The secret behind the drop command: How to play a perfect game of fetch

The secret behind the drop command: How to play a perfect game of fetch

16th Apr 2020

Fetch is an awesome way to play and train with your dog. It strengthens your bond and is a great way to exercise with your dog. Some dogs love chasing after toys and might bring it back but are reluctant to drop the toy. Here is a fun and effective way to teach a reliable drop and have a pawesome game of fetch.

Two toy fetch!

You will need:

Two toys - identical or identical in value to your dog

Our favourites are the Kong Wubba Dog Toy and the Chuckit! Ultra Ball

Your dog


Room to play

How to play:

  • Take toy no1 get your dog excited about it
  • Throw toy no1 say get it (or fetch , whatever cue you want to say)
  • Dog gets toy
  • Dog starts to retrieve back to you

(For dogs that don’t come all the way back: Move backwards, facing your dog moving away excitingly from them to draw dog towards you more)

  • Present toy no2 excitedly “get ready” and get ready to throw toy no2 with your body language
  • As soon as dog drops toy no1 from his mouth
  • Say yes! And throw toy no2!

(Trouble shooting - if your dog doesn’t drop toy no1 straight away don’t give up, be interested and excited about the toy in your hand, act like its the best toy ever and your dog will want to play with it and will drop toy no1 from his mouth. You might need to do alot of acting to begin with but it will get easier once your dog gets the game. Don’t give up!)

  • Praise your dog and tell him go get it!
  • Calmly pick up toy no1
  • Rinse and repeat

Have fun

Once you have some flow. And can predict when your dog is going to drop the toy in his mouth to get ready for the second one. Then you can add a verbal cue. E.g “drop” or “out” you can choose any word you like.

  • Say your cue word once just before you get ready to throw the toy.
  • Mark the moment your dog drops the toy in his mouth by saying yes!
  • and reinforce it by immediately throwing the toy in your hand.
  • Tell him go get get it! And celebrate with your dog with praise.

Top tips for two toy fetch:

  • have two identical toys
  • Keep two toy fetch toys special. Don’t leave them on the ground, put them away and only bring them out for playtime
  • Let your dog win. Let them win the game. Enjoy the toys to himself for a while.
  • Finish the game giving your dog some treats or a treat scatter while you put the toys away.
  • pullers are great toys - the purple rings I will leave links to where you can find those
  • Start practising at home then take your skills and play out and about
  • If your dog doesn’t have a super reliable recall use a light weight long line attached to your dogs harness.

Two toy fetch is a great way to bond with your dog. If your dog loves to tug you can use tug as a reward for bringing the toy back to you. Have fun playing with your dog. Make sure to take breaks, keep playing and training sessions short, sweet and successful. If you or your dog are getting frustrated take a break and do something you both enjoy. Don’t hesitate to contact me @howlistichelp for advice, support and online training consults