The Paw Print Blog

Pet Parenting Articles

Easy Street to Teaching "Leave It"

Have you ever been in a situation where you were walking down the street with your dog and he stops to investigate something inappropriate? Ever try to eat a sandwich while watching TV, look away for a split second, and your dog ends up enjoying your snack? We’ve all been there! The best way to make sure you don't go through that again and again is to teach your dog the Leave It command. Your dog needs boundaries and self-control for you to have a healthy relationship. You can teach your dog Leave It in a relatively short amount of time. When you’re ready to begin, start with one of the following methods.

Option 1: Favorite Toys

1. Place something that has your dog's attention, like his favorite toy, 2-3 feet in front of him.

2. If he moves toward the item, immediately take it away and get him to Sit.step 1

3. Place the object in front of him again at the same distance as before. Repeat the above steps until he no longer tries to get the object.

4. When he is just sitting there looking at the object, say "Leave It". Immediately reward him with a treat.

5. Continue this process and slowly move the object closer to your dog. Wait for him to Leave It for longer periods of time before rewarding him.

6. Never allow him to actually get the object he is supposed to stay away from.

7. Practice with a variety of objects and varying distances. Practice Leave It with a ball before playing fetch or with your dog’s dish before each meal. Over a few days and repetitions, you’ll be able to put something more valuable to your dog very close and have him ignore it pretty reliably.

Option 2: Favorite Treats

1. Start with your dog sitting. Place a treat in your open hand.

2. Show your dog the treat. If he attempts to grab it, close your hand tightly.

3. Wait until  he backs off and have him Sit again. Open your hand and show him the treat again.step 6

4. Repeat these steps until he no longer attempts to take the treat and just sits there looking at it.

5. At this point, give the Leave It command as you show him the treat. After a few seconds, reward him with the treat.

6. Continue this and make him leave the treat for longer periods before you reward him.

7. Practice with a variety of objects and varying distances. Practice Leave It with a ball before playing fetch or with your dog’s dish before each meal. Over a few days and repetitions, you’ll be able to put something more valuable to your dog very close and have him ignore it pretty reliably.

These two options are great ways to communicate to your dog that leaving something alone will pay off for him. Start this training soon. Be patient during training sessions and keep it fun and exciting. As long as you stay consistent and continue to practice, you should get great results. Over time, you’ll be able to give this command with new things in new situations and your dog will listen. If you have trouble with this command, you can always consult a local, trusted trainer who can give more hands-on help.

Leave a Comment
An unknown error occurred while submitting your comment.
Please wait a bit and try again.
Your comment has been successfully submitted and is awaiting moderation.
Check back soon!
There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind?

© PetSafe. All Rights Reserved. Content is provided as a public service. Links and views may lead to companies that may or may not be affiliated with PetSafe or other brands of Radio Systems Corporation.