“Leave It” is one of those commands you dream of your dogs knowing, and always obeying. We have some friends, and their dog is a pro at it. They’ll put treats on her paws, on her nose, etc and say, “leave it,” and their dog does. They’ll be walking their dog outside, tell her to “leave it” to something on the ground, and she does. It’s phenomenal. So, naturally, we’re trying to teach ours that same thing – to “leave it”.
Our friends helped teach all of our dogs the basics of leave it, and then it was up to us. Game on. So, straight away, I get out treats and go for it. They’re getting it, and doing so well. I have it so I can put treats down, say leave it, with all of them sitting right there, and they just wait. Now, I can walk away a few steps, and they’ll still leave it – we’re making progress.
They were doing so well, so I decided they should learn leave it with a treat on their paws, then their nose. The paws went pretty well. Luna and Sherlock did amazing, and just starred intently at the treat on their paw and waited. Luna was so excited and doing her little bum wiggle, so her treat fell off, but she still waited. Padfoot, well, he doesn’t like it if you put food in front of him and don’t let him have it, so he got a bit onery. He does the most pitiful, yet adorable moan when he’s wants something, and he laid there, treat on his paw, moaning at me. Sharky, on the other hand, she laid there, huge smile on her face, and would inch closer and closer to the treat on her paw, tail wagging. Then, she’d look you in the eye, and lunge for it. Eventually she got it down, but it took a few more tries. Then, I got cocky.
This wasn’t hard, so, I’d teach them to balance a treat on their nose and leave it. I started with Padfoot, and he got so frustrated with me bringing a treat toward his face, and him not getting it that he did his pitiful moan, then got up and walked away from me and sulked outside. On to Sharky it was, she was sooo excited. I would bring the treat to her face, say leave it as I did, and, yup, she snatched it right out of my hand. I tried again, and just kept trying. After five or six tries Sharky had had enough, and she literally tackled me, huge smile on her face, tail wagging, took the treat from my hand, and ate it while standing on top of me.
I was so shocked I didn’t even move, then I started laughing. They still can’t balance a treat on their nose, or leave it if I put one there, but for now, I’m ok with that.