Leave It

One of the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDS you can teach your dog is the "LEAVE IT" COMMAND.

Leave it:
Basically what you do is put distractions around and tell the dog to "Leave it." Exercise one: Prepare the set. Put some treats and toys around an area where you'll be walking the dog. Even if it's a living room. Walk the dog on a leash, right beside the distractions. When he goes for them, say, "Leave it," and give a quick tug on the leash. After the first round say "leave it" as just before you reach the distraction. Repeat this until he doesn't bother with them.

Exercise two:
Have the dog in a sit stay, down stay or stand. Place a treat on the floor in front of him. At first about two feet away then as he learns it, right under his nose. As you place the treat, say "Leave it." If he goes for it do the same as above, tug quickly on the leash (this is called "checking"). After a couple of seconds say, "Okay," or "Take it" and reward him with the treat. Eventually you can get him up to a minute, or as long as you want, until you give him the release word. You can set up distractions like this anytime to get him better with this command. Then once he has it down, when you hear a car coming, you say "Leave it," give him a check and he WILL learn to leave cars alone and not pull you when you walk on lead. Anytime he tries going after ANYTHING you don't want him to you command "leave it."

Attention/ heeling You take a treat and hold it up to YOUR nose. As you stand like that, call the dog's name. Say "[dog's name)" and AS SOON AS she makes eye contact (or looks at the treat), reward her - give her the treat. (Your treats should be tiny pieces because you'll use several) Repeat this at least 3 times. Oh, have a bunch of treats in your pocket. Once you have her attention and she expects a reward, call her name again and say, "Heel." At first, EVERY TIME SHE GIVES YOU HER ATTENTION - GIVE HER A TREAT! Continue to treat her one after the other as long as she is paying attention. Also PRAISE HER! Say, "good girl," or "Good attention" as you go. For the first week, be sure to praise and praise and reward and reward her continuously as she gives you attention. As you continue the lessons you can wait a few seconds between rewards, then to 15 seconds, then 30 up to a minute. Keep going until you are able to keep her attention and only reward her every few minutes. Eventually you won't need treats at all, unless you just want to do it, because she will be TRAINED to pay attention. YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT WITH THIS. AT FIRST IT MAY SEEM LIKE A LOT OF TREATS, that's why they should be very small, BUT THIS TEACHES HER THAT YOU ARE MORE INTERESTING THAN ANYTHING ELSE. This WILL WORK if you stay with it. The first week is very important, even if she catches on quickly stay with the plan for the first week. Practice, of course, as often as possible!

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