How To Train A Dog Leave It

How To Train A Dog Leave It


Leave it! That’s the command we dog owners use when we see our dogs eyeing up something they should leave alone. But to make “Leave it” work in real life, your dog has to understand that you have something better. This is one of the best tricks you can teach your dog because it can prevent them from eating things they shouldn’t, like moldy food or a dead animal in the park (ew!). So how do you train a dog to leave it? Here are my top tips for getting started:

# Introduction

The introduction should be written as if speaking to someone who has not read this blog post before. It should include what “this section does” and an outline of the post (which will be used later on in the notebook).

Start with very low value treats.

  • Start with very low value treats.
  • Use a treat that the dog is not very interested in, but will take when offered. I use hotdog pieces or peanut butter training sticks in my videos, as they are easy to break apart and turn into smaller pieces. Also, they don’t stick to your hands like some other treats do!
  • Use a treat size that is small enough so that you can deliver it quickly, but large enough to be seen by your dog at all times (so no tiny little bits!).

Now, start to give the treat in your hand at the same time as you say “Leave it”.

Now, start to give the treat in your hand at the same time as you say “Leave it”.

Make sure you have a treat in your hand and make sure your dog is looking at you. Be absolutely still so they don’t get any ideas about grabbing the food when they see it. When they look at you, give them the treat as soon as possible after saying “Leave It” and then repeat this exercise until they are reliably doing it

When your dog is reliably backing away from your hand every time you say “Leave it”, gradually start using different foods.

When your dog is reliably backing away from your hand every time you say “Leave it”, gradually start using different foods. Start with treats and move to food. Then, as the training progresses and he backs away from each new thing at a distance of at least one foot, start introducing toys in place of treats and then shoes in place of toys. Finally, when he has mastered all these challenges without touching any of them and is reliably backing away from people as well as other dogs (including ones who are jumping on him), try using real life situations where you want him to leave something alone.

Start taking tiny steps forward when saying “Leave it”.

When you’re first teaching a dog to leave it, start with a few tiny steps forward. For example, if your dog is sitting in front of you and you want to move about 3 feet away from them, say “leave it” and move just one foot at first. If they don’t get distracted by anything else, reward them with treats (make sure not to give them one when they take one).

If they are distracted by something else that is closer than 3 feet away (such as another person), do not move forward any more than the original distance that was said “leave it”. If this happens repeatedly during training sessions, try moving forward less distance each time until eventually your dog no longer needs an additional command before being able to follow commands while you are far away from them (and vice versa).

When you’re both happy with progress in the living room, move to a different room with fewer distractions and repeat the process.

The second step is to move the training out of your living room, where there are more distractions for your dog. Start by repeating the above steps with a low-value treat and work your way up to more difficult locations, such as in an open field. Again, repeat this process until you feel confident that Fido will respond appropriately in other situations.

In order to nail down this command, remember these key points:

  • Use the same command for the same action
  • Use the same tone of voice when giving instructions (no yelling or whispering)
  • Use the same movement of your hand when directing Fido’s attention away from something he shouldn’t be eating or touching
  • Choose one spot that’s convenient for both you and Fido—if it’s too far away, he may not focus on what he’s supposed to do; if it’s too close, he might get distracted by his surroundings or other people passing by

When you’re confident that your dog won’t take food from your hand or from the floor when you tell them to “Leave it”, it’s time for some real-life training!

There are many ways to train your dog to “leave it” and many different situations in which you can do so. However, it is important that you make sure your dog knows what they should leave when you say “Leave It” in the real world. Your dog will be much more likely to listen if they know what is expected of them and that their behavior can have serious consequences if they don’t listen.

When training for this command, I prefer using food rewards because dogs love food and will work harder for treats than anything else! If this sounds like something you want too then keep reading!

Narrow down a spot where your dog is most likely to find something unpleasant that they might want to eat.

Narrow down a spot where your dog is most likely to find something unpleasant that they might want to eat.

  • A spot where the dog has previously found something unpleasant and left it alone (this shows that they know what’s not good for them).
  • A spot where the dog has never found anything unpleasant before (this shows that they don’t feel like there’s any reason not to eat whatever is there).
  • A spot where the dog is least likely to find something unpleasant (if your pet likes garbage, this may be easier said than done).
  • A spot that offers easy clean-up if necessary (so no carpet in case of accidents).

I like to call this playing ‘chase and reverse chase’!

First, you will need a game of chase. You can play this game with your dog on leash, or off-leash if they are able to hold their attention while playing.

To play this game, you should start by putting your dog in a sit/stay position and then walking away from him/her. When he/she realizes that you’re leaving them behind and begins to follow, turn around and run in the opposite direction. This is known as “reverse-chase”, because it’s like combining two actions into one: running away from something (leaving) and chasing after it (trying to catch up). The best thing about this game? It’s great exercise for both of you!

Once your dog catches up with you again (or doesn’t), allow him/her to sniff around before sitting back down on command—this helps keep his mind focused on following commands rather than tracking smells or other distractions behind us!

Temptation often comes from unexpected directions!

The dog’s stubbornness and persistence can be used to your advantage. If you’re persistent, too, then you’ll be on equal footing with your pup and will come out on top. The key is patience, along with consistency. If a dog seems hungry or if it’s been awhile since he’s had food (and even if he hasn’t), don’t give in! Resist the urge to give him any scraps—keep him away from temptation. You may have to practice this over and over again until he realizes that you mean business!

Dogs are very intelligent and willing to learn wrong lessons if we aren’t careful!

Dogs are very intelligent and willing to learn, but they aren’t perfect learners. We need to make sure we’re teaching them how to do things right so that they don’t learn the wrong lesson accidentally. For example, if you’re trying to teach your dog “leave it” and your dog is interested in something on the floor like a piece of paper or an old sock, you may think that it’s okay for him/her to go ahead and pick up the object because you want him/her to practice this command. But what happens if your dog picks up the object while still running towards another person? You’ve just taught him/her that it’s okay for him/her not only to go after whatever he wants but also run towards people! In order for this command (and any other) to be effective, we have got to make sure our dogs understand what we mean when we say leave it by actually leaving whatever is on their mind alone long enough so our dogs can concentrate on us before going after anything else!


Leave it is an incredibly useful command that can keep your dog safe, but it’s also a great way to boost your bond with them. It’s a good idea to make this exercise part of a regular training routine in order to prevent bad habits from creeping back in. The method we’ve outlined above works very well for most dogs, but don’t worry if your dog takes a little longer than average—some breeds are much more food motivated than others and will take longer before they can be trusted outside! If you have any questions about training your dog “Leave it”, feel free to leave us a comment below so we can help out.

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