What Is the Best Way to Teach a Puppy to Leave It?
Puppies are naturally curious about everything, and while this tendency is a distinctive aspect of development, it can cause problems in some situations. It can be risky to grab whatever they can put in their mouths. It's much easier to learn a strong "leave it" cue than wrestling with your puppy after she picks up something banned.
Leave it puppy training is a simple technique to divert your puppy's attention away from a potentially harmful situation and toward you in exchange for a sweet treat.
Why Is It So Important to Teach Dogs to "Leave It"?
Puppies use their lips to explore their surroundings, including everything from your fingers to electrical lines. Teaching pups to resist temptation teaches them to impulse control and protects them from choking hazards and unintentional poisoning. A strong dog leave it training can keep your dog from diving for a chicken bone on the ground during a walk or snatching medication that you've spilled by accident.
When your puppy spots something interesting on the ground, the first line of defense is "Leave it." The idea is to convince your puppy to gaze away from the item and toward you, which will prevent him from taking it. However, puppies can be overly swift and pick up contraband before their owners have a chance to apply the "leave it" command. A "drop it" cue comes in handy in this situation. The "drop it" signal can also be used in more informal contexts, such as during a game of fetch, to prevent your puppy from eating dangerous items once they're already in her mouth.
What Is the Best Way to Teach a Dog to Leave It?
Identifying your puppy's treatment hierarchy is the First Step on how to train your puppy to leave it. Although most pups enjoy all rewards, this activity necessitates a dull, dry treat and a pocket full of high-value treats, such as freeze-dried liver or cheese.
The following dog leave it techniques should be stretched out over numerous training sessions:
Place the boring goodie beneath your shoe and show it to your pooch. Cover it with something so she can smell it but not reach it. Your puppy will most likely bite and scratch at it to uncover your shoe, but don't move your foot or recognize this action. Your dog may look away for a moment after realizing she can't dig through your foot to get to the treat, which is the first Step in a leave-it cue. Move or gaze away from the goodie under your shoe and reward your dog with one of the special goodies.
Please pick up the uninteresting goodie from beneath your shoe and place it back under it so your puppy sees it. This will make it appear "fresh," Your puppy will likely return to the same digging/biting/licking strategy she employed before. Mark the instant your dog looks away or backs up from your shoe once more, and then give her a special treat.
Increase the difficulty when your puppy reliably backs away from your shoes after laying the reward beneath them. Allow her to view the goodie by moving your toe, but be prepared to cover it again. If your puppy turns away, signal it with a phrase or a click and give her a special gift. Return to Step 2 if your puppy has trouble ignoring the uncovered goodie.
Add your vocal cue when your puppy starts to back away from the treat next to your foot. As she backs away from the action, she says "leave it" to "name" it. It will most likely take 15 to 20 repetitions for your dog to associate the term with the looking away or backing up behavior she is doing. (You can do this across numerous training sessions to link the word to the action.) Keep in mind that the purpose of this cue is for you to move away almost instinctively when you say it.
By "animating" the dry treat, you might make it even more difficult for your puppy. Say "leave it" and kick or chuck it, then mark and treat your dog as soon as he backs away.
Put your puppy on a leash and stroll past one of the dry biscuits to begin generalizing the behavior. As you approach the biscuit, say "leave it," then praise and reward your dog as she backs away. Experiment with this Step in different parts of your house and yard. Return to Step 5 if your puppy does not respond to the "leave it" command.
While your puppy is on a leash, continue generalizing the behavior by walking her through various items she might find intriguing, such as soiled socks or wadded-up paper towels. Request that she "leave it," then reward her with a special treat before continuing your stroll.
Use the "leave it" cue with low-value items on walks, such as a stick thrown across the street or plastic bags. The idea is for your puppy to find the behavior so rewarding (and reflexive) that she'll cheerfully respond to "leave it" when you need it, like if she sees a pile of French fries on the ground.
Dog Training Suggestions
Stay calm when employing your leave it puppy training, even if keeping your dog from grabbing wrong items might be frustrating (and often unpleasant!). You're not trying to terrify her into ignoring the item; instead, in a calm, non-threatening tone, you're asking her to follow your directions. If your puppy isn't reliably responding to the "leave it" command in the real world, you'll probably need to work on some remedial housetraining.
Curious pups may seek out inappropriate stuff outside that might pose serious health risks, such as parasite-infested excrement or sick, dead animals. Along with teaching your dog, a firm leaves it command, make sure they're getting year-round parasite protection, such as Interceptor® Plus (milbemycin oxime/praziquantel), a monthly chew.
By practicing "leave it," your dog will eventually cease pulling as soon as you deliver the command. If you're going to give him a treat, make sure it's something excellent, not just kibble. You're teaching him that asking him to leave food doesn't necessarily mean he won't get anything but might get something even better.
When your dog responds consistently to the cue, you can educate him that "leave it" refers to more than simply food on the floor. Rep the practice with five different items that your dog finds uninteresting.
Start employing more exciting objects after using five distinct "boring" items. You are the only one who knows what goods your dog would find more appealing, so don't jump to high-value items right soon. It would help if you gradually moved up to high-value things to maximize his chances of learning the cue. Don't start there if your dog is attracted to Kleenex or a piece of plastic on a stroll. Choose the goods that will help you achieve your ultimate goal: You want to know that when you say "leave it," your dog will leave whatever you're asking him to leave.
When he leaves an object, the prize he receives can also alter. Squeak your dog's favorite toy and play with it. With it for a few moments after he's finished with the other item of interest. Because most dogs like connecting with humans, a few words of praise or some toy play work just as well as a treat.
Keep it lighthearted.
Although the "leave it" command can save a puppy's life, most puppies can rapidly learn the fundamental stages. You want him to think of it as an enjoyable game. Start training in various venues with greater distractions once your dog has mastered the game at home. With experience, your puppy will learn that checking in with you for a sweet reward is preferable to walking down the street eating chicken bones.