A dog that knows “teeth off” after the cued drop makes next happen is a dog who will eagerly carry a disc and listen for the drop cue.
Reinforce the cued drop with a cued bite. Cue the drop when it is likely to happen, even if that is immediately upon removal from the hand.
Cue every drop. Ten or 20 in a row, erring on the side of caution, ensuring that the cue happens before the teeth come off the disc. This will create a rhythm and a reward history that reinforces cued drops and may be used to punish drops that are not cued.
So you have 20 reps of success in a row. You’ve got a great rhythm working. Your dog is dropping after 1.3 seconds or after his second step carrying the disc. It’s going well. You think he is likely to carry it longer.
Waiting on cue and situationally is extremely important for disc dog freestyle training. The competition field might not see too much waiting going on as everything is supposed to be happening in flow, but on the training field there probably is not a more important skill than a Wait. A Wait is critical for flipping and vaulting.... 1.5 seconds and cue on his third step. If it works, up the ante and make 1.5 seconds or three steps the new criteria.
Again, the key is to ensure that the drop is always cued and always reinforced. This creates a pattern that proves that the cued drop is the thing makes next happen.
Cue the drop before the dog does it on his own so that dropping on cue becomes a habit.