Want to learn how to teach a dog to leave it?
You’ve come to the right place!
The ‘leave it’ command is a safety cue that could literally save your dog’s life.
I’m lucky enough to be able to work with dogs (and other animals) every day. As a result, I’ve seen and heard about all the weird, wonderful and sometimes dangerous things that dogs have picked up, chewed, eaten, or tried to eat;
All kinds of poo, chocolate, egg shells, clothing, kids toys, human medication, even poison.
In fact, I look after a dog called Hugo who once ate a pair of his owner’s knickers. Sounds funny but he was really poorly and needed surgery to have them removed.
She had a £1,850 vet bill.
So as you can see, it’s SUPER important to teach your dog to ‘leave it’ as soon as you bring them home.
OK, OK we admit it,
The training methods we write about here at Pet Checkers aren’t our own.
They are the positive re-enforcement methods of world-renowned dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell.
Watch the Video Below to See How to Teach a Dog to Leave it
Once he’s nailed it, move onto step 2.
Once you have created the association between the words ‘leave it’ and your dog moving away from the treat, it’s time to make it harder for him.
At this stage, it’s important that your dog NEVER gets the treat you’ve asked him to leave, which is why we reward him with the treat from your other hand.
This is because if you ask him to leave something in a real life situation – your child’s favorite toy, for example, he’ll need to be rewarded with something else for leaving it.
If you reward him with the treat you’ve asked him to leave, he’ll think that if you ask him to leave your child’s toy, he’ll be rewarded with that toy. So the reward has to come from somewhere else.
You’re going to make even harder for your dog now.
Once your pup has ‘got it’ and is responding positively to all of the exercises so far, it’s time to apply this technique as if you were walking him.
Once your pooch mastered the leave it command with treats you can start introducing other objects – things around the house you’d want him to leave alone.
A kids toy, a pair of socks – anything he might like to pick up.
Then, once he completely understands what you want from him and he complies every time, take him outside and carry on his training.
Just don’t forget your treats!
Teaching Your Dog to Leave it in a Real Life Situation
Your dog might try to get hold of something not because it wants it, but because it hates it.
In the video below from Victoria Stilwell’s ‘It’s Me or the Dog!’ she teaches Buddy to leave the mop that he attacked every time his owners used it.
It’s a good lesson on how you can apply the technique in a specific, real world situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning how to teach your dog to leave it can be quite challenging. It takes a lot of patience from both you and your dog. If you’re asking yourself;
“My Dog Is Really Good When I Ask Him To Leave It In The House But When We Get Outside He Won’t Listen To Me?”
If you’re struggling with the leave it cue while you’re outside, try increasing the value of the reward so it’s almost impossible for your dog to ignore you.
So if you’ve been using training treats at home, try upgrading the little pieces of cheese or hot dog sausage – something that smells really good to your dog as this will bring his attention back to you.
Leave a Comment Below!
So, we’ve shown you how to teach a dog to leave it and now it’s your turn.
Have a go and leave a comment below to let us know how you get, or to ask a question.
We love hearing from our readers and we’ll respond to every comment.