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Teaching puppy to let go

PirateQueenPirateQueen Registered User regular
Seems like there's a lot of people on the H/A forum knowledgeable about dogs so I thought I'd ask here...


This 4-month old smarty quickly learned come, sit, stay, lie down, up/stand, jump, shake, roll over, spin and (luckily!) No/Leave it

But, we botched it when training him to Let Go / Spit

We first tried just praising him and using the command word when he'd naturally let go of toys during play or spit out something he brought in from the garden by himself (leaves etc.)

We thought this would work great as it's kinda how he learned jump and spin (by just pairing the word with his natural behaviours and getting praised/rewarded)

But - no such luck, he did not start responding to Let Go / Spit when asked

Then, we tried giving him treats to get him to spit out leaves/rocks he managed to snatch, again pairing with Let Go / Spit. This seemed to work great at first...

Now he's started trying to pick up the treats without spitting out the leaves/rocks X )

Do y'all have any advice / ideas on how to fix this?

Thanks in advance!

Most of the time, we're able to stop the puppy from picking up dangerous stuff on walks in the first place... but a moment's inattention and he could get into harm's way. So, I hope we haven't fu**ed up completely and there's still a way to teach him this important command....


  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited October 2020
    He's teething and I'd not worry about it. When dogs start playing fetch more intently you can teach drop it/let go very easily because they learn you won't throw the ball/stick again until they give it to you.

    He's a puppy and you're going to just have to keep an eye on him. Dogs don't usually eat bad things. The only things I can think of are mushrooms that can be poisonous and feces.

    If you still have the problem in 7 months or so, maybe it's time to sort out the behavior.

    dispatch.o on
  • PirateQueenPirateQueen Registered User regular
    That is wonderful news : ) thanks so much @dispatch.o !

    In that case, we'll just keep buying him teething toys and make sure to keep him away from mushrooms....

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