Give IT Back!

It can be so irritating when your dog grabs something he should not have.  Often it becomes a struggle to get the object back.  Wouldn’t it be great not to have to fight and chase your dog when he picks up something he shouldn’t have! Just teach your dog to “Give it Back!”.

When teaching your dog to give you an object, have him on a leash and let him drag it so he can not run away.

Important reminders

  • Do not chase, corner, or grab your dog.
  • During the teaching phase, use objects that are of low value to your dog and use high value treats for your dog. Make sure your dog is more excited about the treats that the object, even if you have to use tuna, liver, or steak!
  • Give your dog several treats or even a handful of treats in exchange for the object.
  • Choose a cue word such as “out,” “give,” or “drop it.” Use this word each time you ask your dog to give up an object and be sure to reward him for letting go of it.

Steps for teaching your dog to relinquish objects on command:
1. Use an object of low value to your dog. Drop the object and see if your dog will pick it up. Walk toward your dog and say your cue word. As you say your cure word, toss a few high value treats towards him and walk past.  Make sure to maintain a distance of at least six feet from your dog as you approach and then continue to walk past. Do not try to take the object from your dog. Practice this several times each day with different types of objects until your dog will leave the object and go eat the treats.

2. Repeat the above and this time wait to give you cue word until you are a little closer than before. Now, say your cue word and toss several treats toward your dog. Repeat this exercise gradually getting closer and closer to your dog each time until you can say your cue work and then drop the treats right next to your dog. Remember to use a variety of objects and high value treats. Do not try to take any of the objects from your dog.

3. Once your dog is doing well dropping the object and going to the treats, toss your dog another low value object. This time walk up to your dog. Do not use your cue work until you are standing next to him. Say your cue word, and drop several or a handful of high value treats to the ground. As he is eating the treats, gently bend down and pick up the object. Practice this exercises a number of times with objects of different values for your dog.

4. Put treats in your pocket before you begin this exercise. Toss your dog a toy or object of low value. Make sure that he will pick up the object. Walk up to your dog and when you are next to him, give him your cue word. When your dog releases the object, remove the treats from your pocket, and drop them next to your dog. As your dog is eating the treats, pick up the object. Practice this exercises using an assortment of items with varied value to your dog.

5. Again put the treats in your pocket. Toss your dog a toy or another item of low value. Walk up to your dog and when you are next to him, give him your cue word. When he releases the object, give him several treats and pick up the object. After he eats the treats, return the object to him. Repeat your cue word and feed, him several treats after he releases the object. Again, pick up the object and return it to him. Practice only two exchanges in the beginning. If your dog willingly gives up the object, increase the number of exchanges until your dog willing gives up the object a half a dozen times.

6. Once your dog willingly gives up all types of objects begin to vary the types of treats you use. Sometimes use ordinary dog food and sometimes use really good treats such as steak. Over time, randomly reward your dog with treats for letting go of the object.

With time and training your dog will be HAPPY to “GIVE IT BACK”.

DebbyQ’s Picks

Here are a few really great “dog” items I use in everyday life and in training.
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