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Best Way To Teach 'leave It' Or 'drop It'


Guest greytmiles
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Guest greytmiles

I would love to hear recommendations/instructions on how to teach 'leave it' or 'drop it' to my 2 year old, Miles. For example, when it's time for walkies and he's chewing on an antler I'd like him to 'drop it' so we can get moving. Right now, when I try to take his chew away he thinks i'm just playing a game with him.

 

I also figure it's a good command to know in case he ever gets into something dangerous...

 

Thanks!!

Erin

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Hold a treat in a closed hand, allow your hound to sniff. wait until your hound looks away from the treat hand and give the command "leave it" while giving your hound a treat with the other hand. Repeat, a few more times waiting for the behavior. After about 5-10 times issue the command as soon as your hound sniffs your hand, if he looks away, give the treat with your other hand. Never give the treat that is in your closed hand.

 

Chad

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Guest Harry702

First of all, in our house, "Leave it" and "Drop it" are two separate commands. "Leave it" is used primarily out on walks when Harry will pull towards something or someone that we'd prefer he'd leave alone. The way we taught him is pretty simple. You: have yummy high value treats; Dog: pulls on the leash to sniff something; You: "Leave it" in a authoritative tone... stand patiently until the dog releases the slack on the leash and/or turns toward you... you give a yummy treat and say "Yay! Good dog." Repeat ad infinitum until the dog will automatically respond to leave it by coming back to you. This can also be reinforced without treats... for example, now that Harry is trained to respond, on occasion, we'll allow him to return to the object he was interested in to sniff IF he obeys our command to "Leave it" in the first place. We also started out using the clicker, which helped to show him that the act of turning away from the interesting object, towards us, was what we were praising him for... I think it helps them learn more quickly.

 

"Drop it" is harder (in our house anyway), and we used the method mentioned above... in addition to a trade up exercise. So Harry's chewing on a toy (don't start out on this with extremely high value treats/toys) that he has medium interest in.. I walk over with a piece of his favorite treat, and toss the treat so that he has to move away from the object he was chewing on... as soon as he releases the object, it's click and "Drop it." It's definitely been harder to get Harry to respond to this one consistently.

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Basically what the other said. Plus as your dog masters each stage of difficulty, you can ramp it up this way:

 

treat in fist

 

treat pinched between fingers

 

treat in open hand or on floor (keep your foot close enough you can step on the treat before he gets to it, this one is fairly tricky for you and the dog)

 

As harry said, always reward with a different treat instead of the one used as a lure. That will teach him that *you* provide the reward so he will learn to look at you when you give him the command. If you let him have the same treat, he won't learn it as well and will try to game you. ("I get it either way, so why listen?")

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You can also start teaching with a toy or something less desirable than the antlers -- something he probably won't hang on to. Old stuffy, washcloth, whatever. Give toy to dog. If dog won't take it, just set it between his front feet. "Drop it!", take toy away, "Good boy!", treat, and give toy right back. Repeat repeat repeat repeat. Always end by leaving the toy with the dog.

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We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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when lexie was training to be a therapy dog we were told to take the food bowl and place down and ' say leave it" for a few seconds then gradually increase time. It did work. Took about 2 weeks. so the food was her reward. then we moved to harder things like hot dogs. Lexie will "leave it for 2 minutes or more now. It does work. Just repetition and gradual time increases. Drop it was harder for us. I had to lightly touch her nose so she knew to release her grasp. I am sure others suggestions are better for that one. gl

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