I'll be the first to admit that I am not a professional dog trainer. I do not have formal training or any fancy certifications, I simply have really difficult dogs that required me to brush up on my skills. I want my dogs to be able to enjoy life off leash without annoying or hurting others. While we are far from perfect, I invite you to come join our journey as we share the training tools and tips that have worked for us and ones we are still exploring.
For this training exercise, we're only using training treats. Spot is extremely food motivated and so we're going to use this to our advantage in this exercise. We'll be using Zuke's Minis - we've linked them HERE.
To start off, let me tell you a little bit about Spot and why the "leave it" command is essential for him, or really any dog.
When we brought home Spot at 8 weeks old, we noticed a couple of things right away. First, he was extremely fear aggressive towards most dogs to the point where he had to be separated at puppy school. I can get into that later, but the "leave it" command has literally saved our lives and his. Second, Spot loves food - it's easily one way to buy his love and he doesn't discriminate. He will go to any and all lengths to get whatever is on the counter, trail, or even the neighborhood sidewalks.
Here's how this command can help you:
- Helps to refocus your dog's attention back on you
- Simple blanket cue that works in so many situations
- Helps to keep not only your dog safe, but others too
- Helps reduce anxiety in stressful situations
Giving your dog a job or task to do when stressful situations arise is one of the easiest ways to combat the situation. Dogs WANT to please so give them the opportunity to show you how awesome they can be!
The following video is a basic training exercise that you can start with the smallest of puppies. We're using Zuke's Minis as a reward which can be found HERE under "training tools." We're also marking desired behavior with a "yes." If your dog is clicker trained, please feel free to use that instead!