Teaching the Drop-it (“Out”) Command

Your dog must be taught to instantly drop whatever he is holding in his mouth.

This is a safety issue since your dog may pick up a dangerous or poisonous object. It is a pack leadership issue since your dog should obey every command without hesitation. It is a behavioral issue when used in conjunction with classical counter-conditioning, as it can help prevent and correct resource guarding.

Use the following methods to teach this command:

Play the “2-Ball Game” with your dog, every day if possible, until he responds reliably to the command: Use 2 IDENTICAL balls – we recommend the Air Dog Squeaker Balls available at most pet supply stores. (They look like tennis balls but they have squeakers inside them.) Throw the first ball. When your dog brings it to you, tease him with the other ball, squeak it, show him how much fun this other ball is! While doing this, give the verbal cue “OUT!” The instant he releases it say “Yes! OUT!” and immediately throw the other ball. Do not use food rewards for this exercise – the reward is the other ball being thrown. Repeat for as long as the game holds his interest.

When your dog picks up a forbidden household item (e.g. shoe, child’s toy etc..) do not chase him around yelling at him. Instead, get close to him without making eye contact and when you are near enough, show him a food treat he can’t resist (e.g. a piece of hot dog). Offer him the treat while giving the verbal cue “out!” Use a happy, friendly tone – not scolding. When he releases the object say “Yes! OUT!” and give him the food treat. Then pick up the forbidden item.




By Denise Collins

A dog should be allowed to bark. After all, that is one reason we have dogs, to alert us. We would just like to control the “on and off switch.” It’s the rare human who hasn’t yelled at their dog, “Quiet" or "Shut Up!” when the dog is barking at the doorbell, a noise, or at you to get your attention. We think that if we raise the volume of our voice, this ...

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Behavior Terminology

By Mary Mazzeri

Behavioral Terminology: What are they talking about?

You hear dog trainers tossing around training terms that don’t make sense to you? Here’s a look into decoding the lingo.

The definitions are generally accepted among behaviorists (which is where this terminology is standardized): Whether a given act is reinforcement or punishment is defined by what the dog does in the future. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of it, it's the dog ...

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We Need Leadership If You Want "Real Change"

By Andy Luper of a Canine Academy International

The title might sound political but it isn't. Rather, this is written from the dogs point of view for owners who don't seem to "get it" despite their best intentions, and the advice of a qualified professional.

Dear owner, your dog would like you to know:

  • Despite you giving us human names, we are in fact dogs that react to you and our environment.
  • What is most important to us is not who ...
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Training with Energy

By Patty Homer, CDT, CPDT-KA

Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children.

'Seizure Alert' dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure. There are dogs that can detect cancer before medical tests can. With these incredible capabilities, it is hard to deny the effect that our own energy can have on our dogs. The idea of sharing "good energy" is not just a “woo-woo” concept reserved ...

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