Remember Swap shop?

There is nothing more amusing in the world than watching an owner chase their dog around like a lunatic trying to get them to drop something. I watch with a smile on my face thinking “I thought we were the bright ones” I can only imagine the joy the dog is experiencing. I bet he stands with his mates and say’s “Hey you guys, my human is the best entertainment EVER!!! Watch this!” Sound familiar? Are you really sure that your dog knows what “drop it” means?

This is an important command that should be introduced to your dog as early as possible. It also must be taught in a positive way to minimise rebellion.

Remember your dog doesn’t know what drop it means so you must teach him. To learn “drop it” you must always “swap it”. The easiest way to remember this is pretend objects are currency. So if your dog runs off with a sock you put a value on that object, so let’s say it’s worth £5.00 you then have to swap the sock with something of a greater value, always begin using food, so get yourself a tasty piece of chicken which is worth £10.00 and make it look interesting, “oh, Scooby look at this? What have I got?” as your dog approaches you present the tasty treat right in front of his nose, as he drops the sock say “ drop it” whilst you are giving him the chicken. With your other hand if you are kneeling or crouching remove the sock from under his head. If you are standing use your foot to move the sock towards you. The reason for this is if your dog still has his head over the sock he is effectively still in possession of it and as soon as he is finished the treat may try to retrieve it, if your hand gets in the way he may see this as you being rude and nip you or he may accidentally catch your hand. This will be considered rude to try and remove something that belongs to him that is why in the early stages of “drop it” we always use a swap method.

Never chase your dog if he gets something you will only increase the value of the object he has, he’ll be thinking “Boy they really want this it must be important” and also turn it into a game. Playing controlled games of “drop it” will make it fun for both you and also increase his manners!

Give your dog a toy, make it look interesting and simply say “drop it”. If he immediately get’s it, which he will then reward & praise. Gradually increase the distance between the two of using the command and also gradually decrease the reward given to perhaps just a clap and then other times a treat. This will keep him wondering “when is the food coming?” and keep it exciting for him.

You must keep yourself & your dog safe when doing this so read on to understand the canine code of claiming.


Dogs claim everything toys, food, doors, windows, cars and even people. You cannot allow them to do this!

They will place their heads over objects (food, bones, toys etc) to let you know “this is mine!” you must learn “drop it” for these scenarios!

If you ever approach your dog when he has something and he places his head over it DO NOT grab it, this could get you a nasty nip, affecting your relationship.

If he has something in his mouth DO NOT try to physically remove it, this could again result in a nasty nip, and quite frankly you deserve it.

If he has something and runs &/or hides from you DO NOT chase him, you will only prove that the object is important to you therefore making him less likely to give up or he may just try to eat it which may cause all manner of medical issues.



The power of positivity X©

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