Nothing ruins a great game of fetch more than a dog that refuses to drop the ball. In fact, some dogs secretly love “keep away” more than they love fetch.
If you have found yourself chasing after your dog, yelling at him to no avail to “Drop it!”, then you have been had! In fact, your dog probably thinks you love the game of keep away as much as he does. After all, you keep playing it.
Teaching your dog to release a ball is fairly easy in most cases. Our guide below offers three simple methods to teach your dog to drop the ball, every time.
Although the command “Drop it!” is often used in fetch, it can and probably should be used for asking your dog to give up just about anything. It is a good emergency trick to have in your back pocket in case you need your dog to release something in a hurry – like something they should not be chewing on in the first place.
Key to understanding how 'drop it' works is to see that your dog is enjoying what he has in his mouth. If you ask him to “drop it” and always take that thing away without giving them something as good or better, then your dog has very little reason to ever give you anything.
If, however, you always give your dog something of equal or greater value, then they know that releasing the object is going to be rewarding. Keep this in mind as you use this command when playing fetch or in other cases and you will have a dog that reliably releases on command.
When training your dog new things, it is always advisable to start in a familiar place indoors. This is so they will not be as distracted and will give you better focus on the task at hand. After they have gained some skill with any new behavior, it is a good idea to start practicing it in new places, adding some distraction to the mix.
Keep your training sessions short and fun for best results. If your dog enjoys learning new things, he will learn faster and bring more enthusiasm to each training session.
Each of the methods below offer a different way to train your dog to release a ball, depending on what most motivates them.