How To Teach Your Dog To Drop Their Toy

How To Teach Your Dog To Drop Their Toy

Playing with our dogs is fun, or it should be, but it’s hard to keep the game going if the dog won’t give up their prize! Whether you’re playing fetch or tug, your dog should know to drop the item when told.

So if your dog brings the toy back or plays tug happily but won’t give it up? This one is for you.

There are two main techniques I use to teach a dog to drop a toy on cue. I have my favourite but you can try each and see which works best for you and your dog. As we know, every dog and human is different.

Technique #1 – The Trade

This is the option I would choose if the object in question is a ball. This is because a ball is a bit harder to hold if using technique #2.

When the dog brings the ball back close to you (this is a good option to use if the dog won’t bring it all the way back), present a trade. You can trade for a piece of food or an identical ball. Which one you use, again, depends on the dog. Some dogs like balls better than a treat so in that case, trade for another ball.

Hold the trade item up close enough for the dog to know what you’ve got. Never chase the dog if they are possessing an item they don’t want to give up. Stay still and stand your ground. The first few times you may need to give them the second item before they’ve dropped the first one. But as long as you have something they want, they HAVE to let go of the first item to take it.

After a couple of trades, start adding in your desired cue word right as the dog switches items. While they’re off fetching the second ball, or chewing the treat, pick up the first ball and repeat.

Keep trading until your dog is coming right up to you and dropping the ball on cue.

If it’s a tug toy, food may be easier to use. Hold the treat right on the dog’s nose and say your command to let go, reward with the food and repeat.

Technique #2 – The Hold, aka the death of the tug

This option is my preferred option for teaching a dog to let go on command during a game of tug.

By the way, tug is a healthy game to play, as long as your dog lets go when told.

Dogs like to tug on a toy that is moving – it has life to it.

This technique works when you remove all movement and life from said tug toy. The toy is dead and boring.

Take both ends of the tug toy and hold it firmly against your leg, planting your feet in a firm position with your knees bent and legs slightly apart. This will help you stay firm even if the dog is stronger than you.

Once you’ve planted the toy against your leg stay still and don’t allow the toy to move no matter how hard the dog tries. Say your command once and wait it out.

The idea is that the toy is no longer so exciting because it won’t move. The second the dog gives up on trying to get it and lets go, say, “YES!” and throw the toy again as the dog’s reward. Repeat. Each time, your dog will get quicker at letting go until you get to the point you can say the command without bracing the toy against your leg.

If your dog doesn’t return the tug willingly you need to practice with the dog on a lead or the tug on a line that you can reel in like a fishing line. Remember, what you allow is what you get so adding a leash or line removes the ability of the dog to practice parading around with their prize and playing keep away.

Springer Dog Bike Review

Springer Dog Bike Review

Do you hate to exercise? Are you too lazy to fit in exercise for both your dog, and yourself? Me too, that’s why I got a dog bike attachment, now I can sit there while my dogs do all the work and get their exercise. Today we’re going to be reviewing a dog bike attachment.

There’s many different types you can get, but the one I have is called a Springer dog bike attachment. The Springer is a contraption that’s strangely shaped, enough to get you many sideways glances when you’re out on your bike, even if your dog’s not with you, and if your dog is with you, you get even more head turns. It’s got this weird U shape in it which at first doesn’t seem very useful, but when you look at this spring it’s actually designed to avoid all the pulling that your dog does, and you won’t even feel it even though you’re being dragged down the street.

When it comes to attaching your dog to the Springer bike attachment, you use this really flimsy, not safe looking piece of string, you’ll attach that to your dog’s harness, and then they’re able to pull you on your bike without you pedaling at all. The string attaching to the Springer bike attachment relies on a tiny, flimsy piece of plastic that can snap at any moment, but don’t worry because you get spares included when you buy one.

To attach the Springer to the bicycle, all you need to do is get your husband or other man friend to attach the metal part thing to the bike with these nuts and bolts things, that is clearly a man’s job. Then you simply remove the pin from the Springer bike attachment, and simply slide it on, and attach the pin through the little hole until it is secure. Once you’ve got your bike attachments securely fastened, you wanna make sure your dog’s set up with a comfortable harness.

