Teaching a Schnauzer to Drop to Stop Her From Biting Her Guardians

By: David Codr

Published Date: May 25, 2018

For this Omaha puppy training session we taught 9 month-old Mini Schnauzer Dottie (left) to drop things and not play so rough with her room mate, 5 year-old Norwich Terrier Jerry.

Dottie was all kinds of fired up when I arrived for the session. Ive worked with a lot of dogs, but Dottie may be the most passionate barker I have ever met. She didnt discriminate either; demand barking, protest barking, territorial barking, alert barking were all on full display.

While Jerry barked too, it was clear he was just chiming in some of the time Dottie barked. It didn’t take a dog behavior expert to recognize that Dottie was the source of the problem.

I probed into the dog’s daily life and found out they were under exercised, lacked structure and was able to tell their guardians what to do, to some extent. There is a direct correlation between Dottie’s demand barking and this lack of structure.

I suggested ways to help flip the leader follower dynamic such as increasing their daily exercise (and starting an exercise journal), incorporating a few rules, asking the dogs to sit before petting them and recognizing and rewarding the dogs when they did things the guardians liked.

Dottie was so worked up at times, she acted out; nipping a guest and actually biting her guardians when they tried to take things away from her. Normally teaching a dog to drop things is small potatoes, but in Dottie’s case, it was very important. She had eaten a blanket left in her kennel that ended up causing a blockage that resulted in emergency surgery.

I handed the guardian my camera and then proceeded to show them how to get any dog to drop things on command. You can get this free positive dog training tip (and tips for stopping resource guarding) by watching the video below.

Training a dog to drop items is really easy, it just takes a little practice. If the guardians practice a few times a day using the drop training technique I outline in the free dog training video above, they shouldn’t have any problems getting her to drop things right away in the future.

Many of Dottie’s issues stemmed from insecurity or lower self esteem. Fortunately these are easy problems to fix. I recommended the guardians start teaching her some new tricks and commands like learning how to stay. If they can teach her some easy tricks and commands that require the dog to develop self control, it will have a positive impact on her overall behavior.

The guardians can also help Dottie develop more self control by delaying gratification from time to time, especially before things she really wants to do like sit at the door, then waiting for permission to go out the open door or to exit her kennel.

To help the guardians remember everything we covered in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video.


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This post was written by: David Codr

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