Teaching your dog to “leave it” is one of those skills that can be used in a million different ways. Whether you’re getting them to leave a squirrel, another dog, or another person, this can be a great way to keep your pup out of trouble. It’s also useful for things like table manners, or keeping them from picking up dangerous food that you’re dropped off the counter. In this video, Instructor Carol will show you how to teach the foundation of this skill to your dog.
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00:00 How To Teach Your Dog ”Leave It” For Dogs That LOVE To Chase
01:13 Here’s Why Teaching This Can Be Difficult
02:24 The First Step To Teach Your Dog To Leave It
03:57 We Need To Talk About The Technique
05:39 Your Timing Makes A BIG Difference When Teaching “Leave It”
07:16 “Leave It” Training For The Real World
10:23 Troubleshooting Your “Leave It” Command
Thanks for watching,
Happy Training! ~Ken
Welcome back to McCann
Dogs. I’m instructor Carol, And with me today is
Derek and his dog Luna. Derek has an interesting challenge
with Luna and a pretty common one. So you might find you’ve got the
same challenge with your dog, Derek. How long have you had Luna? Luna is a rescue. We’ve had
her for about three months now. And you’ve said she’s great in the house, But she gets outside and she likes
to chase things. Tell me about that. Yep. So in the house, she’s great.
She’ll listen, once we get outside, She’ll see a squirrel or a chipmunk or
even a person jogging and she’ll wanna Chase after them and pull on. The leash. And will she listen to you? Nope. Toned out. She’s focused on
whatever’s in front of her and not me. So. What do you do right now? When Luna pulls? We have an aerosol spray. Can
that’ll make a hissing sound. That’ll get her attention
and turn her head back to us. Perfect. So you’re not spraying her. It’s just that sound that gets our
attention back. It’s just the sound. Yes. Which is not a bad thing.
We’re saying. We’re, We’re breaking that attention on the
object, getting her to focus back on us, Which is similar with what we’re gonna do. The advantage of our voice
is that I’ve always got that. So I a tool’s not bad, but I may
not always have it with me. Okay. The other thing I wanna do is try and
prevent her before she’s already there. I wanna try and set her up. So it’s easy for her to turn back first
things first. Let’s talk about the, Leave it now. Many ways to teach this
we’re going to actually, with her, I’m gonna use something fairly boring. So a lot of people think let’s start
with a squirrel or let’s get the jogger. But if that’s gonna blow my dog’s
mind, they’re not gonna be successful. And I don’t want the dogs to
think leave. It means, oh, bummer. You’re gonna take away something I want,
I should run. Grab it, go hide with it. I want the dogs to say leave. It means
I’m gonna get something way, way better. So it’s hard to beat the squirrel
right now. So we’re going to actually,
I’m gonna have you in a second.
You’re gonna have food in your hand. You’re gonna walk her up. You can just
hold on for a second. You’ll walk her up. As soon as she starts to look at that, You’re gonna have her with
the leash tighten gathered
up enough that you can say The word, leave it. As soon as she looks, Then you’re gonna put food on that
nose and then turn her away. Yes. And reward her. So yes,
for turning away from it. So she sees something that’s mildly
interesting. It’s far enough away. Leave it, food in the nose to
help or turn yes. And reward. So tons of repetition of, oh,
leave. It’s a pretty good thing. I don’t mind leaving that at all.
Cuz I’m getting a great reward. So I’m gonna suggest start with
the leash in your right hand. And then you gather it up food in the
left and it’s gotta be gathered up Enough so that you can, I don’t
want it initially to be tight, But you’ll be walking
with her. Hey girlie, You’ll be able to get that food
on the nose with your left hand. And then you can get her attention. You
got the food in the left hand. Good. And you start towards it. As soon as
she makes eye contact with that bag, Leave it, leave it, food on the nose. Luna, leave it. Good and turn around. Good. Excellent.
