The BIG Mistake People Make When Teaching A Dog To Drop Something

When it comes to teaching a dog to drop something, many people make a common mistake that can hinder the training progress. It may seem like a simple task, but getting your dog to release an object on command requires more than just pulling it out of their mouth. In this blog post, we will reveal the big mistake that many pet owners make and provide some tips and tricks to effectively teach your furry friend to drop something. So, let’s get started!


Teaching your dog to “drop it” is a crucial skill for any pet owner. It can come in handy in a variety of situations, such as preventing your furry friend from swallowing something dangerous or undesirable. However, many people make a big mistake when trying to teach their dog to drop something. In this article, we’ll discuss the common mistakes people make while teaching their dog to drop something and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: Lack of Leadership

Teaching your dog to drop something requires good leadership skills. Dogs instinctively look to their owners for guidance and direction. If the owner lacks the leadership qualities, the pet dog won’t take him seriously. It is essential to establish your leadership and authority from the outset.

When commanding a dog to drop something, you should remain calm and assertive. Avoid signaling any frustration or anger as that can lead to an unpleasant situation where your dog won’t listen to you, or worse, loses trust in you. Establishing a healthy relationship with your furry friend will make it easier for them to learn new skills and commands.

Mistake 2: Not teaching the “Drop It” command before it is needed

Many pet owners make the mistake of assuming their dog knows what “drop it” means, and they only start teaching this command when they are already losing control of the situation. You never want to have to yell “drop it” at your dog frantically, hoping they’ll comply.

The best way to teach your dog to drop something is by practicing the skill before it is needed. Teaching the “drop it” command, just like any other command, takes consistent and dedicated practice. Start by offering a toy to your dog, and the moment they begin to grab it, use the command and reward them if they comply. Repeat this exercise several times a day, slowly progressing to more challenging items.

Mistake 3: Trading for the wrong item or poor timing.

Trading is another technique dog owners use to teach their pets to drop something. It involves offering the dog something else in exchange for the item they have in their mouth or paws. Trading is great because it allows you to redirect your dog’s attention from a potentially unsafe object.

However, many pet owners make the mistake of offering an inadequate trade item. You want to make sure the item you’re offering is of equal or higher value to the object they have. Also, your timing for giving the new item must be perfect. Otherwise, your dog might not understand what is happening and resist.

Mistake 4: Turning “Drop It” into a tug game and using the wrong reward.

Another common mistake that pet owners make is turning the “drop it’” command into a tug game. While this may seem like fun, it is not helpful when trying to teach your dog to drop something and listen to you. Dogs are naturally playful and might think that playing tug with you is the right response to the drop signal.

In the same vein, offering the wrong rewards can confuse your dog. For instance, if your dog is more food-oriented, giving them a toy as a reward will not make much of an impact. Understand what motivates your dog and use that to your advantage.

H2: Dog toys for food-motivated dogs can be useful.

Certain dog toys, especially for food-motivated dogs, can be a tool when teaching your dog to drop something. Investing in a good quality puzzle toy or chew toy can provide your furry friend with mental and physical stimulation while keeping them off dangerous objects.

H2: Practicing with different things is important.

The best way to teach your dog to drop something is by practicing with different items. Over time you can work with different toys, food items, and other objects to strengthen their skills. This will help prepare them for real-life situations when they are drooling over something they shouldn’t be playing with.

H2: The McCann Dogs offer puppy training and life skills programs for dogs.

If you’re struggling with teaching your dog to drop something, it might be time to seek professional help. The McCann Dogs offer puppy training and life skills programs that can help you with this and more. Their approach focuses on building a positive relationship with your dog while offering humane training techniques.

H2: Video training plan is available online.

The McCann Dogs also offer a video training plan that you can follow from the comfort of your own home. The training plan covers everything from basic obedience to complex skills such as agility and rally obedience.

H2: Podcast and Amazon store are also available.

If you’re looking for more resources to help you teach your dog to drop something, The McCann Dogs offer a podcast and an Amazon store where you can find relevant training guides and equipment.


Teaching your dog to drop something is an essential skill that requires consistent practice and dedication. Avoiding the mistakes of poor leadership, not teaching the command before it is needed, trading for the wrong item, turning “drop it” into a tug game, and using the wrong reward can help you teach your pet easily. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to teaching dogs, but with patience, consistency, and intelligent practice, your furry friend can master this valuable skill.


Q1. At what age can I start teaching my dog to drop something?
A1. You can start teaching your dog to drop something as soon as they begin to play with objects. It’s never too early to begin building this skill.

Q2. Can use commands besides “drop it” to teach my dog to let go of objects?
A2. Yes, you can use any command you like as long as you’re consistent with it. The most important thing is to use one command consistently over time.

Q3. Can I use treats as a reward when teaching my dog to drop something?
A3. Yes, you can use treats as a reward as long as they are of higher value than the object your dog is holding. This will encourage them to drop the item and take the reward.

Q4. Is it possible to teach an old dog new tricks?
A4. Yes, with patience and the right techniques, you can teach old dogs new tricks. It might take longer, but it is possible.

Q5. How long does it take to teach a dog to drop something?
A5. The time it takes to teach a dog to drop something depends on the dog’s intelligence, previous training, and the owner’s patience. Consistent practice, where the owner offers appropriate incentives, can speed up the learning process.