Dogs have a way of stealing things, then running off with them. They especially enjoy your pursuit of them through the house, while they almost let you catch them before sprinting off again. Or even more dastardly, they wind up under the sofa or bed, holding your item hostage.
We raise a lot of puppies here — usually one a year. I’ve gotten really good at teaching the dogs to happily give up their latest treasure. The video below will give you the first steps to teaching a rock-solid “drop it” to your dog.
First, you’ve got to get good at feigning indifference when you’re forgetful and leave something valuable within the dog’s reach. If it’s available to them, then in their minds, it’s theirs. So set your dog up for success and keep your good stuff way up high or in a cabinet or closet.
Then, teach your dog how good it is that they play with their own stuff. How? Simple: everytime you see them playing with one of their own toys, go play with them! Praise them! Make a big deal about it!
At the same time, you’re also going to teach them how to give stuff up. The video covers all that ground. This is the first of a series of Drop It videos, and it’ll get you started on the road of No More Stolen Stuff.
Your Turn: What’s the most valuable thing (or the most dangerous thing) you’ve gotten back from your dog? Leave a comment below and let us know.