a photo of a small tan poodle laying in the grass playing with a blue squeaky dog toy representing a blog about training dogs to drop toys

Teaching Your Dog Drop, Take & Toy Manners

Teaching your dog to drop it, take it, and have good manners with toys will serve you both very well.  These skills are helpful for promoting good behavior with objects (food, toys) and in developing a strong bond between you and your furry friend. 

The first cue I recommend for puppies and adult dogs is "Drop It." This cue is particularly important for puppies who have a tendency to pick up and chew on anything they find. It is essential to teach your dog to drop objects on request to prevent them from ingesting something dangerous or getting into trouble. It also makes for much better play sessions.

When a dog is trained to drop toys it makes fetch and playtime fun for both of you. To teach your dog how to drop a toy (or an item they shouldn't have) start by offering a high-value treat as a trade for the item they have in their mouth. Say "Drop It" while showing them the treat. Once they drop the item, reward them immediately with the treat and praise. Practice this with various objects until your dog understands that dropping the item results in a reward. Next you can use a toy as the reward by tossing it as soon as your dog drops it (in replacement of the treat). If your dog drops something they shouldn't have be sure to quickly reward them so they will remember and do it next time!

The second cue and add to drop it is "Take It." This cue is useful for teaching your dog to take objects gently from your hand or to retrieve objects and to let them know it's their "turn".  To teach your dog to take it, hold a treat or toy in your hand and encourage them to gently grab it. Say "Take It" as they do so and reward them with praise. I Remember, consistency and positive reinforcement are key to success.

For toy and play manners you can use both of the cues you learned above. When offering your dog a toy say "Take It!" then, when it's time to release it use your "Drop It". 


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