for simply dropping the threat anywhere. Then once that was achieved we moved on to only rewarding if the dog returned with the treat (dropping it at the feet was ok at this stage). Then once that was mastered, the dog would only get the treat if he placed the toy in our open hand.