Why & How To Teach Your Puppy The “Leave It”

Hmmm… let me see?  Nope, i can’t think of any reason why I might need to work on teaching my new puppy the ‘Leave It’ command. 😉

And then there’s this photo of my other daughter that I told you I’d try to get since I left her out of our last photo shoot.

Ginger and her look so sweet in the leaves don’t they?

Fast forward 30 seconds and ginger was latched onto her pant leg trying to play tug of war 😉  She was just playing of course, but it’s time for the ‘Leave It’ training to begin.  The leave it command is the ONE command that will make your dog less annoying, and that you will use more then any other command, so it’s worth REALLY putting some effort into.

So I guess it’s time to bust out the good ole video camera and shoot you guys a video of Ginger’s (my new Golden Retriever) first ‘Leave It’ training session.

Actually… it is her 3rd session.  I did this same drill for breakfast and dinner yesterday, and she’s a few seconds faster today but not much.

*Attention All Professional Video Editors*

Ok, I gotta put out the disclaimer on this one.

I have 3 kids ages 4 and under and this video was shot with all of them on the deck at the same time.

So if you can handle a little bit of baby babble, and a shaky camera as my wife tries to keep our 10month old daughter from leaping to her impending doom, this video actually does show you a great drill that I always recommend to my clients as the 1st steps towards teaching a puppy the ‘leave it’ command.


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  1. vicki c. says:

    Love the new puppy. She will bring a lot of joy into your life. I also just acquired a new puppy after having to have mine put down at 12 yrs. of age with cancer. now I have a 3 mo. old Min Pin who is doing vey well with potty training. Your little videos have been very helpful. I hope to be able to purchase your Hands off Training Program soon. Gppd luck with the new puppy.


  2. Bud Wilson says:

    Hi Chet,
    Thank you for sending Me e-mails I read everyone of them enjoy all of them. My Daughter brought red lab from Lady who raises Labs. The Lady had pup potty trained at 6 wks when We picked Him up for hour and half drive He never potted in our truck He is now over six months old never potted in house or car yet. This Lady is great potty training Her pups.
    I read in book on how to pick out pup. I know You know about this but I didn’t. It read in book not to pick out pup until it is 47 days old not 46 day or 48 days just 47 days. It told, what to do with it before You picked it out. Book said, when pup is younger than 47 days it will change at 47 days. What You think about this. Thank You, Bud


  3. Janelle says:

    We did this with our Dane and it worked wonders for her not body checking us over when she wanted her food! Now she just ignores us while we get the food ready until we walk away from the dish and then she sniffs it and looks at us as if to say, “ok? I can eat now right?”
    Love all your tips! Now, just to stop her from piddling every time someone comes to the door!


  4. Nadine Lawliss says:

    Thanks Chet for all your insight on dog training,
    I was told to use “leave it” when I never wanted the dog to have that item and use “wait” when I wanted them wait until I gave them permission. Is it necessary to have the two different commands? It makes sense but I have already been using “leave it” for both situations.


  5. Robin Gemmill says:

    While you were filming and explaining your delightful little pup had already put in a beautiful little sit behind you….
    She is SO clever


  6. Laurie Paul says:

    Hi Chet! just viewed your video and I’m wondering… I have a Chihuahua that has a major issue with sitting, so I let her ask for her food by standing up on just her back legs when I have the dish in my hand and ready to place it in it’s usual spot. Once she does that, then I give her the food… she has it down pat and when she’s just not hungry she wont do it… was this a “no no” to teach her?? Fyi: I don’t have anyone else here to help hold her in a sitting position so that’s why I went with this… It just seemed more natural and easier for her..


    Minette Reply:

    You can teach your dog a number of different behaviors, but sit is essential. So standing is fine for one command, but sit also has to be tackled.

    Get on her level and back her up against a wall so her rump won’t just pop right back up and then be patient!


    Kimm Reply:

    I have the same issue with my chihuahua/terrier mix, so the idea of backing her against a wall is very clever and I’m going to try it! Thanks!


