The dog trainer in this video shows us a method of teaching a dog to “leave it.” This command can be taught to any dog. It is a very helpful command to shape good behavior in your dog.
It is important to teach this command to the dog step by step. In this way, you can assess the pace that the dog is learning.
The first step is to condition a clicker. The clicker will become the “marker” that tells your dog he is doing the correct behavior, and as a result, will get him a food reward. The dog trainer suggests it is okay to use your voice in this step, but he recommends to use a clicker because of its distinct sound. A clicker sound is also something new to your dog’s hearing since he is not used to hearing it compared to your voice. Once you get your dog’s attention, do the clicker and give him food as a reward. Repeat this step 10-15 times. You will know that you set a connection with your dog is when he looks at you after he hears the clicker. Always encourage your dog to make eye contact with you.
The second step is to teach the command “leave it.” To do this, show your dog that you are holding a treat and close your fist. Allow your dog to sniff it. Some dogs may lick your hand and other dogs may become persistent and will try to get the treat out of your hands. Remain still at your position until your dog backs out. Once the dog backs out, do the clicker, and give him a food reward. Repeat this several times before accelerating to giving him the cue “leave it” when you close your fist. Eventually, the dog will get what you are trying to teach them what to do by repeating the step.
The final step is to raise the bar of your training. You can put the treat on the floor and cover it with your hand before the dog reaches it. Outlast the dog with patience until he backs out. Once he does this, do the clicker, add the cue, and reward him.
The dog trainer emphasizes that consistent repetitions of the steps will make the training a success in shaping your dog’s behavior. Make sure to use a treat that the dog likes to make the training even more successful.