Teach your dog to leave it – transcript

Hi, my name's Rhona and I'm a canine behaviour and training advisor here at Battersea and today I'm going to show you how to teach your dog a "leave" 

This can be useful when you need to ask your dog not to pick up something that they're not supposed to have 

You'll need two different types of food reward for this training 

Something that your dog really loves like chicken or sausage and something not so tasty too 

Dried dog biscuit is perfect 

You'll need to mark the good behaviour with a "Yes" or a clicker before you follow through with a reward 

Make sure you watch our advice on using a clicker first before using one in your training 

Place a few pieces of the less tasty food on the floor where your dog can see it but don't let them take it 

In your other hand have the tastier food behind your back 

Stop your dog from taking the biscuit on the floor by placing your hand over it 

They're probably going to try and nudge your hand out of the way so make sure you hold on 

As soon as they stop trying to get the food and move their nose away mark them with a yes and reward them with the tastier food 

Repeat this and make sure to pick up the biscuit off the floor each time before covering with your hand 

Keep practicing this until your dog understands that they only get the food reward once they move away from your hand 

Eventually they will stop trying to get the food that you place on the floor 

Once they do this you are then ready to move on 

Repeat the action, but this time wait until your dog looks up at you and gives you eye contact 

You may need to encourage this the first few times by saying their name but some will do this naturally 

When they look up at you mark with a "Yes" and follow with a reward 

Next, you're going to slightly move your hand away from the food when you place it on the floor 

But, keep it close by just in case your dog tries to take the food 

If they do manage to grab it don't worry, just start the step again 

As before, when your dog looks up at you mark them with a "Yes" and reward them with the tastier food 

Keep practicing this gradually moving your hand further away but, stay at the ready 

You don't want to give your dog the opportunity to get the food on the floor 

Once your dog has the hang of this they should start to look up at you as soon as you put the food down on the floor 

You can now introduce your cue word 

Say "leave" just as you put the food down 

Remember to always keep this positive 

If you shout "Leave!" your dog may just get worried 

Once your dog is consistently successful you can then start to practice placing tastier food on the floor 

You may have to go back to the earlier steps at this stage as this is going to make it much harder for your dog 

Remember, try to never let them get what's on the floor 

You can then try to walk your dog past a tasty distraction whilst they're on the lead 

Say "Leave" when they look at the food and wait for them to respond 

You can then reward them when they look up at you 

Keep practicing your "Leave" when out on walks with different distractions and in different locations 

You can keep making things more challenging for your dog like dropping food from a height moving it closer to them or even putting it on their paws 

Remember to have fun and always reward your dog with the tastier treat for leaving something 

That's how to teach your dog a "leave" 

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