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These magic words are the difference between this baby keeping his sandwich or the dog eating the sandwich.


"Leave it" is about self control. Learning to respect the rights of someone else to keep what is rightfully theirs.


Impulse control. Resisting difficult temptations.

Accepting that just because you want something and can reach it, that it isn't automatically yours.


Most of all, that the way to get what you want, is by offering behavior your person wants!


Step one - Doggy Zen - here is a nice video by Donna Hill.

Leave it!

Puppy strains to reach an off limits item - owner is a tree and waits. When the puppy gives up, "Yes!" and delivers treat.  When pup is looking at the temptation and starts to shift it's attention on its own, the handler says, "leave it!" just as the puppy is about to anyway. Soon the puppy associates "leave it" with looking to the trainer.

Before long, the pup avoids the plate and chooses the trainer.

Puppies ignoring a variety of temptations,

no yanking or scolding necessary!


Some temptations are much more difficult than others!

Can you resist all temptations? I didn't think so! Be fair.
Don't leave a high value item within reach and leave the house.


If your dog already has something in his mouth, it's too late to say, "leave it" - he's already got it! If your dog loves to fetch and carry, you can teach him to "get it", "bring it", "put it", "drop it." He could learn to fetch and deliver, help clean the house and put his toys away.


The dog who knows that you like it when he brings things he's found to you, is more likely to bring found items to you, rather than run off and chew them up. Be sure to put this skill on cue so your dog doesn't spend all day looking for something else to bring you! Once the retrieve is on cue, If you didn't ask for it, you simply no longer pay for it.

Aspen the ultimate retriever belongs to Diane Pinkerton-Wenner. Thanks, Diane for sharing this great pic!


What a good boy to bring those to mom! And not a tooth hole in a single bun!
Retrieving edible food items is a doctorate in retrieving skills!



See also:
Counter Thieving

Poop Eating (coprophrasia) & Rock Eating (Pica)

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