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"LEAVE IT!" (part 1) - by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer/Daycare Supervisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Thursday, 01 March 2012 07:49

I use this command, in many different situations. 

"LEAVE IT" means..."Leave it alone, and pay attention to ME."  You can use any other word or words - just use ones that are different from other commands you have in place.  When should you use it?  Here's one example: When the steak you were cooking for dinner, falls off the counter onto the floor!  OK, let’s get started.  Have your dog ready along with some favourite treats.

Step 1: Show your dog the treats, let them smell only, not consume. Put the treat in your hand, close your hand around the treat to make a fist; then place your fist directly in front of your dog’s nose.  Don’t move your hand away from the dog.  The object is to get your dog to back away or turn their head away from your fist. Tell your dog to “leave it” in your normal talking voice.  You’ll have to repeat the command every 5 seconds until the dog pauses for a 2 second count.  You then tell your dog “good leave it”.  Now, "take it” as you open your hand and reward with the treat.

A few different things could happen:  Your dog actually 'leaves it' (you're very lucky to have such a smart dog) or the they may lick/aw or try to nip at your fist. Just use your “negative command word or sound” ("NO"?) to stop the behaviour.  Keep your fist at their nose, and they will pause at some point so that you can offer the reward.

Repeat 5-10 times, and each time will become easier.  Practice over 3 to 4 days and move onto step 2.

Step 2: Place the treat on your open hand, and tell the dog to “leave it”.  Move your hand towards the dog’s face. If they try to take the food, just close your hand into a fist - use your negative word or sound - and try to open your hand again.  When your dog pauses for 2-3 seconds tell them “good leave it”; then reward by saying “take it”.  Practice for a few more days, until you are not having to close your hand or use any negatives.

Around this time, you should start to see that your dog is starting to stare at YOU waiting for permission to “take it”.  This is a great sign that they're beginning to understand the “leave it” command.  Practice makes perfect!  Next time, we'll continue this exercise with a few more steps!  'Til then, May Your Dog "LEAVE IT" when asked! smiley Jean

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 March 2012 08:09

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