Is your dog eating food from the floor in park or on the street? Do you have kids and you don’t want your dog to steal their food? Do you like having picnic in the park and you want to enjoy it with your dog? You dont have to leave the dog home when you go for a picninc. I will show you how you can train your dog a simple command, which can be used in many different situation. First of all I have to mention that learning a new comand take time. The video below is for demonstration and for you to see the steps you can take in teaching your dog. My dog already knew the comand when I was making the video.
- step: Consider where to train your dog: Start teaching your dog this command in your house or somewhere without distraction. House or backyard are closed places, where the dog cannot run away from you. It is also good to let the dog sniff the place or walk around on his own, before you start with training.
- step: Treats : You need treats for reward and treats as food that you don’t want the dog to eat. It is very important to keep these two things separate. You hold a treat/food not to be eaten in one of your hand and you hold treat/reward in your other hand (or have it ready in your packet)
- step: Choose one word for the command and always use the same word for this command: “Leave it”. Dont say “no” or “bad boy” or “don’t touch that” Always say “Leave it” when you use this command on your dog. I trained my dog with a command “Fuj” which means “leave it” in Czech language, that’s why I use it in the video as well.
- step: Choose type of the reward and “food not to be eaten” : It should be the same type of food for start. Lets say you will choose cooked chicken meat. You should use the chicken for the reward and for the sample of food you don’t want the dog to eat. (It has to be kept in separate, different places, but it should be the same type of food). It’s good to choose something nice smelling that the dog likes a lot. I picked some sausage, well its more like a jerky. (you can see the packaging at the end of the video.)
5. step Start the training: Put the treat in your left hand, close your left hand so the dog cannot take the food, let the dog smell it and say the command, after little while give a reward treat to the dog with your other hand. Make sure the dog see that you gave him different piece of treat. The treat in your left hand stay untouched. Repeat the same again and again. Soon the dog will understand that he cannot have the food from your left hand. You can try open your left hand more and make the food more accessible for the dog, but never let him eat it. Give a reward to your dog with your other hand. The dog will understand that there is food that you don’t want him to eat and there is food that he is allowed to eat.
6. step Advancing, making progress: You can see in the video that I put the sausage on my knee. It is more open and more easy for the dog to take it, it is more temptation for the dog and harder for you to keep the dog from eating it in case the dog will go for it. It is the next step after your dog stop having interest in eating the food from your left hand. I advanced the training in the video by putting the food very close to the dog on the floor in front of him. I could do all of this in just few minutes in the video because my dog already knew the command. It will take you time to teach your dog this. Some dogs pick it faster than others. Please do not use punishment when the dog mistakely eat the food. You have to make sure that the dog cannot reach the food when you teach him this command.
I will make more videos for you to show you how you can advance this command and in which situation you can use it. On our way back from the park today we saw a cat. My dog saw it and make a move to chase it. I just said the command and my dog immediately stopped and looked at me. I gave her a treat and huge cuddle with voice excitement reward “good girl.” That is one example how this command can be used and advanced.
Other examples when this command can become handy:
When you dog:
- eat everything he found on the street
- don’t want to give you back a ball
- steel balls in the park from other dogs
- bite your shoes
- chase cats or is crazy pulling after every dog you meet
- try to eat treats or food from people in the park
When you have kids it is very handy command. Your dog needs to learn that he cannot steal food from your kids.
When I was taking these pictures, I gave Gerina reward few times for not touching the sausage that my son was holding. It was huge temptation for my dog Gerina, but she is quite advanced in learning this command. I don’t suggest you try this with your kids and with your dog. Try it first with an adults who is eating in front of the dog as some part of advanced training when your dog knows well the basic of the command “Leave it.”
Punishment for your dog: When you teach your dog this command you don’t have to use any type of punishment. When you raise your voice that is punishing enough for your dog. When I use the hand comand in this video I am not hurting the dog. It is very soft touch, that is only meant to prevent the dog from taking the food.
Commanding a dog with your hands without using a voice can be handy in situations when you cannot use your voice. When I was in the Czech republic I used to teach a dog that was completely deaf. The hands comands became a new way of communicating with his owners.
Thank you for reading my blog.
I am looking forward to hear from you in comments.