Whether your dog steals your slippers or sniffs through the garbage, the “leave it” command can correct his actions. Teaching your furry pal this command can potentially safe his life. For instance, if he’s trying to get his mouth on a snake or a poisonous plant, the “leave it” command can prevent him from doing this. It does take some patience and consistency on your part, but with a little determination, you can get your dog to obey this essential command.
Things You’ll Need
Arm yourself with dog treats and bring your dog into a quiet room that’s free of distractions. You want him to fully focus on you without the television blaring or family members interrupting.
Place a treat in each hand, but only show your dog one of the treats. Hold the other treat in your fist behind your back.
Say “leave it, and then close your fist to cover the visible treat so your pet companion can’t eat it. Let him sniff and lick your hand as much as he wants, but don’t give him the treat.
Wait until your furry pal realizes that he’s unable to get to the treat. He’ll stops licking and sniffing your hand. When he does, say “yes” or “good leave,” to get his attention. Then reveal the hand that’s behind your back and give him the treat that’s hiding in it. You’re basically rewarding him for leaving the off-limits treat alone.
Repeat this training method several times until your dog understands the meaning of “leave it” and moves away from your hand when you order him to.
Leash your dog and watch him closely as you increase the challenge and drop a treat on the floor while holding a more desirable treat in your hand.
Say “leave it” when your dog goes to sniff the treat. Initially, you might have to use the leash to turn him away from the treat if he doesn’t do so himself.
Give him the better treat from your hand the moment he pays attention to you and ignores the treat on the floor.
Repeat this several times until your dog associates “leave it” to ignoring the off-limits item and paying attention to in the hopes of getting a delicious treat. Eventually, try this exercise with your dog off the leash.
Slowly move your training to areas with more distractions, and eventually practice outside.
Replace the off-limits treat with various items, such as a dog toy or your slippers. You want to make sure that the “leave it” command is effective regardless of how tempting the item is.
Dog Training in 3 Easy Steps; Julie A. Bjelland