- Lilith Erlenbusch
Teach your dog - Leave it!
Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Learn this training tip to disengage your dog with desired objects and people. Useful in your everyday life with any dog, and especially with a reactive dog.
Teach your dog how to disengage from something that interests them. The concept of delayed gratification might ring a bell! This exercise will help your dog to build impulse control. You can use this cue, for example, when your dog wants to run up to another human or dog. It can even be helpful for around the house like when they're about to pick up your favorite sock from the floor.
Like with every new behavior that sticks, learning "Leave it!" is all about slowly building up the capacity to disengage. Start with something that isn't too interesting. It could be something like your fist or your phone. The behavior we want to create and teach is that the dog is able to see an object but not move towards it, and instead to look back to you. After this behavior is learned successfully with not-so-desired objects, we will start to increase the difficulty level. Incrementally move up to the next level of a desired object, choosing something like a treat next for example.