"drop it" issues

Posted by Trixie
Jan 9, 2009
i recently tried to teach my dog "drop it". i give her a dentabone or something (she really like them) and let her chew on it for a while. When i present her with a treat, she growls, and starts protecting her bone. sometimes, she even gets aggressive.. [ i never had much of an agressive problem with her for quite a while, and i think it may be coming back ]

Only when she finished eating her bone, she becomes all happy and nice again, and is suddenly interested in the treats i was holding. I really dont know what to do :confused: i really want to teach her "drop it" but i dont know how to if she always acts so aggessive...

can anyone help me?

thanks -
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 10, 2009
Hi Trixie,

You know what? You are inadvertently reinforcing your dog's bad behavior. This is what she is learning -

You gave her a dentabone with an intention to take it away from her in a few minutes. When you present a treat, she growls because she wants to keep her dentabone. In other words, the bone is more valuable to her than a treat. When she growls you give up taking the bone away and she gets to eat the whole thing.

What she is learning is "Growling works".

If you are not confident to take the bone away from her without injuring yourself, don't give her dentabones or bones yet, until she becomes totally obedient.

If you think you can hold her muzzle firmly and take the bone away, you might want to do so. I am pretty firm with my foster dogs from the very beginning so I do that and they immediately learn that they can not disobey me but if you feel any fear don't try it.

You should restart "Drop it" training with something you dog sees less value than dentabone, etc. You have to win every single time, otherwise it will just reinforcing her growling.

Here is my comment to a similar situation if you are interested.


Good luck