  7. Amy Fitzgerald says:

    I have watched ALL the videos and I still can NOT get my 14 month old Golden Retriever to control herself when people come to the house or in the yard. She is not mean, she just gets so excited and worked up that she jumps all over everyone!! It is horrible. I don’t know what else to do to train her or if what I did previously was wrong. I feel lost, it is so bad that the neighbor kids won’t even come and play with my daughter and we have to put her in another room until company leaves. Sometimes she calms down after about 15- 20 minutes but that is just too long to deal with a over excited dog. To top it all, we take her everywhere, she is always at the park, softball games, cross country events, so I know she is getting enough exposure to strangers! Help please!!!!


    Minette Reply:

    She is rewarding herself!!!

    You have to keep her on a leash and TEACH her what you want by not allowing her to jump on people.

    When she can sit and be calm she can be petted but if she pulls or jumps or screams or barks, then she can’t be interacted with until she is under control. Otherwise you are just rewarding the bad behavior and she thinks she HAS to jump on people when they come over!


  8. Tammi says:

    HI I have a big question. I acquired a GS pup at 4 months that was not socialized very well. I have been trying as often as I can to take her with me. I live in the woods not much traffic or people. So when she gets around people or traffic she is very scared. she is a nervous reck. Today I took her up town we sat for about a hour just watching cars go by letting her get used to the sounds the movement, I would walk her make her sit and wait and lay down and she did respond to all my commands. As long as we are alone however when she seen people she just starts shaking. She is 6 months old now, she is ok with my grandchildren and people who she has met. But in the public scarey. Is this a hopeless task I love her so. We work on the other morning regarding the video putting food down waiting and than she could have it. Great job, and now I can tell her to go to her bed and she does wow so excited, but worried about this social thing. Would it be better for me to take her to a ob class or cont with taking her out in the public as such, Thanks for all your help or anyone that would like to respond. I have not ever owned one that is so scared of everything geezer wow wow Please help
    Tammi and PS thanks for your videos and training help has open my eyes


    Minette Reply:

    This is going to need to be a daily kind of training, not weekly or monthly but daily!

    Find a fairly quiet place not completely “filled” with people (like not wal-mart after 5 or on the weekend) and walk her around. Teach her eye contact and focus and then work towards more people in the enviornment… but she has to have a good foundation first.

    I would check out my puppy programming video series http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/PuppyProgramming and that will give you the basic and more advanced obedience and especially teach you eye contact and focus and leash work.

    Then once you kind of have a handle on it, take a class so that she is not overwhelmed in a small space and feels like she can’t get away!


    Tammi Reply:

    Thank you for your response so quick


  9. Dorothy says:

    Hi Chet,
    I love to read your blogs and have kept a file of them in my “Ragzy” folder on my desktop. I have a problem with my 18 mo. old Schnoodle. She barks, barks, barks, barks, etc. (at people, animals, at our dinner time, when we are on the phone, reading newspaper, or on computer.) We give her plenty of attention throughout the day, so it is not that she is lacking in attention. We have tried bark collar – didn’t work. What do you suggest?


  10. Luann says:

    Hi Chet and family,
    I love your videos and they helped me train my service dog Makita. I especially loved this video because of your little one making noises and Ginger is so cute and it’s real to life. When I train Makita my other dog is usually whinning or the tv is blasting with family or friends so it’s training during real life which I feel is the best way to train. Distractions and all it also kepted my attention because it was so cute!


  11. Judy Manna says:

    Hi Chet,

    Is this really the “leave it” command? From the picture of your puppy pulling your baby’s pacifier, I thought you would teach us how to have our puppy leave something that she grabbed. Do you have a video to help us with this problem? I totally enjoyed this video, too, just wondered if you have another specific to our puppy’s grabbing and running problem. 🙂


    Minette Reply:

    Check out our puppy programming videos and we will go over a number of behaviors and training videos.



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