I like to choose a harness that makes your dog look fat and humiliated, if they have fur sticking out the side of it like Chester here. The next step is to attach your dog to the Springer bike attachment using that flimsy bit of string that we discussed earlier. No seriously, get something stronger. And now we’re ready to go and get our dogs exercised while we sit there and hold on for dear life. Now that we’re ready to go, there’s one thing left, and that’s safety first, always wear a helmet.

Then we’re ready to get on the bike. Don’t forget to take your breaks off. And then I suggest you start nice and slow so that you and your dog can get used to it. Let’s go. Next, just hold on for dear life and enjoy your exercise. Make sure you have good brakes. That was fun. Now you might be wondering, but Tanil, what about multi-dog households, well I’ve got good news for you, because you can get a second Springer bike attachment to go on the other side of your bike and have two dogs, three dogs, or even up to four dogs running alongside your bike, depending on how much you wanna risk your life. Let’s give it a go with two dogs.

Oh my God, oh my God.

Obviously, hopefully, this video was a bit of a spoof, but these bike attachments can actually be great for being able to run your dog alongside your bike and give them some good exercise and as they get a bit tired you’ll get some exercise as well. I do wanna point out that you can actually teach your dog to heel alongside the bike by teaching them the heel command walking first, then walking next to the bike, and then gradually speed it up if you’d rather have your dog trot along.t

Should You Use A Harness to Walk Your Dog?

Should You Use A Harness to Walk Your Dog?

Having the right equipment is really important for both walking and training your dog. So should you use a harness?

Harnesses come in a few varieties and styles and like so many things in life, whether you should use it really depends on your goal. If we’re just talking about walking the dog, there are a couple of things to consider. Firstly, does your dog pull on the leash when walked? If so, a standard harness that the lead attaches to at the back will only make it easier for your dog to pull, giving the dog even more strength. That’s why sled dogs are hitched up with harnesses – so that they can pull comfortably!

Unfortunately, if your dog is a strong puller and you use a collar and the dog is constantly pulling on the collar, this can cause damage to their neck over time so we don’t want that either. So if you use a training collar (like I do) it’s important that you actually train the dog to walk nicely so that the leash is kept loose and the pressure is kept off the neck. If you can’t or don’t want to put time into training the dog not to pull and are going to let the dog pull, stick with the harness so that at least the pressure is off the neck. In this case, you may want to look into an anti-pull harness where the leash attaches to the front of the harness.

Of course, there are many other training tools and pieces of equipment sold to address pulling and I can’t address every one in this article but I will say this: ANY piece of walking equipment can cause discomfort if used incorrectly and if you allow your dog to pull without training, the dog will continue to pull no matter what you use.

So should you use a harness? Sometimes! I personally like using a harness for certain exercises where I want the dog to pull (or if I don’t mind whether they pull) such as when they run next to the bicycle or when we do a restrained recall exercise. But for a pleasant walk I use a training collar. You can teach your dog that on the training collar, they are not allowed to pull, but when the harness is on they can pull in certain situations. Dogs can learn that certain equipment means certain rules. Think of assistance dogs and sniffer dogs that know they are in work mode when their work vest or harness is on. Pretty cool!

If you want your dog to stop pulling, a standard harness won’t help this in most cases and can actually make it even more difficult to stop your dog from pulling. But at the end of the day, teaching your dog not to pull with a combination of the right gear and the right training is usually the best way to go. If you need more help to teach your dog to walk nicely, give me a call!

Testing Out Kong Products: Human vs Dog

Testing Out Kong Products: Human vs Dog

So this isn’t a traditional product review but who want’s to be traditional?

I use and recommend many different types of interactive toys. Today I decided to test the well known Kong brand and try out some of their harder puzzle toys designed for dogs.

I wanted to provide a good review of these but also add some humour because that’s me.

So it got a little bit ridiculous! Watch as I provide some tips on environmental enrichment and put these toys to the test up against Envy, my belgian malinois. A breed renowned for chewing and destruction using their teeth!

Some of the Kong toys mentioned and tested in this video can be bought on Amazon using the direct links below:

Kong Classic

Kong Extreme

Kong Quest Bone

Kong Quest Star

Kong Wobbler

Kong Genius Mike

Kong Genius Leo

Kong Marathon

Which toy was your favourite? Who do you think won? Well obviously Envy is better than me at working these toys!

My faves were the Kong Quest Star and the Kong Genius Leo.

I figured out afterwards that the Kong Quest Star also bounces nicely!