How do I train "Drop it"?

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Postby iluvk9 » March 18th, 2010, 8:08 pm

Lenny will NOT drop something if he thinks it has high value. :shake:

The only reason I was able to get him to drop the opossum last summer, was because I screamed so loud I think I shocked/scared him for a split second and he released it.

Recently he had something in his mouth and there was NO WAY he would release it. All I could think of was to offer a snack that he loves as a "trade". Nadda. He pranced around, keeping his distance from me, with his tail held high. I put a leash on him, but that got us nowhere. Just a standstill on both our parts, and it let me keep his head from turning and biting me. Which he would have, if I pushed his buttons.

When he is acting "stubborn" there is no way in hell he will do what I want, actually. :sad2: Two other behaviors are going outside, and walking into the Vet's office. When he doesn't want to, he WON'T.
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Postby mnp13 » March 18th, 2010, 9:05 pm

I have no idea - so if you find out, let me know :wink:

in an emergency though, upwards pressure on the collar will restrict air, which will eventually get him to let go. (yes, I'm politely saying to choke him :wink: )
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 18th, 2010, 10:22 pm

Start with teaching a good "Leave It"...so you have a good word to use for the trade.

I taught Gibbs to trade, and he used to growl and snap if he had some high-value item...he learned the word trade with lots of work, and would drop whatever he had if I said the word "Trade". lol

Don't start with high-value items, start with lower-value items...and think of this as resource guarding. A good book for RG is "Mine" by Jean Donaldson...

I don't have time to type it all out tonight...so here are some articles for you to look at!

Help for Object Guarding (with a golden, no less!):
http://www.clickersolutions.com/article ... arding.htm

Teaching Leave It:
http://www.clickersolutions.com/article ... eaveit.htm

Possessiveness:
http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/arc ... ossess.txt
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Postby Malli » March 19th, 2010, 12:02 am

What will he pick up, Joyce? Can you get him to hold a sock or a towel or low value toy and do tradsies for it?
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Postby iluvk9 » March 19th, 2010, 6:57 am

mnp13 wrote:in an emergency though, upwards pressure on the collar will restrict air, which will eventually get him to let go. (yes, I'm politely saying to choke him :wink: )


When I first got him, I did that just holding his collar. He eventually dropped it, but when he recovered, in a split second, he bit me. I probably did not get as far as him literally choaking, but he wouldn't BUDGE on letting it go.


TheRedQueen wrote:Start with teaching a good "Leave It"...so you have a good word to use for the trade.


Thanks, Erin. I will read through the articles and hopefully one of them will work for me.

Mallika: The last time, he stole a "beanie baby" and I was afraid he would chew through and eat the beans inside. One time it was a loaf of Italian bread. Fat ass managed to grab it off the counter. Then of course, there was the opossum brought ALMOST inside the house for me. No rhyme or reason to things he gets possessive over. :| He just decides it is HIS.
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Postby iluvk9 » March 19th, 2010, 7:12 am

I just read through them, and I am going to work on the "leaving it" with the clicker. Lenny loves bananas, so that will be his high value treat. :dance:

The owner of the kennel he stays at, who trains our local police dogs, said Len is a very smart dog and he never met a dog with a kinder heart. So, now it looks like it is up to me to pull this off. :shocker:
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 19th, 2010, 9:23 am

iluvk9 wrote:I just read through them, and I am going to work on the "leaving it" with the clicker. Lenny loves bananas, so that will be his high value treat. :dance:

The owner of the kennel he stays at, who trains our local police dogs, said Len is a very smart dog and he never met a dog with a kinder heart. So, now it looks like it is up to me to pull this off. :shocker:


Just start slowly...this won't be overnight...but use that high-value treat for his reward...start with very low-value items.
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Postby Malli » March 19th, 2010, 1:26 pm

I agree with Erin, practice will make him consider his options one day when he steals something he thinks is worthwhile "do I give it up for a tasty treat? Or, do I get scolded by mum?"
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby Malli » March 19th, 2010, 1:30 pm

so, did you eat the Italian bread? :popcorn2:


oh yeah, have you tried tossing a dog cookie/treat on the floor when he has something to see if he'll just "spit it out"? The dogs I work with I trade most of the time for anything food related (marrow bones, mostly) they have that I want, and this is how I do it. I toss in a few kibbles a bit away from the bone and then take the bone while they're eating the kibbles.
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Postby Ino » March 19th, 2010, 2:54 pm

