Training your dog how to obey simple basic commands like “drop it” is quite relevant and will save you a lot of chewed rugs and toys around the house.
However, before I can give you tips on how to teach your dog how to obey the “drop it” command, there are a few things that I ought to caution you about.
Most dog owners get heated up and angry when their dog has something they should not be having in their mouth and have refused to let go of it.
What automatically happens next is they get frustrated and hit the poor dog. You need to know that dogs do not respond well to being smacked or dominated.
When you punish or hit your dog to get them to drop something, will not make them willingly obey you. Instead they lose respect for you. If they do drop it they will do so not having learnt anything.
Here are 5 simple steps on how to teach your dog the “drop it” command.
1. Give your dog a toy
Choose a toy that your dog likes and not one they love.
If you let them pick their favorite toy, your dog might have a hard time letting the toy go. This will make it even harder for you to teach him the “drop it” command.
Once your dog has put the toy they like in their mouth, then you can command them to “drop it!” while you show them a treat they love. This could be their favorite dog biscuit or any other yummy treat.
2. Use a clicker
It is important for you to have a clicker which will act like a “mark” for good behavior, which is dropping the toy that you asked him to.
A clicker is simply a small hand-held device that has a small metal tongue with a button over it, which when pressed makes a clicking sound.
You can use a clicker for marking good behavior because the sound it produces is sharp, very distinct and consistent allowing your dog to recognize when he has done something good.
3. Repeat the training using a toy your dog loves
Once you have done the exercise for about a week, you need to start all over again with a toy they love.
You can choose a toy or object that your dog absolutely loves. This could be their favorite toy or dog biscuit. Repeat the same process while exchanging the toy with a treat.
Continue with the training several times a day for at least a week. If your dog still does not want to drop their favorite toy, you can repeat using a toy that is less valuable to them until they master the “drop it” command.
4. Make the treats less
Once you see that your dog is learning fast, you need to make the treats less and less every time he drops an item.
You can decide to give your dog a treat once or twice so that they do not know when the next treat is coming.
This kind of approach is known as the “intermittent reinforcement”. It is one of the most effective ways that you can get a dog to learn how to do something on a long-term basis.
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5. Repeat using more challenging items
Continue with the exercise as you progress using more challenging toys and items. You can also upgrade the kind of treats that you use to reward your dog.
Remember to praise your dog every time he follows through with a command. The more you practice consistently, the faster your dog will master the “drop it” command.
In conclusion, these simple steps ought to effectively guide you how to teach your dog the “drop it” command.
Consistency is key to a successful training. Make sure that you are consistent in your training sessions.
Make sure that you repeat the exercise a number of times every day for at least a week. Use the same commanding words to avoid confusing your furry friend.
In order to successfully train your dog how to obey the “drop it” command, make sure that you reward them periodically.
Once they learn this command, you will both benefit as you will have less chewed up rugs and keeping him safe from chewing dangerous items. It is a win-win!
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