Lifestyles for Better Living

Dog Training Tips Part 2

Leave It Command

Along with "sit" and "stay", one of the most useful commands you can teach your dog is "leave it." This command can also be important for your dog's safety. Sometimes medicine or something that would be toxic or poisonous to your dog is dropped, and the "leave it" command could save his life.

One of the best ways I've found to train this behavior is by using something your dog wants. Usually this is a treat or his favorite toy. Hold the item in your hand in a way that he cannot grab it, but let him see and smell it.

Say "leave it" and pull your hand away. If he tries to follow it, do not let him. This is easier if you have him on a leash. If he stays back or moves back, give him a treat or praise. Don't give him the treat from the hand you told him to leave. With practice, he will leave it on command and not need the treat as a reward.

The next step is to put your dog on a leash and let him see you drop a treat on the floor. Say "leave it" and move him away. Have him sit away from the treat and you pick it up and give it to him. We want his attention to be on you. Therefore, the treat or toy should come from you.

If your dog will retrieve a toy, drop it and say "leave it" and walk your dog away from it. When he is following you nicely for a few steps, turn around, give him the "sit" command, and then "fetch" and let him get it. Over longer distances this may require a long line or when he becomes more responsive to the command and the game, you may practice off leash.

Pups That Chew First, don't get angry. It is a natural thing for puppies to chew. That's how they explore their world.

Resist grabbing the object away or taking the dog away from the object. Use a light touch on the neck or hindquarters to get your dog's attention away from the object.

Redirect the behavior with another toy or the scent of a treat. Stay between the object and your dog, letting him know that it belongs to you.

Puppies who are teething chew to relieve pain. Provide an object that they can safely chew, such as a chew toy.

Barking Dogs Don't forget that barking is a natural means of communication for dogs. But excessive barking must be controlled.

When you tell your dog to stop barking, be patient. Wait until your dog completely submits before you go back to what you were doing.

You must stay calm to correct the unwanted behavior. Your dog will mirror your energy. If you're frustrated, he will be, too! And barking is a great release for that frustrated energy.

If your dog is barking over and over again at the same object or situation, then you must step in between so that the dog knows he is not allowed to cross the barrier you have created.

Sometimes excessive barking is the result of pent-up energy. If this is happening, try to give him more exercise. You can also give them more challenges with simple games or training.

For more information and help on dog training and health, these Nook books are also available at Barns and Noble.
You and Your Dog: Training and Behaviors
Ultimate Guide To Mastering Pet Training: With A Clicker
The Ultimate Guide for A Healthy Dog

  You can also buy and download these and other books as a PDF File from Paypal.

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