Teaching your dog the leave it command is a crucial part of the dog training process. Many dogs, especially the Retrievers, are very fond of having something in their mouths. Their instinct kicks in and it can result in improper chewing, eating, and all types of things. The leave it command may help prevent your furry pal from ingesting something that is toxic.
Rewards can work magic when teaching the leave it command to your pooch. Do not extend the training sessions beyond 10 minutes each to prevent monotony and loss of focus.
Leave It Command Steps
Here are the steps for teaching the leave it command to your canine:
- Put a treat in one hand and let your dog see you doing it.
- Leave your hand open so your dog can see the treat.
- Say “leave it” and close your hand when your dog attempts to take the treat.
- When your dog has resisted for a reasonable period, do not forget to praise him. As an alternative, you could give another treat as a reward.
- If your pup attempts to get the treat, delay until they are calm and after that give a different reward. If you are utilizing a clicker, this is also the right time to click.
- Avoid allowing your dog to get the treat because this will simply defeat the objective of training your furry pal. A few slips will not impact the training progress, but as with other commands, consistency is vital to success. If you are inconsistent, it will be hard for your puppy to understand what “leave it” means, and training normally takes more time.
- Once your dog has got hold of the command, it is time to increase the time they have to wait. Do this by gradually adding a couple of seconds until your dog “leaves it” for a few minutes at a time.
Practice With Your Dog From Various Distances
It is an excellent idea to practice the command with your puppy at various distances to ensure they obey regardless of how far or close you might be. Start by putting a treat around 2 ft. away from your dog and say “leave it.” Keep your hand close to the treat in case your pup attempts to grab it. Give a reward (but a different treat to the one you are using for training) and praise to bolster good behavior.
Shift the treat around (closer, sideways, further away, and so on) a few times during the training session.
Next, throw a treat close to your dog, take around two steps back and say “leave it.” Continue to keep a close eye on your puppy, as you may need to cover the treat with your foot if they try to grab it. Slowly and gradually increase the distance between you and the treat until your dog obeys your command.
Vary the Items Used as Treats for Your Dog
Making use of treats to teach the leave it command is only necessary at first. When your dog obeys the command with confidence, you can begin replacing treats with different items, such as toys, food, sticks, and so on. This will ensure that your dog realizes that the leave it command is applicable to all things.