How to teach drop it? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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How to teach drop it?

My rescue GSD Gracie who I adopted 5 months ago LOVES her ball more than anything in the world (any ball doesn't matter) and I cannot for the life of me get her to drop it on command.

I tried the 'two ball' method. Tried making the ball that I have more fun / squeak and talk excited, move it around, gesture etc to get her to drop the one in her mouth. Tried offering treats (no thank you, I want MY BALL). I can tell she wants to play with me because she will bring the ball to me and drop it for a second but then grab it quickly before I can. I tried ignoring her completely when she does this but she still only drops it for a second and then grabs it again and runs off.

I can take it away from her if I need to and she no longer growls at me when I do so but I just want to teach her to play fetch without having to wrestle it out of her mouth. Both of my other dogs have easily learned the 2 ball game - drop 1 at my feet and I throw a second.

Now if I play tug with her, I can get her to out and she does pretty well with that if I just freeze and stop the game and give her the out command. But it's another story with the ball. She is a very toy crazy and toy possessive dog. Ideas?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 12:51 PM
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I taught Shelby drop it by catching her by her collar once she came back to me with the ball in her mouth. Once I had her by the collar I used my other hand to take the ball out by applying pulling pressure on the ball so if she adjusted her grip it would pop out. As soon as it's out of her mouth there is praise and then the ball is thrown again, and then repeat. Once she started realizing once she dropped it I'd throw it again she releaized she has more fun if she gives it back to me. Do not chase her to make chase fun. If she won't come back to you by calling her excitedly then get a long leash next time and gently throw the ball a short distance then 'reel' her back.

Make sure she knows this game is way more fun than playing by herself, so keep it light and cheery! She at least grabs the ball when it's thrown so you're halfway there!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 01:20 PM
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The two ball worked great for us. When my kids play fetch with Max I notice sometimes he gets in the habit of not giving me the ball- I will give him a down command then a stay command he will then spit out the ball out of his mouth. It seems to put him in the listening mode.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 08:42 PM
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I enjoy the advice from The Collared Scholar. She had trouble with a ball loving dog as well
http://www.collared-scholar.com/teac...-dogs-to-out/

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 10:19 PM
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Seems to me...once the pup figures out...greater enjoyment occurs after releasing a play object....the more willing/quickly they release the item...same could be said for...once they figure out there's less of a hassle/consequence the sooner they release the item...the fun begins again. I suppose it depends on the nature of your dog...and which of you is making the rules of the "game"....either way....it's gotta be "fun" for the dog....and keep away isn't an option...at least for me.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 11:42 PM
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You could always go back to basics and do it as you might a puppy - go to a hallway or corner in the house where the only way to walk away with the ball is back to you, then either use two balls or have her drop it and toss it again until she realizes the benefit of it. My one rescue back home didn't learn how to play fetch properly until he was about 6 because he just didn't understand it. He got the grasp of it using the hallway method and now he loves to play it and drop it at your feet.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 02:47 PM
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We taught ours by grabbing the ball (at this point it is a tug game), giving the command "aus", and gently tickling his ear hair at the same time with the other hand. They always release ehen the ear is tickled. Then praise. Pretty wuickly they release without the ear and without you putting your hand on the ball.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 01:10 PM
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I just stumbled onto this and it's worked to a degree. I'd like to add my comment to this thread as I have a question too that fits in here.

He loves to retrieve but wouldn't give the ball back once he brought it to me. So I started playing with two balls and when he brought the first one to me I'd ask him to drop it. When he did, I threw the second ball. This eventually lead to him dropping the ball right as he reached me without waiting for the command. I refused to throw the ball when he did this and instructed him to sit, put the ball back in his mouth, then asked him to drop it. When he did, I threw the second ball.

The only problem I'm having now is needing two things. For example, he won't drop something unless he has a reward. Any suggestions on how to fix this? When I have a reward, he will drop anything. But if I just need him to drop something, say another dogs toy, a stick, etc... he won't drop it unless I have something else to give him.

Thanks folks!

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