When working on getting a dog to drop on cue, whether predicting and cuing, oppositional feeding, prompt switching, or just generally exercising a cued Drop, go ahead and work some The Give is a retrieve to the hand. A cued Give is a foundational skill that is not super useful in the actual performance of disc dog freestyle, and has into the session.
When the dog is retrieving the disc just withhold the drop cue and wait. She will come in with the disc and then you can ask for the give.
Don’t accept the non-cued drop at your feet, because drops, simple teeth off, only happen out there on cue. “When you get in here, around me, if I didn’t cue it, it will be a give.”
The absence of a drop cue on the retrieve is something that most dogs never experience until their handlers start working on Shorthand for “stimulus control over the Drop behavior” Owning the Drop is a key part of disc dog freestyle. You can play the game of disc without Owning the Drop,.
A default give in the absence of a drop cue provides stark contrast between drop and give. It helps the dog realize that drops happen anywhere, on cue, and gives happen in here with no cue.
This often is the final piece of the puzzle for many dogs who have problems with the drop. It crystalizes the idea that drops can happen anywhere.