So that was close to the timing. As soon as she looks, I want
you to get that, leave it. And then as soon as the food’s on the
news, you’re actually gonna turn her. And I like to turn 180 degrees just
because it really clearly says leave That alone. So grab another piece
of food. Gather up that leash. Luna walk towards there.
Soon as she looks, leave it, Leave it right now, food
on the nose. Turn her away. Excellent. Very good. And you might
even use the word. Yes. We use the yes. When our dogs are perfect in the exact
second. So it just really reinforces, That leaving that was the right thing.
And if you use yes even, you know, When you’re teaching a
sit or other activities, That’s gonna just get ingrained with
her and see if you can even about a Foot closer. She’s looking at that
point. Get that, leave it out. Okay. Kela let’s go.
Yeah, leave it. Good food on
the nose. Good. Excellent, Good. That was working pretty
well. We’re seeing some success, But I wanna really talk a little bit
about technique and show you the important Concepts. You know, maybe you’ve
tried leave it, but it didn’t work. But if you miss one of those
important points, it may not work. But if you nail them all
guaranteed, it will. Girly. So I’m gonna get her attention. Good
girl. Are you ready? Are you ready? Let’s go. Yes. You leave
it. Yes. Good girl. So notice how that leash. Yes. Good girl. Notice how that leash never went
tight. I’m gonna get her attention. I got my leash gathered up, so
I’ll be able to reach that nose. I’m keeping her attention.
Let’s go soon as she looks. Oh, let’s go back. You didn’t even
wanna look that time. Good. Girly. And some of that is the reason she’s
now paying more attention and not Interested in that is cuz she truly
laughed it because there was no tension on The leash. When there’s
tension on the leash, They’re not making the full choice and I
need her to make that choice. Let’s go, Leave it. Yay. Good girlie. And I can use my voice to let
her know how brilliant that was. Let’s try one more
girl. And I’m that? Yes. To say she was brilliant before
she does it. I appraiser. Yes. So she’s on a loose leash.
Let’s go soon as she looks. Leave it. Yes. Good girlie, go
girl. And I’m letting her know, Not just the food using
my voice. Hey girl, Let’s try it one more time and I’m gonna
not use the food and see if she’ll turn Without the food. Are you
ready? Let’s go leave it. Yay. Good girlie. You’re brilliant.
Whoa. You’re so smart. So I wanna use that voice.
She loves that. And you’d see, Even though you know,
she’s not fully trained, She’s not gonna leave a squirrel now
we’ve worked with that bag and she said, Okay, there’s more value in
leaving it than not. Now. Let’s have you do that again.
Loose leash using that. Yes. Girl. Leave it. Nice time. Loosen up on the
leash. That’s girl’s it. That hand down.
Good. Keep talking to her good. Girl. Luna. Good. Good. So that was much nicer on the loose leash
and even when you got close and that Right hand started to come up, you
adjusted that to keep it loose. We’re not using the leash to move
her. We’re gonna use that food. You got the food on the nose nicely. Now I want you to actually turn
and move away. So keep moving. You don’t need to stop. I’m going to
leave it food on the nose turned. Yes, But I’m gonna, as I reward, keep
walking and keep talking. Okay. On girl. Come on. Let’s go leave. It. Nice. Good. Girl. You turn perfect. Girl. Yes. And keep talking.
Lovely. That was nice. That feel different. Yes. Yeah. That was much better. Here’s a big mistake. People make, We get success with our sandbag
or whatever item you’re using. And then we think great. I’m
ready for the real world. My dog is trained in leave it. Well,
they’re not ready for that squirrel yet. Nowhere near, We need to do tons of repetition of
easy wins where my dog turns away from Different items, different
locations and says, ah, I’d much rather turn back to you than
pull forward. When I hear that, leave it. And then we’re gonna do this. We’re
gonna up the ante just a little bit. We’re not ready for squirrels, But I got a fake squirrel and it’s on
a remote control car. SQUIRREL TANK! To begin with. I’m not gonna have
that car moving so that again, I wanna have lots of wins on this. So I’m going to approach my
new object. Same location. So I’m only changing one thing at a time. So I’ve got a little tougher
distraction. I got her attention. Get her on a loose leash. Soon
as she sees that, leave it. Yay. No trouble at all.
