How to teach your dog the "leave it" command - Blog Bowl&Bone Republic

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How to teach your dog the “leave it” command

Teaching your dog new commands is developing his skills and a great way to spend time with your four-legged friend. I have put together a simple four-step plan for you to teach your dog to follow the „leave it” command.

a dog with his guardian in the city

The “leave it” command is crucial and works well on a daily basis while living with a dog. As an object of training, choose something that your dog will find difficult to pass by indifferently. Training begins with covering things with your hand and giving the “leave it” command. Then increase the difficulty level by throwing the item in front of the dog.

What you will learn from this article:

• “Leave it” command train on an object that is important to the dog, e.g. a favourite toy

• At the initial stage, cover the item with your hand and say, “leave it.”

• Once the dog can follow the command flawlessly, start training on a different item

“Leave it” command

If I had to list the commands that make my daily life with a dog easier, the “leave it” command would be at the top of this list. Considering my four-legged friend’s curious nature, I think she has saved him from unpleasant situations more than once.

When the dog finds something that interests him, persuading him to abandon it is challenging. This situation is a real challenge if we discuss something he can eat.

If your pet can’t correctly perform the “leave it” command, getting something out of his mouth that it found on the lawn in the park will be challenging. And as we all know, dogs tend to find and eat unfit things.

Therefore, I hope that, thanks to my tips, you will be able to teach your dog to respond to the “leave it” command.

How to prepare to learn the “leave it” command

Before you start teaching your four-legged friend a new command, you must prepare for it. First, think about what time of day your dog is most rested and ready for action. If the dog is tired, it will be difficult for him to accept new knowledge.

Choose the most attractive reward for your pet. For my dog, during joint training, the best treats are snacks made by me from dried meat. When learning a new command, the dog gets a lot of goodies, so it is worth ensuring they are of good quality.

If you want to know my recipe for DIY dog treats, I refer you to the entry that you will find HERE. In it, I explain step by step how to make treats for a dog from dried meat yourself.

A sachet for treats is among the dog accessories that are very helpful when training new skills. I use a MIDI sachet from the Bowl&Bone Republic.

Thanks to this, I always have my hands free during training. What’s more, I know my canine glutton well. If only he heard the characteristic rustle of a treat wrapper, he would focus all his attention on that. I recommend you take a case for dog treats to training.

A place to train with your dog

If the “leave it” command is one that you teach your pet, then you certainly know what place to choose for training. However, if not, I will tell you what issues you should pay attention to.

First, as a place of training, choose a space that your dog already knows well. Otherwise, new smells and sensations can distract your four-legged friend.

You can train at home, but it is not necessary. As a training place, you can choose a park where there will not be too many dogs around. The presence of other quadrupeds can distract your dog too much. Instead of learning new skills, he will want to make contact with other dogs.

I always train with my dog ​​in his favourite park, which he knows very well, and there is no need to sniff everything around. In addition, I know which space is least frequented by people. That makes my dog ​​feel confident and good in this area, and his attention is entirely focused on me and following my commands.

Choose a training item

We start learning the “leave it” command by choosing a thing on which we will practice the command. It is essential to select something potentially interesting for the dog. If he ignores a given item, the whole learning process may be ineffective because the dog will perform your command correctly without any problems.

In the case of my dog, his favourite DEX toy works best. I know that it is complicated for him to pass by it indifferently. Therefore, it is excellent for training the “leave it” command.

If your dog is not a toy lover, you can treat his favourite treat as a training item. My dog ​​ likes cubes that you can buy at the pet store. I know they would be great to use during training.

However, it would be best if you remembered that the training object should be a different flavour than the treat you reward him for the execution of the command. In such a situation, the dog will not have any motivation to complete the task because he will realize that by skipping the training item, he will get another one in the form of a nation from you.

a dog with his guardian in the city walk

How to teach your dog the “leave it” command step by step

You already know how to prepare for joint training of a new skill with your four-legged friend. So it’s high time to start learning.

First stage

As with all other commands, step one will be the easiest for your dog. Put an object on which you are going to exercise, e.g. the toy mentioned earlier, in front of your dog. Then cover it with your hand and say, “leave it”.

Keep eye contact with the dog so that he knows you are closely observing his behaviour. If the dog bypasses your hand and takes the toy, we repeat the whole situation. It is essential that covering the toy with your hand is more symbolic than actually blocking the dog’s access to it.

Give him a well-deserved reward if your dog correctly executes the command and does not take the toy for a few seconds on your order. Repeat this sequence several times, so your dog fully assimilates and remembers it.

Stage two

You think executing the command correctly during this stage will be challenging. Namely, when putting a favourite toy or treat you use during training in front of the dog, do not cover it with your hand. Let your pet have full access to it.

Say the command to “leave it” and wait for the dog’s reaction. When he reaches for the toy, he puts it back on the ground and gives the command again. If your dog decides not to take the toy in his mouth, praise him and give him a well-deserved reward.

Repeat the entire sequence several times. Each time, try to slightly extend the time between saying the command and rewarding the dog with a treat for the correct execution of the command.

Stage three

Now your task will be not to put the toy on the ground but to throw it. I don’t know about your pet, but mine reacts much more enthusiastically when I throw something at it. Therefore, this stage of learning can be challenging.

Consistency is essential here. My dog executed this command correctly for the first time, only after a dozen attempts. When he received an award for his performance, the next time, he knew what to do to receive his favourite treat.

Stage four

At this stage, try to use the command on other things than you have been training so far. Change the toy for another one or exchange it for treats. Another item to train is your dog’s food bowl at mealtime. If he manages to execute the “leave it” command correctly and only approach the bowl when you allow him to do so, then this will be a real success of the training for this command.

a samll dog with a red scarf palys

Learn the “leave it” command step by step

Now you know how to teach your dog to follow the “leave it” command. Patience and consistency in achieving the goal are crucial here.

Can your dog follow the “leave it” command? Or maybe science is yet to come?

If you have any questions or want me to discuss a topic in the next post, share it in the comments section.

Author: Klaudia, great dog lover

The dog by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and to perceive each subsequent day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. While looking for my soul mate, I found it in a dog's wise eyes.

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