The “leave it” command is probably one of the most useful commands you can teach your dog, right next to “drop it.” Getting your dog to leave an object can not only be useful, but it can also save your dogs life and/or your wallet.
There are places, other animals, and objects with which we often do not want our dogs to interfere. You drop a contact on the floor? “Leave it” could save you some trouble. You drop your medication on the floor? “Leave it” could save your dog’s life. One day you’re out with your dog at the park when he/she suddenly starts running after a passing skunk… well, you get the idea.
Teaching your dog to “leave” something can be very easy and even more rewarding. The best way to train your dog is by using an item that your dog enjoys. This works best with a toy or a treat. Have the toy in front of your dog where they can touch it, but can not take it from you. Move the toy away from them, and at the same time give the command, “leave it.” If your dog continues to follow the toy with their nose, gently touch their nose and push them back, and give the command again.
Once you can completely move the toy from their reach without them trying to follow it, move on to putting the toy on the floor. Do the same thing. Here, you can also use a leash to gently pull them from the toy. Once they leave the toy when it is placed on the ground, move to dropping it on the ground.
Now move to something your dog will want more, like a tasty treat. Do these same steps, but this time using the treat. It will be harder for the dog to resist, but he/she will remember the previous training, and will catch on quicker.
Keep practicing these steps with more and more irresistible items until your dog can handle leaving anything and everything you tell them to. You can later practice having your dog leave moving objects, such as bikes, kid’s toys, skaters, etc.
The more you practice, the better your dog will become, and it could become very helpful, and even life-saving, one day