So this time we’re gonna let
that make a little bit of noise, But not actually keep it
moving. Ooh. What is that? What is that? Let’s go.
Let’s go leave it. Yes. Good. Girly. Very nice.
So she could hear it. It was a little more exciting, but she’s
still able to be successful. Hey girl, Are you ready? Are you ready? Okay, let’s. Go. Leave it. Yes. Good girl. Gly. Yes. Good girl. So you can see
it’s a little more exciting, But she’s still able
to turn on that. Okay. So Derek remember loose leash food
in the nose. As soon as she sees it, Keep that leash loose. Talk to
her as soon as she turns and yes. And reward. Let’s go Luna. Leave it. Yeah. Hold on. Let’s go. Ahead. My very back one more time. But. Actually let’s talk about
that. That was great. She actually turned without
you even saying it. Yeah. She anticipated it and that’s
what, that’s what I wanna see. She’s saying the value is no
longer in chasing things. Yeah. When I see something
exciting, I wanna turn back. So ultimately I don’t want you to have
to say leave it every time you see Everything. Okay. That’s
exactly what I wanna see her do. It also tells me I’m ready
for a little harder challenge. So this time we might keep
it moving just a little bit. Okay. Okay. Luna. Let’s go look. Leave it. Good girl. Luna’s. Perfect. Yes. Good girl. Good. Oh, there we go. Now it’s got some life. Let’s go Luna. Leave it. Leave it.
Oh that was, that was the tough. That was a little late. You’re right. That was the, yeah.
She moved pretty quick on that. Good. Leave it. We’ll slow it down a little
bit soon as you see your eyes meet there. Leave it. Yes.
It’s good timing Derek.
Excellent. Good girl. Perfect. So early saying leave it early
is never wrong. You know, Maybe it’s not the full challenge,
but we wanna get it out. So, you know, This is what we wanna do. We
wanna evaluate our dogs and say, What level of challenge
are they ready for? If they’re going from zero to a hundred
and at the end of the leash before we Can react, it’s too tough. A distraction. If it’s easy peasy and they’re
just not even looking away, Then we know we’re ready
for a little bit more. So some motion she was great with and
she was able to turn back voluntarily, Which is exactly what
I wanna see over time. When it got really exciting,
that was just too hard. So it tells us we need to do more of that
level with her. And in new locations, We may need to do tons and tons of
those easy, easy ones again. Again. Now I talked about Luna needing tons
of repetition of success to build Value for that. Leave it, but
Derek needs practice as well. And you need practice. Cuz
that technique is so important. Keeping that loose leash is
so, so important. I want to, As soon as my dog makes contact food on
the nose to help them on a loose leash, Be successful. Yes the
turn. Keep moving upright. Really letting my dog know that they’ve
done a fantastic job with my voice. Now, one thing I need to touch on, we
talked about earlier and very quickly, What happens when the
dog’s not successful? I wanna put that other hand on the leash.
I’m holding the leash with this one. The leash goes tight.
They’ve ignored the leave it. I’m just gonna take that leash. I’m
gonna use my hips, turn, move away. So my dog’s not getting rewarded. They’re not able to get to
what they want and sorry, But no cookie on that one
only when you’re successful, Then I need to make sure I’m not making
the challenge too hard for my dog. Technique for redirection is so important
so that you understand how to do it Correctly. Check out
this video right here. If you want some personalized
help teaching your dog
to leave it through me or Other McCann instructors, check
out our online Life Skills program.
The link is in the description
below on that note. I’m Carol. This is Derek and this
is Luna happy training.