The “Leave It” Command

I absolutely love the "leave it" command with its universal use. I use it on a daily basis for anything from a person, to another animal (i.e. squirrel, cat, dog, and so on), to a dropped piece of food, etc. Should you have a poop eater, get this command solid enough and you can use it for that. Like with every command you teach your dog, the more reliability you desire, the more practice you have to put in. Dogs are smart but need a lot of practice for commands to really become reliable.

  • Just remember that you have to be present to use the "leave it" command. Saying “leave it” once does not mean they won’t try to engage at a later time.
  • Timing is imperative, so keep those treats handy and get ready to reward.
  • Teaching dogs new things is always done in a positive manner.

How To Teach The "Leave It" Command

You will need a toy the dog likes and some treats.

  • Using the toy, bring it "alive" by moving it around. If it makes noises, you will use that a bit later on to increase the difficulty.
  • The moment the dog starts to go for the game item, in a calm and assertive voice say the "leave it" command. When they begin to go at the tug, don’t pull it away otherwise you are creating a game.
  • The dog will pause a second and that’s when you reward. TIMING IS IMPERATIVE at this point.
  • You will start to add distractions when it gets a little more solid on the "leave it" command.
  • Keep using the same toy in this learning phase, after a week of this also use other items to play with.

The more you practice, the more your dog will consistently back off. Give it time.

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