How to Teach Your Dog the Drop Command

Teach your dog the drop command for safety.

One of the essential commands all dogs should learn is drop. Not only will this help the two of you play fetch easier, but it will also increase your dog's safety. Dogs often like to pick up, chew on, lick, and swallow things they shouldn't, and the drop command might mean the difference between life and death if your dog grabs something dangerous and you're too far away to get it out of her mouth.

Preparing to Teach the Drop Command

Here are some basic steps to follow when preparing to train your dog the drop command:

A clicker can help your dog learn commands faster. Learn more here: "Clicker Training for Dogs: An Overview."

Steps for Training the Drop Command

Once you're ready to do a training session for the drop command, follow these steps:

While training the drop command, you should only use items that are appropriate for your dog to pick up and chew. Eventually, of course, you want her to respond to the command when she's holding something inappropriate in her mouth, but you don't want to use those items for training.

Remember, always stay positive when training your dog. Negative reinforcement, including yelling and physical punishment when she isn't doing what you want, doesn't work well and can damage your relationship. Instead, only do training sessions when you feel patient, keep them short to allow your dog to be successful, and give positive reinforcement as your dog makes progress in the right direction.

If it doesn't seem to be going well, try using a less well-loved toy and/or a tastier treat to help things go smoother.

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