At ADU, we know that the best-trained dogs start out by learning foundational habits and skills. Whether you’ve adopted a new puppy or brought an adult dog into your home, teaching basic commands will lay the groundwork for good behavior. Let’s take a look at why all dogs should learn the “Drop it” command in the first few weeks of training.

Health and Safety

Does your dog have a tendency to lick, chew, or pick up any object she encounters? This compulsion often relates to the way dogs learn about their surroundings, which is primarily through scent, sound, and taste. The problem with learning through taste is that your dog can unwittingly swallow toxic and even life-threatening substances. When your dog responds to the command, Drop it, you don’t have to catch up with her and pry things out of her mouth to prevent this kind of health emergency.

Protection of Property

Dogs may also develop the habit of chewing on or taking things that don’t belong to them as a way to relieve boredom. They’re seeking stimulation and connection, and chewing up your stuff can provide both, especially if it gets your attention. “Drop it” can help your dog to understand what is and isn’t an acceptable chew toy. It can also spare you the need to buy a new pair of shoes week after week!

Curbing Territorial Behavior

Territorial behavior over a specific toy, like a favorite ball, can seem harmless when you’re in a contained environment. After all, you know that your dog doesn’t like to have that ball taken away from her, so you don’t. The problem is that when you introduce friends, family, children, or other dogs into the environment, they may try to touch, move, or play with that ball, and your dog may have a scary or even dangerous reaction. By teaching drop it, you establish the boundary that toys are a privilege that will be taken away if bad behavior rears its head.

Appropriate Play

Few dogs can resist a game of fetch, and tossing a ball is a great way to keep your dog active, healthy, and happy. With an untrained dog, however, fetch can turn into a game of keep-away or tug-of-war. While you might not mind this form of “roughhousing” some days, it may not be suitable every day or for every human. When your dog responds to Drop it, you can ensure that playtime is safe and fun for both of you.

Drop it is a straightforward command with straightforward results: regardless of what your dog has in her mouth, she sets it down when asked. Teaching it isn’t always simple, especially if you have a playful, unsocialized, or reactive dog. At All Dogs Unleashed, we know that all dogs are unique, and we work with owners to find the best training methods for them. Find out more about our training programs today.