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Dog Training/challenging drop it command


We rescued Molly, a 5 year old Golden retriever last year and we are having serious issues with the the "drop it command." She'll only drop things when she wants to. When in the yard, she'll grab stuff like dead animals, animal poop and the she'll run off with them almost as if it was a fun game. So far, we can only have her drop easy items like a toy. Higher value things forget it. And in the yard things get really challenging, it's almost as if it's a fun game for her as she'll get them and then take off. When I tell her to drop it and try to trade with a high value treat,  instead of trading, she just gulps the item down and then wants the treat. Please tell us what we're doing wrong. I followed our trainer's advice to exchange items using higher value items, but it just doesn't seem to work, I might be missing something. We have four fenced acres and don't want to be forced to keep her in kennel all day. Thanks!

Thanks for your question, Laura.  I have the perfect technique for you.  Watch this video and practice, practice, practice!  Rehearse until it's second nature for the dog to open her mouth when you say "drop".  If necessary use a new word or phrase if she already has a negative association with "drop it".

Please let me know if you have any questions after watching the video.  Another alternative when you can't monitor her is to have her wear a muzzle.  The same trainer has a great video on conditioning the dog to wear a muzzle.

Good luck!

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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