DROP IT, LET GO, or RELEASE Command
You enter a room and right in front of you is your dog, our case either Peggi Sue or Paige, with an object that’s forbidden, dangerous, or just something you want him/her to release, what now?
First never run to your dog. Dogs just love to play chase and you chasing after the item increases its value in your dog's mind. This action may cause your dog to shallow whatever or run in anticipation of playing chase when you approach your dog. You need to start training your pup the “DROP IT,” “RELEASE, or “LET GO” command
IMPORTANT: If your pup has not been trained yet on this command and they have something in their mouth, do not get excited. Do not grab the item out of their mouth unless that is your only option as they may bite you, swallow it or choke. Taking it without a trade can cause Resource Guarding or possessive of their toys in the future. ALWAYS TRADE. I never had a Eurasier growl at me as I was taking an item away from them, but some dogs/breeds will do so, this is when you need to make a trade with human food.
Reach for the bag, a piece of paper that will make a noise like you are opening a package or a bag. Dogs learn quickly this noise (especially when it comes to cheese) chances they will drop the item and come to investigate. .
Walk calmly to get treats. Toss the treats around the dog. Create a trail away from the item. This should give you time to get the forbidden item. When I have a new pup in the house, I have small containers in each room filled with treats so I do not have to go too far.
Grab another toy, especially one that makes noise. Start playing with it. Tossing it up in the air and around your pup. Make it squeak. Your pup will pick up on the excitement, leaving the other item. Pups like children love to play.
You need to start training your pup the “DROP IT “RELEASE, or “LET GO” command. The wording is up to you and stay with the same word for this command This is different from the “leave it” command. The “leave it” command is used when walking on a street and the dog comes across another dog’s poop or a dead bird. I will explain this in another post.
First you need to find that favorite toy and a favorite treat like pieces of cooked chicken, cheese or hotdogs. Harry loves “Train Me “which we include in your “take home bag.” Our girls and Fred love yellow American cheese.
Offer a chew or a toy. Hold on to one end as you show him/her the treat in your other hand. At this point they should release the toy/chew and go for the treat. This is the point that you say “let go: or “drop it.” Never pull the training item out of their mouth. Give your dog a chance to drop the object. Wait a second or two after you've given the cue to allow them the opportunity to process what they are learning. Only do this for about 5 to 10 minutes up to no more than three times a day. Start by doing this command three times and no more than five times in a row. Always end on a position upbeat note. If your pup does not seem to catch on right away, after the third time STOP. Especially with Eurasiers, they do not respond to harsh treatment or commands. Always treat your pup with the respect and gentleness that you would like to be treated yourself. After your dog releases it into your hand, move on to the next step.
What if the dog still does not drop it? Then move the treat to right under their nose. After time you can move your hand away from their nose.
Clicker- I am not a big fan of clicker training. It is one more thing that you need to carry all the time and deal with especially with those of us that have only two hands. When dealing with fresh foods such as cooked meats or cheese, it gets slimy. My service dogs need to watch me for commands that may need only hand signals or facial expressions.
You now should be able to hand back to your dog the chew or toy without holding onto it. They should now understand this command. Always have a treat in your hand, this builds trust and ultimately as the pup gets older you can do this without any treats.
Repeat this command. Not only will you see your dog respond to your command but this will build a strong bond between the two of you.
If you toss the toy or chew, they may bring it back to you or not because Eurasier are not known for their retrieving abilities. Retrieving is not as natural for this breed as it is for a lab. Do not punish them or force them. If they do start to bring back the item, incorporate this game into your playtime. There are some Eurasiers out there that are retrieving. Harry will bring back a ball to Nick, but not to Lew.
If your dog grabs the treats out of your hand, you may want to toss the treat in front of the dog after she releases the object. You need to step back from this command and teach your pup the proper way to obtain treats.
NEVER physically pull the chew or toy. This can cause you to pull out teeth. Always tug gently when playing tug of war.
Always wait until she drops it, give her a treat, and then pick up the chew or toy to toss or play with again. Only move on to non-toy objects when you are 100% certain your dog will drop any toy, anytime, anywhere.
Changing environments when teaching this command only after they have it concept down. Try the command on a walk. This will help reinforce the command that it will not matter where your dog is or what he/she has in their mouth. DOG LOVE STUFF THAT STINK.
What if my dog does not have a favorite toy???? A toy or chew that is soaked in beef or chicken broth that you let dry, will help motive the pup to want the item.
Get into the habit of crawling around on the floor looking for items that can be dangerous. Puppies love to chew cords…number one cause of deaths in pups. (I was vacuuming the living room floor when Paige was a pup. I bent down to pick up a toy of Nick’s, within a few seconds, Paige chewed my vacuum cord which was plugged in. Luckily she pulled it out of the outlet and nothing happened to her. I always get on my hands and knees when cleaning to see what is in their view.