I had a problem getting Ino to "drop it" when he had specific toys and turds :puke:. I had tried treats but the items he had for some reason were more high value to him (turds trumped treats). He would run when I asked him to drop things. I tried attaching a 15 foot lead without a handle so I could reel him in, but he just learned to stay far enough away so I could not grab it when he tried to run. I finally found a toy he absolutely loves and only give it to him on walks and not indoors (I made that mistake with tennis balls- they now are not that valuable). He is obsessed with the Ruffians turtle toy and the mini cuz toys. He gets the larger cuz in the house, but the small ones for walk time only. I bought a bunch of them in case he has one and does not want to give it up...I pull out another one and once I squeak it, he can't resist dropping his for mine!! Also, if he is off leash in the woods and goes for a turd, I squeak the cuz, act excited and throw it- then tell him to give me the cuz and he runs to get it (he loves to be chased). It also works wonders for his "heel" if I have it and hold onto it while he is on the leash- he is a perfect gentleman (since I have what he wants). Usually I will have him heel until we are far enough down our trail to get off leash then I make him sit before I give him the toy and let him run. A few months ago- he pulled me around like a machine and I rewarded him for it by letting him off the leash because it was irritating. I had to reverse it and now walks are much more pleasant. Best of luck with Lenny's drop it! Atleast you know banannas are his tweaker treat :D ...it took me forever to find something Ino found irresistible!
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Postby iluvk9 » March 19th, 2010, 4:59 pm

Ino wrote:I had a problem getting Ino to "drop it" when he had specific toys and turds :puke:.


Lenny drops the frozen poop when I scream, "That is disgusting! DROP IT!" I guess it isn't as high a value to him or my piercing voice scares him enough.

Mallika, Lenny ate the loaf of bread, because there was no way I could win that fight, so I gave up. Any of the others would have let me put my hand in their mouths. Len gets this look in his eye like he is totally focused on whatever he has.

I know I give human emotions and excuses to my dogs. I just wonder if his behavior is because he "had nothing" for 9 years while living in a crate. I guess it doesn't really matter why; just thinking out loud. :dance:

This weekend, I try the clicker training. :)
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Postby katiek0417 » March 19th, 2010, 5:23 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:Help for Object Guarding (with a golden, no less!):
http://www.clickersolutions.com/article ... arding.htm


Ironically, I teach the opposite with my dogs! :crazy2: :shock:

I agree, I love the clicker for leave it, however....I'm lucky in that when push comes to shove I can take things from any of the dogs...doesn't mean I want to take things from some of them (Cy, Jue, and Apache, to be exact), but I CAN...

With my younger dogs, I definitely work on trades, etc...I don't use a clicker...I use a marker...but it'll get you the same results....

Good luck...

and, on a side note, who owns the kennel where he stays??? Just wondering if I know him (you can PM me if you want).
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Postby pocketpit » March 19th, 2010, 7:54 pm

Just use a lot of patience and the methods that are in the links and I'll bet you make some progress even if it's never perfect.
I currently have Indie, the red SBT that Malli posted last year in the rescue section, and when he arrived he was horrible. He can put on quite the threat display and like Lenny, no amount of cajoling would make him drop things and he wouldn't "trade" to save his life. I started off slow and tried to eliminate all toys from his life for a while unless I could control the situation and he wore a long line so I could prevent him from running away when I was trying to work with him. I started with approaching upright and dropping bits of food. When he reliably let go and dove for the food I started adding my vocal cue. When he became more comfortable with my standing there and dropping food I began to crouch down and drop treats and when he was comfortable with that I began hand feeding him treats. Luckily he's a chow hound and already knows some obedience commands. Once he realized I was not necessarily going to take his precious item away he eagerly began to focus on my hands and anticipate being treated.
He arrived in Dec. and we are still working on it but he's become a lot more comfortable around us with his toys to the point that I can now "trade" him most of the time. We still have some issues with "stolen" property, and he doesn't always want to give things up right away, but we're making headway. He's seven years old, so like Lenny he's had a lot of practice at hoarding and getting away with it :D
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Postby iluvk9 » March 19th, 2010, 11:15 pm

katiek0417 wrote:and, on a side note, who owns the kennel where he stays??? Just wondering if I know him (you can PM me if you want).


