Train Your Dog to Release or “Drop It”

“Drop it” is a must-know command. It can save your dog from having his stomach pumped if he swallows something dangerous, and it’s also useful when your dog has something you want (like the TV remote). Teaching your dog to drop something on command isn’t hard as long as you’re consistent.

Why You Should Teach “Drop It”

If a dog is in charge of the house, then he will be the one deciding when to drop something. If you have ever taught your dog how to sit, stay and come, then you should be able to teach him how to drop it as well. Dogs can use their mouths for many things other than biting or chewing on something, so you will want your dog to learn that he doesn’t need his mouth on something in order for him/her to keep it. This will help ensure your peace of mind and help prevent any accidents from happening due to not being able to release whatever they are holding onto when told so by their owner(s).

Teaching your dog to release an object he’s holding on to is a great way to ensure that he doesn’t steal the family jewels when you leave him alone with the remote control. If you have a retriever who picks up everything that isn’t nailed down, this is also a super-handy behavior to teach.

It’s also good for dogs who have a habit of stealing food off counters or out of the garbage.

Your dog should be able to drop his favorite toy, bone or treat on command in order to eat. This can help prevent your pup from getting sick on spoiled food.

And it’s a safety issue around other dogs and children, who may think they can take something away from your dog, only to find his teeth clamping down on their hand instead.

You can also teach your dog to “drop it” when there are other dogs around. If your dog is off leash and playing with another dog, they may be tempted to grab an object from the other dog’s mouth. This could lead to a fight between the two of them over possession of that item.

Even if you’re not in any danger, having a dog who doesn’t know how to release things safely can be frustrating for you—especially when it comes time for training or walks outside. You’ll need to constantly pick up after him as he scatters toys across the house, yard, or park.

Gather the Stuff You’ll Need

Gather the items you’ll need to train. You’ll want a few high-value treats, such as chicken or cheese, and one or two toys that your dog loves. A safe space where your dog can feel comfortable is crucial; if you take him outdoors and he feels insecure, he may not be able to focus on learning anything new. The best way to ensure success is by putting your dog in a quiet area (away from kids running around) where he won’t be distracted by stimuli like other dogs or squirrels running across nearby trees in the park.

You should also make sure that when you begin this exercise with treats, they’re very easy for your dog to obtain by simply taking them out of his mouth—if they’re too difficult for him to eat without biting onto them first, then it will be harder than necessary for him learn how much fun dropping things can be!

How to Teach “Drop It” With a Treat

Teaching your dog how to drop an object will take several training sessions and a lot of patience. As always, check out our guide for choosing positive reinforcement training treats before you get started.

Start by getting your pup interested in whatever it is that he has picked up—this can be as simple as putting some food on top of or behind it so he’ll pick it up in his mouth and start looking around while nibbling the treat off the object. If there isn’t any food involved, try using playtime as an incentive instead—your pup will probably jump at the chance if he likes his toys well enough!

You’ll start by placing a treat in the toy and tossing it across the room. When your dog goes for it, say “drop it” in an excited tone of voice. If he doesn’t drop the toy right away, take it away and try again until he does release it. If he drops the toy after hearing you say “drop,” reward him with praise/praise-based treats or affection as appropriate for your dog’s temperament (if he seems like he needs more encouragement).


The easiest way to teach your dog to drop an object is by using a treat. Once your dog learns the command, he will start to associate it with dropping anything. If you’re working on getting your dog to drop an object, make sure that both of you are in a safe space where there aren’t any distractions and other dogs present because this can lead to confusion or even injury.