How to Teach a Dog to Drop it / Take it (Step-by-Step Video)

By 22nd September 2017Dog Training
how to teach a dog to drop it

In this article, we’re going to show you how to teach a dog to drop it and take.

Using the take it / drop it cue is the perfect way to prevent resource guarding ever developing in your puppy or dog.

There will also be times in your dog’s life when he will pick something up that you don’t want him to have or that could be really dangerous. In cases like this, you’ll need to recover it. So this command has the potential to save your dogs’ life.

Many dog owners make the mistake of becoming confrontational when their dog won’t give an object up. This can create issues with resource guarding but by using a fun game you can teach your dog to take an object or give one up in exchange for another.

How to Stop a Dog Pulling on the LeadOK, OK we admit it,

The training methods we write about here at Pet Checkers aren’t our own.

They are the positive re-enforcement methods of world-renowned dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell.

You can find out about her on her website at or if you like her training methods like we do, you can buy her book from

Watch the Video Below to See How to Teach a Dog to Drop it / Take it

Step One: Teaching the Trade

Start off with a lower value object and offer it to your dog.

As he opens his mouth and takes the object from you say the words ‘take it’ and allow him to play with it for a minute or so.
Now present him with another object of similar value.
As your dog lets go of the object he has in his mouth say ‘drop it’ and again when he take the object you have, say ‘take it’.
Keep repeating the process and remember, this is a game so be enthusiastic and become part of the fun.

Step Two: Increase the Value

Now it’s time to find objects of higher value and repeat the process. Keep increasing the value of the objects you play the game with.
If your dog doesn’t want to give the object he has, distance yourself from him and find something of higher value and start t play with it. Make is squeak, rattle, crackle and focus all of your attention on that.
He will eventually succumb to his curiosity, even if it takes a little time but when he does reward him by giving him that object saying ‘drop it’ when he lets go of his and ‘take it’ when he takes yours.

What NOT to Do

Training takes time, understanding and above all, patience. Unfortunately, this is a trait that many people don’t have but it’s important that you take your time when training your dog.

Getting frustrated won’t help and don’t ever;

Don’t try and tug objects away from your dog – as he might think it’s a game of tug and that defeats the whole point of this exercise.
Never try and force your dog into giving something up – I have seen people pin a dog down and try to pry its jaws open. Not only is this cruel but you put yourself in real danger of being bitten. It’s can also cause your dog to lose a huge amount of trust in you and he might start to resource guard as a result.

Frequently Asked Questions

Training your dog to take it and drop it can be challenging for your dog to understand so it may take a little time.

If you’re both struggling, here are some frequently asked questions;

“My Dog Takes it and Drops it Perfectly at Home But He Won’t Let Go of Anything He Picks Up While We’re Out Walking. What Should I Do?”

The issue, in this case, might be that you don’t have anything of high enough value to trade with him. So you need to find something that he values super highly and only bring that out in these situations.

Another thing you can do is use different objects while you’re training him at home – a plastic bottle, one of his favorite tasty bones etc. Try and use the kinds of things he might pick up while he’s outside (only as long as it’s safe to do so!) and you should find that it becomes easier.

Leave a Comment Below!

So, we’ve shown you how to teach a dog to drop it and take it and now it’s your turn.

Have a go and leave a comment below to let us know how you get, or to ask a question.

We love hearing from our readers and we’ll respond to every comment.

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