Teaching your dog to drop/release an object on command is a very important safety skill as well as part of teaching leadership and control. If your dog puts something in his mouth that is dangerous, you want your dog to drop that item as soon as you command him to.

What would you do if you’re out for a walk with your dog and your dog picks up something like a dead frog or happens to grab your shoes or other household items?  Simple, if your dog knows to out the object on command.

Outing an object on command eliminates the game of “catch me if you can”. When a dog steals an item, the item becomes his own. If you try to chase your dog for the object, he will often run away (the catch me if you can game). NEVER chase your dog if he steals something. Simply call your dog to you in a very calm voice. Reward your dog for giving the object to you. Once your dog understands the OUT command, you can just ask the dog to drop the object.

The steps below can be used with any dog that does NOT guard items from people. Dealing with guarding issues requires special handling so please talk with your instructor or professional trainer for working with dogs that guard.

Preparation for each OUT training session:

  • Have an item available that your dog will want to put in his mouth. This could be a small diameter chew bone, a bully stick, ball, etc. Make sure that the item is at least 2 inches longer than the WIDTH of your dog’s muzzle.
  • Have your dog on leash and have high value treats available to reward your dog for dropping the item.
  • When teaching the OUT, the hand position defined below is important but use whichever hand is more comfortable for you.

Week 1 – Teaching the OUT concept to your dog – dog facing away from you

  • Depending upon the size of your dog, you will need to be standing, sitting in a chair or kneeling. Have your dog between your legs and facing away from you.
  • Have one hand positioned in the dog’s collar at the back of the dog’s head.
  • Your other hand will either offer or place the object in the dog’s mouth.
  • After placing the object in your dog’s mouth, place your hand under your dog’s muzzle with your thumb and middle finger at the sides of your dog’s mouth.
  • Say “OUT” and then fold the dog’s lips inward, opening your dog’s mouth and use your thumb to push the object out of your dog’s mouth.
  • Reward your dog for dropping the item.

Weeks 2 – Progressing on OUT – Randomize the reward

  • Depending upon the size of your dog, you will need to be standing, sitting in a chair or kneeling. Have your dog between your legs and facing away from you.
  • Have one hand in your dog’s collar at the back of your dog’s head.
  • Your other hand will either offer or place the object in the dog’s mouth.
  • After the dog has the object, place your hand under your dog’s muzzle with your thumb and middle finger at the sides of your dog’s mouth
  • Say “OUT”.
    • If your dog drops the object on command, reward your dog.
    • If your dog does NOT drop the object on command, fold your dog’s lips inward and push the object out of your dog’s mouth with your thumb. NO REWARD

Week 3-4 – Progressing on OUT – dog facing you

  • Depending upon the size of your dog, you will need to be standing, sitting in a chair or kneeling. This week have your dog in front of you (facing you).
  • Have your hand in your dog’s collar at the back of your dog’s head.
  • Your other hand will either offer or place the object in your dog’s mouth.
  • After placing the object in your dog’s mouth, place your hand under your dog’s muzzle with your thumb and middle finger at the sides of your dog’s mouth.
  • Say “OUT”.
    o If your dog drops the object on command, reward your dog.
    o If your dog does NOT drop the object on command, fold the dog’s lips inward and push the object out of your dog’s mouth with your thumb. NO REWARD.

With patience and rewarding your dog will drop that dead frog when told :>)

DebbyQ’s Picks

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