Don Sterling, Quail Run in Medford, Long Island. :) He is retired from training, but you might know him from his reputation. http://www.quailrunkennels.com/index.html

pocketpit wrote:He arrived in Dec. and we are still working on it but he's become a lot more comfortable around us with his toys to the point that I can now "trade" him most of the time. We still have some issues with "stolen" property, and he doesn't always want to give things up right away, but we're making headway. He's seven years old, so like Lenny he's had a lot of practice at hoarding and getting away with it :D


Holy crap, I was thinking "this weekend" he would learn it. :swoon: Glad you mentioned this.
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Postby Malli » March 20th, 2010, 4:15 am

ah, but Lenny is a Golden ;) Not an independant Bully Breed...
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Postby iluvk9 » March 20th, 2010, 5:58 pm

Okay. So I bought a clicker and tomorrow is the day! 8) I loaded up on bananas. :wink:
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Postby amazincc » March 21st, 2010, 4:01 pm

So... how's it going??? :wink:
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Postby iluvk9 » March 21st, 2010, 5:54 pm

Well, I wasn't "in the mood", to be honest. :) We had great weather, so I was busy doing other outdoor stuff.

I am also an uptight Virgo, so I have to review the clicker videos 10 more times and read how to do it 5 more times. I tend to demand perfection from myself. :rolleyes2:
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Postby Hoyden » March 21st, 2010, 6:06 pm

It took me almost 2 years to get Birdie to "trade" with me or give me what she had in her mouth. It would appear that at some point before she was pulled from the shelter in Oyster Bay, LI, someone would beat the hell out of her if she had something in her mouth, so she would hold on to it. No. Matter. What.

Part of the reason it took so long was my lack of experience & the fact that Birdie is a smart cookie who I needed to learn how to out think.

After failing many many times, what finally worked was learning to NOT freak out when she had something she shouldn't have in her mouth. To hear the whole scenario through, most people would be calling for the men in white coats to come get me because I sound like I'm possessed & speaking in tongues.

I'd start by saying "Goooose Va Ba" to calm myself.
Then I would get a high value treat, usually cheese or a piece of pepperoni.
I'd call Birdie which sounds something like " 'ere Bewdie, Bewdie, lookie Ma's gots!" in a chirpy high pitched voice while showing her the treat.
Instead of trying to put my hands on what's in her mouth or taking it from her, I teased her with the treat, waved in her face, in front of her nose & mouth, letting her smell it & get interested in it.
Then I'd move AWAY from her waving the treat at her while saying " meres Bewdies, (slapping my thigh, which is her HERE/COME command) Ma's gots some 'ronis for the youuuuuu" in the same sing-song chirpy crazy lady voice.
She'd follow because she wanted the treat with her tail wagging.

At this point one of two things would happen A) She'd drop the object & I'd lure her away from it distracting her with silly sing song voice & 'ronis, making it a game to heel & sit to get the coveted 'ronis. - or - B) She'd do the drop, grab & dive for the object. I garnered every ounce of will power & continued the game until the roni's & playing were more important.

I tried kicking the object away from her once. EEEEEEEEHHHH (the sound the toaster makes when it's stuck) WRONG MOVE! Go back to the beginning & start ALL OVER again.

Once she started to think that the object in her mouth wasn't really all that high value after all, dropping it for something yummy from the crazy Mommie was much better.

After several months of the distraction method, we were able to work on "Trading" for the high value treat. I'd wave the treat in her face, then offer to "TRADE?" (yes, I phrased it as a question) & I'd point at, but NOT touch, the object in her mouth, still keeping out of her "space" to keep her from bolting away with the object. Once she figured I wasn't going to "steal" from her, she'd come closer as I held the treat closer to me.

Eventually I started touching the object, but not trying to grab it, offering to trade. Soon after that, she spit the object out in my lap or my hand for the treat.

The other thing I did at the same time was take things from her that weren't high value & that she wouldn't run off with, then hand them right back to her, praising her.

I also started teaching her what "TRADE?" meant but offering to "Trade" her for things she'd readily hand over, but using a lesser value treat.

So after that loooonngggg, rambling, drug induced ramble, the end result is that Birdie hands over just about anything I ask her to, even without a treat. She'll even pick up pennies, coins, pens, a dropped debit or store card off the floor & hand it to me upon request.
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Postby amazincc » March 21st, 2010, 6:08 pm

lol

Trust me... if perfection were required I would never accomplish anything. If I can teach Sepp to "say cheese", you can teach Lenny to "drop it". :dance:

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