How to Train Your Dog to ‘Take It And Drop It’

October 1, 2017
As a dog owner with over 25 years of experience, I can attest that having a dog is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. The companionship and joy they bring is incomparable.


A pet can be one of the most delightful things to have in your life. Spend some time caring for one and you will realize how such a trivial subject that people often take for granted has become something very special and meaningful to you. If you have ever had - or have - a dog as a pet , you’ll know what amazing pets they can be. They are loyal and dote on you infinitely in exchange for the smallest acts of caring and kindness. As owners you want to be able to protect your dogs from all kinds of harm, those they know about and those they can’t often detect. You also want them to be able to become an integrated part of your life so that they don’t create hassles for you and run out of control.

For this, all kinds of training are super important and the quicker you get around to it the better. Your dog really needs to know the rules before he can get punished for breaking them. Dog training can be accomplished through using a specific set of actions and stimuli to modify the behavior of the dog the way you want. Conditioning the dog is not meant to be abusive to the dog if all the tactics that are used are safe and keep him out of harm.  Additionally, if the training given to the dog is causing him any harm then it is completely wrong and should not be allowed.

Dogs love taking things in their mouths, most of the time its grab first and think later. When it comes to those great new shoes you bought for a night out with your friends, you really don’t want to risk any chance of them getting spoiled by your canine friend. For occasions like this, teaching your dog to ‘take it and drop it’ can be pretty important. The ‘take it’ direction commands the dog to pick an object in his mouth and the ‘drop it’ order will direct him to release an object he already possess from the hold in his mouth. There are many ways to go about doing this.

Training Method

One way of training your dog to ‘take it or drop it’ is composed of two primary modes of action. First, by familiarizing the dogs with the directives associated with taking and dropping items and then, allocating importance to the objects that are presented to the dog, successively using higher value objects to accomplish the task.

Start by choosing two objects that the dog can play with, however they must be relatively low importance items, that do not hold too much value in the eyes of the dog. Begin by showing one of these objects to the dog and hiding the other one behind your back. Wait until he shows any indication that he wants to play with the item that you have presented to him.

As the dog opens his mouth to grab the object, be sure to say ‘take it’. Enunciate this properly so that the dog can hear it. This will help the dog associate saying these particular words with the action of picking up an object. Identifying and familiarizing the dog to directives that signal specific actions is one of the most important parts of dog training so try to be as clear as possible.

After the dog plays with the object for a while display the other object which is hidden behind your back to the dog and wait for him to notice it. As he sees it he will want to play with it, this will require letting go of the first object he was previously playing with. As he releases the first object from his mouth say, ‘drop it’. Simultaneously, as he picks up the second object introduced say ‘take it’.

Practice this exercise with your dog a few times as it may not pan out exactly in the way described so you might have wait and experiment with a few objects. Try to ensure that the series of events matches the aforementioned steps as many times as is possible. Practice in dog training, like any other form of behavioral development, can be very important and decide whether the training is actually affective.

By applying this method, your dog should be exhibiting the particular behavior regularly, this is of course is dependent on how well you can follow the previous steps. When you think the time is right and the dog is ready, start adding importance to the objects you use to train the dog. The more valuable the object you use the likelier it is that the dog will not want to let go of it.

In any case, if the dog does not adhere to letting go of the more valuable objects, find some distance between yourself and the dog and introduce a different object. Start trying to draw his attention to it by playing with it instead. As the dog becomes more curious he will let go of the object he is playing with at what point you should continue employing the same strategy by telling him to ‘drop it’ and as he approaches the new item, handing it to him and tell him to ‘take it’.

This is an easy method in the sense that it does not require any complex understanding. However ascertaining how successful it can be is entirely dependent on you and your dog. How well you can teach the ideas to him is very important as these actions are the few ways you have to communicate with the dog . They can send a wrong message if the timing and execution is not right. Dog nature also varies by breed and individual personality meaning that some are more likely to adhere whereas others may take much longer to be able to train. Just remember to be calm and patient as your dog will not be able to respond to any loud and harsh directives; instead they may make him more difficult to take care of.

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