Leave It Command

How to Teach a Dog to Leave It


The Leave It command keeps you from handling the harmful things your dog might try to pick up with his mouth. It also protects him from possibly dangerous non-edibles or poisoned edibles. You may want to practice training over the course of several sessions depending on how quickly your dog learns the command.

  1. Hold a treat between your index finger and thumb with your palm up. Display the treat to your dog.
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  2. He will try to take it. Give the Leave It command, close your hand into a fist, and turn it so that your palm is facing down.
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  3. When he diverts his attention, praise him, and give him praise or the treat.
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  4. Repeat the steps until your dog looks away from your hand and at you when you command him to Leave It and you turn your hand over.
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  5. After your dog is responding to the command, place a treat on the floor and cover it with your hand.
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  6. Slowly undercover the treat, and give the Leave It command
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  7. Reward your dog when he leaves the treat.

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