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Hello! So I have an 8 month old german shepherd named Eli who learns commands and tricks SO quickly and loves to learn them and practice them! However...he seems to be a little picky when it comes to participating in the "drop" command. He used to be very good about giving the ball to me once he brought it back. I went on vacation and had a friend stay at the house to dog sit along with my sister's dog. Upon return, I noticed that my dog learned a few things from my sisters dog...jumping up to the counters and refusing to give the ball back.
I know my sister's dog will attempt to grab the ball out of his mouth and Eli will just continue to run away from him, I'm guessing this happened multiple times during my sister's dogs stay and now it's Eli's new thing to refuse to give up the ball.
I've worked on Eli with this a lot now and he doesn't seem to want to give in. He brings me the ball, I tell him "drop it" when he does I reward him with praise and a treat because that's the way he always learns his commands. He picks and chooses when to actually drop the ball. Is this a practice will make perfect kind of deal or is there a different way I should be going into the training?

Thank you!
 

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Trade for an identical toy. If disinterested, make the new ball "come alive", bounce it squeak it or just wave it around... when he drops the old one for it then do the same thing with the old one. Once that behavior is predictable you can start saying drop it (or a different word if you think drop has been tainted) just before he drops it. Progress to a toss so that he has to take his focus off of you momentarily and begin keeping the trade ball behind your back / out of sight and eventually out of the picture.

If the ball is too high of value right now for this exercise, get two identical rope or tug toys - capitalizing on his desire to interact rather than posses.
 
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