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Discussion Starter #1
I've been teaching my 13 week puppy to drop it using toys but he won't drop the things I really want him to like his leash or sticks outside. Can I train him with those things too as they happen or am I just training him to pick up that stuff so he can get a treat? Thanks.
 

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I don't think they're diabolical enough to figure out that they can get treats that way, but maybe they do. Take treats with you and do training as the event happens. I don't think you should let any teachable moment slip by if you can help it.
 

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Until he is trained, don't ask him to drop it unless you have a treat, toy, or other desirable bribe ready to offer. Learn which things are worth it to him, and use that knowledge. Also, prevent him from picking things up in the first place that you don't want him to have.


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Until he is trained, don't ask him to drop it unless you have a treat, toy, or other desirable bribe ready to offer. Learn which things are worth it to him, and use that knowledge. Also, prevent him from picking things up in the first place that you don't want him to have.


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Agreed. The "leave it" command may be something to consider. :)
 

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But if he ends up getting a treat every time he picks something up won't he learn to pick up those things? It doesn't seem like a huge conceptual leap
 

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He has things he is ALLOWED to pick up, right? Unless you literally are not allowing him to pic up ANYTHING, then no, he won't learn that because most of the time when he pics up a toy he will just play with it, not get a treat for it.

Also, don't treat "drop it" the same for a chew toy that is his as for a shoe that he isn't allowed to have. Reprimand for picking things up that he isn't allowed to have, and teach him not to pick them up rather than teaching him to hand them to you.

If by some wild chance he learns to pick things up and bring them to you for treats, then you have successfully taught him the "drop it" command, and from there all you need to do is ignore him if you don't need him to drop it, because again, you have taught him not to pick up things he shouldn't so he will only be picking up his own things.


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Also, don't treat "drop it" the same for a chew toy that is his as for a shoe that he isn't allowed to have.

I somewhat agree but aus or drop it ( never "leave it" ) has benefit across the board, nothing wrong with proofing a dog with an item which you describe as "his" and expecting a crisp drop. Instilling this mentality/interaction with a pup offers great benefit especially with pups which might grow into resource guarders.

I'm thinking, by the time the pup has the "shoe", I'm already behind the curve and missed that "teachable moment".
 

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There is a point to that. However, it's important to teach the concept of "no." Even the simple difference of saying "no. Drop it." Instead of "good boy, drop it" is worth it IMO.


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There is a point to that. However, it's important to teach the concept of "no." Even the simple difference of saying "no. Drop it." Instead of "good boy, drop it" is worth it IMO.


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I mostly agree excepting that "no" is somewhat all encompassing whereas "drop it" is conditional. There are times where I want my dog not to "drop" something.
 

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I think a lot of it has to do with fine tuning the training to the needs of the family the dog lives it. For my dog, and my family, my dog does very well when he understands that whatever he is doing or has just done is unacceptable. There were no swiftly and clearly communicates this. This Will not be the case with every dog, but it works very well for us therefore distinguishing between I'm "I must put this down right now and never pick it up again" and "I will pick this up again in the future because it is a toy, and I can bring it to my owner and put it in their hand."


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So if I can get my dogs to drop toys but not sticks and i've missed the opportunity with leave it. And I'd just be teaching him to pick up sticks if I train him to drop them, then how do i train him to drop sticks? Thanks
One can use many methods to teach a "drop it" I suppose. Many use the swap with a higher value item or something like two ball. However, if a dog is reluctant to drop an item, pressure applied by pushing down on the dog's tongue will generally work. Pressing the flews against the upper canines will also work if the dog's mouth is too closed to apply pressure to the tongue. When your dog has a stick in its mouth, issue the same command you use for the release of a toy. When the dog does not release, I would use one of the two methods above and the MOMENT the dog relaxes its grip and you have possession, use your positive verbal marker followed by praise. If you have any concerns about the dog biting you or feel you are not capable of these methods, then don't. Furthermore, if you feel that your dog is working for food treats and picking up items so it can be rewarded then you need to be more random with the frequency of treating the dog.

I have also seen people teach a dog to drop an item using distraction to break the dog's reluctance to drop an item, something as simple as a slight pressure to the lower lobe of their ear or a quick "sneaky" peck to the flank which makes the dog investigate the source and most always drops the object in its mouth. Once again, command is issued and an instant positive verbal marker followed with praise when the dog releases.

I also think it is important while teaching a dog a basic "drop it", one should teach a "hold" or "carry" to further contrast the commanded behavior and obedience.

Your comment " And I'd just be teaching him to pick up sticks if I train him to drop them" confuses me a bit. "Leave it" is trained before the dog ever has possession while "drop it" is after the fact. Train with some sticks in your backyard as "leave it" items if you never plan on wanting your dog to pick up sticks, you must be consistent.

One last thought, your comment " But if he ends up getting a treat every time he picks something up won't he learn to pick up those things?" Why would the dog ever get a treat for picking up items you don't want the dog to pick up? And I'm curious, what do you currently do when the dog will not release a stick?
 

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I reread your original post. Your 13 week old puppy is exactly that. At that age, I might use indifference and become less "fun" when a pup doesn't do what I believe it is capable of, based on my performance and abilities as well. One has to be realistic about the rambunctious, flighty and short attention span of a young pup. I'm not suggesting that obedience skills cannot be introduced and taught but 13 weeks should be more focused on foundation training with obedience not taking the base position. The more you can accomplish through keeping it "fun" during your less than lengthy sessions at this age, I believe will benefit you more over the years.
 

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One last thought, your comment " But if he ends up getting a treat every time he picks something up won't he learn to pick up those things?" Why would the dog ever get a treat for picking up items you don't want the dog to pick up? And I'm curious, what do you currently do when the dog will not release a stick?
First, thanks for your responses. To answer your questions: I don't give him a treat for picking the item up but rather use it as a lure to get him to drop it, as I do I say "drop it" and when he does, I treat him. That's the method I see used to teach a dog to drop toys (unless the dog loves tug and that can be used as a reward - which mine doesn't). Problem is we generally don't mind when a dog picks up toys. I didn't know if it was wise to teach him (or proof the command rather) with things I don't want him to pick up.

Oh and when he doesn't drop it and I don't have a treat I put my fingers against his teeth and wedge his jaw open.
 
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