A Fun Way to Teach “Leave It”
How can you say Leave It to this face?
The “Leave It” command can help prevent your dog from consuming something dangerous if taught correctly. Dogs are conditioned pretty early on that things on the ground are fair game. Do your dog and yourself a favor and take some time to teach your dog this life saving command.
- Create a “temptation zone” with a few of your dog’s favorite toys, some cheese cubes, a couple of treats, and various other taunting items strewn around the floor.
- Put a collar and leash on your dog before bringing it into the temptation zone.
- Walk the dog on a loose leash, but with just a slight amount of slack. You want to be able to move the dog’s direction quickly. Do NOT hold the leash tightly. This will send mixed signals to your dog.
- When your dog lowers its head to take an item, say “Leave It” and move the leash upward to stop the dog’s forward progress. This does NOT need to be harsh. Just use enough pressure to stop the dog from getting the reward. Make sure you say “Leave It” in a commanding tone (not yelling! just firm).
- Quickly switch directions and move away from the object the dog grabbed at.
- Praise your dog lavishly for leaving the temptation alone.
- Repeat this process until your dog is ignoring the temptations. Really praise the dog for following your command.
- At the end of your session, you may choose one of the rewards to give your dog. Make sure you pick it up and hand it to them. You never want to allow your dog to take it off the floor. By handing them the reward, your dog will see that it came from you and it will garner respect. Your dog will learn that the items are given on your terms.
Of course, there are several ways to teach this command, so if your dog is not getting it with this method, there is always a different way.