HomeTrainingHow to Teach Your Dog to Drop It

How to Teach Your Dog to Drop It

Why You Should Teach “Drop It”

The ”drop it” command is the most effective way to get them to give up anything they’re not supposed to have. This can also be a helpful method to teach your dog to play more safely.

Teaching your dog to “drop it” will be much more effective than chasing them or trying to grab objects by hand. Chasing a dog with something in its mouth will make this a fun game, and they’ll learn to run away from you instead.

You can teach your dog to “drop it” using a portion of their food or some of their toy toys, depending on what motivates your dog the most.

When teaching the “drop it” command, other commands complement it and will make your training more likely to succeed. You can play fetch with him and drag and drop. And you can even teach them tricks like putting toys in the toy bin.

Problems and Proofing Behavior

teaching puppies drop it
The dog gnaws a dead animal in its mouth, which is dangerous for him

Puppies explore the world with their mouths. Sometimes our puppies pick up toxic things like dead animals and garbage, or they chew our shoes, etc. Therefore, teaching your dog the “Drop it” command is essential at this time. The main purpose of this command is to teach your hairy friend to drop anything from his mouth that they should not.

Moreover, this behavior can sometimes save a dog’s life if they stick their teeth into something dangerous or rough. A short period for your dog to learn the “drop it” command. However, some dogs can be distracted and confused by what you teach them, so be patient to be successful. If you’re planning to do it but don’t know where you should start. The following article will be helpful for you.

How to Teach “Drop It” With a Toy

Some dogs may prefer toys to food and therefore will not drop their favorites in exchange for a food reward. In this case, you will need to use another toy to attract them, and when they drop it, praise and reward them with the new toy. Treats, praise, and fun should all be incorporated as rewards for a successful release. Turn “Drop It” into a fun game to ensure your dog succeeds.

training dogs drop it
Use the toy to train your dog to drop it

Step 1: Teach your dog to swap between two toys

In this method, you need to use two similar toys or items that your dog loves, and the goal is that your dog will want to trade something significant in exchange for anything that it has in its mouth. Throw one of the toys for them to fetch, when they return, get their attention with a second toy and play with it enthusiastically. You must show them how interesting the second toy is. Please be patient and try not to lose your enthusiasm.

Step 2: Make sure the dog finds the second toy equally enjoyable

It may take a long time for the dog to drop the first toy but as soon as the toy falls out of her mouth, mark that behavior and say: “Drop it” and give him the second toy as a reward. Then, play with the second toy and ensure they’re just as excited as the first.

Step 3: Repeat the swapping of the toys

While your dog is playing with the second toy, use the first to engage them and repeat the process. After the training, your dogs will automatically release the toy they are holding in their mouth when you give them the other toy. If your dog enjoys a game of tug of war, you can do this instead with suitable toys and follow the same steps.

Step 4: Add verbal cues associated with their behavior

When your dog frequently drops items when presented with another toy, you can now introduce additional verbal cues: “drop.” Command clearly and unequivocally. To get started, practice as before and say “drop” when your dog lets go of the toy. Do this repeatedly until your dog immediately lets go of the toy when they hear the word “drop.” Now you can move on to asking them to “drop” the toy without a reward. Always give them praise if they do it right.

How to Teach “Drop It” Using Food or Treat

Step 1: The food reward will motivate the dog to understand the drop command

To get started, issue a “drop” command once and place the treat on the floor for your dog. After your dog has finished eating and interacted with you again, repeat this. Practice this behavior 5 to 10 times for a few short practice sessions. Once your dog starts foraging on the floor, as soon as they hear the word “drop,” you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Encourage your dog to exchange toys into food

This method will be more straightforward if you use a toy that is not their favorite, so they are likely to drop it. Encourage your dog to play with the toy for a few seconds, then use the cue word “drop” and place the food on the floor. You can quickly try and take toys from them, but your dog’s best bet needs to be motivated to swap their positions on his own. Again, practice this move for a couple of short sessions, with at least ten repetitions each.

Step 3: Wait for the dog to drop the toy before awarding them food

Repeat the training process, but this time wait for the dog to drop the toy on its own before you put the food on the floor. When your dog repeatedly drops a toy before you give it food, try doing it with a toy that your dog likes a little more. Keep practicing until puppies are adept at dropping it when you tell them to.

If your dog doesn’t drop the toy, don’t try to get it back from them. Instead, remain calm and try to distract your dog with the treat. You will probably be disappointed that the pups don’t follow the commands correctly, but your dog may need a break, or you may have taught too quickly for them to understand. Relaxing and doing it again from the beginning at another suitable time.

What to Avoid When Teaching the “Drop It” Cue

how to teach your puppy drop it
Chasing the dog is one of avoiding things in the process of training them to drop it

In any skill to teach your dog, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to avoid getting caught. Here are some notes to avoid when training your dog to drop it.

Don’t Raise Your Voice or Scold

Don’t sound harsh or yell at them loudly. Using extreme gestures as a threat to the dog reduces the effectiveness of the training process. Worse, it only teaches your dog to run away from you with something in its mouth. We want to teach our dogs that “dropping” something out of their mouth is equivalent to getting something better, turning it into something they want to do.

Don’t Chase Your Dog

Chasing is almost a game that any dog ​​loves, and he becomes extremely excited every time he has the opportunity to participate. There is no better time for them to run away from you than when they have a valuable item in their mouth that they want to hide. Chasing your dog will only encourage them to run away, and it is unlikely they will drop the item.


Generalize training by asking to ”drop it” in various environments and objects. Once your dog knows the command, ensure you hold ”reinforcement” courses from time to time to keep them up to date. Especially, always keeping the dog training process comfortable and extremely enjoyable is essential.

Camp Canine Florida
Camp Canine Florida
We are special people who love pets, especially dogs. Over the past 3 years, we have accumulated a lot of experience in how to care for and train dogs. Now, what we're doing is building an in-depth blog to share knowledge that will help you get to know your dogs better, making you and your dog best friends.

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