Author Topic: How to teach Leave It...  (Read 2225 times)

whitepupzoe

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How to teach Leave It...
« on: November 19, 2012, 10:29:09 AM »
I'm having an issue with George... he simply will not leave Olivia alone when she has food...both in her hand and in her snack cup. Not only does he follow her around relentlessly, he will take it right out of her hand.  I don't really know how to teach him to leave the food alone partly because she has a habit of teasing the dogs...she will wave the cracker in their face, then take it away.  After about the 2nd time George has had enough and just takes it...this causes Olivia to cry.

Any advice? I know I need to teach Olivia to not tease them also, but I would like George to have a little self control and not just overpower her and steal the cookie right away.  :brood:
Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 10:37:56 AM »
Precious is good with Jack if he has it in his hand, but when he puts his snack cup down on the floor next to him or on the table, she has it in an instant.  I would like to know also.
Joyce

whitepupzoe

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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 10:41:20 AM »
That's how Abby is...she knows that when Olivia has food in her hand  to leave her alone...once it hits the floor tho, it's fair game!  :laugh4:
Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 10:42:47 AM »
I tell Precious to leave it and she is fine and acts like it is not even there until I leave the room then it's gone.
Joyce

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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 10:59:27 AM »
I'd not expect him to leave it with her waving the crackers at him right away, but would begin working with him one on one. My dogs have always had a pretty strong leave it, and honestly, I teach it a few different ways - kinda proofing them for these types of things. Are they perfect? Heck no. And I'd bet that if we had kids over often, every crumb would eventually be consumed by the dogs, but when the kids do come over, they do tend to know leave it when I say it.

But, just giving them the understanding of what it is, is the first step. So, I begin by taking a yummy treat and having the dog lay down in front of me. I always have a bag full of treats and one ready to go in one hand (this is the reward treat) and another that I cup on the floor in front of the dog with my other hand (this is the "leave it treat.") The idea is that they NEVER get the treat I tell them to leave.

So, I put it down, cup it with my hand and say, "Leave it!" They will sniff, they will paw (and probably scratch), try to nibble around your hand to get the treat. The minute they pull away and look at me, I click and treat with the other treat in my other hand and take the "leave it treat" away. Anytime I am teaching a new behavior, I use a clicker. I've just found that the marking sound of a clicker is much louder and more understood than my "yes!" I still say "yes" so that I can move away from the clicker once they understand the behavior I want.

I do this several times, over the course of a couple of days, in short spurts. Then I move to laying the treat on the floor, while I'm standing next to it. Tell him to "Leave it" (usually having him in a sit in front of you is best so you can watch his body language should he look like he's going to budge to get the treat). The second he makes an attempt to go after the treat on the floor - you want to be standing very close to the treat - quickly put your foot over the treat and remind him, "leave it" and put him back in the sit. Once he stops moving forward to getting the treat (again, several session over a few days), you can click, reward with a treat from the other hand, and remove the "leave it" from the floor.

Then, to really make it solid, I make it a game. I have them lay on the floor, tell them to "leave it" and put the treat really close, being prepared with my hands to cover up the treat should they go for it. I always treat from the other hand and eventually, they get the idea - don't look at what she's told me to "leave it," but look at her eyes and I'll get the treat from the other hand. So, they'll look at my other hand, and look at my eyes, and they get the treat. I want their focus on ME not the treat. I even build it up to the ultimate test where I place the treat (and sometimes several) on their front paws and watch the drool and them stare at me like, "come on ma, pleaseeeee let me have it." I'm cruel, I know, but it really helps make that "leave it" super solid. They get rewarded like crazy and when I do this one, I often hand them the treat from their paw and say, "ok." This time, I do allow them to take the "leave it," but by me giving it to them it becomes under MY terms and only when I say it's ok. This works in some situations like in the pet store. If they spot a treat on the floor before I know what it is, I can tell them to "leave it" and they wait to see if I say it's ok. If I see it's a treat, I can say, "ok, go get it" and they are fine. If it's something I don't want them to have, then we just walk away and I praise/reward.

So, I wouldn't use the word "leave it" around Olivia just yet. If George goes after something, give him a correction like an "eh!" or an "off." But don't use the word, "leave it" til he has an understanding of what that actually means. Then eventually you can translate that to Olivia throwing crackers at him.....but you better be fully loaded with yummy treats if she does, cuz that's a tough one for a dog to handle. I'm confident George and you can do it!
Dawn
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whitepupzoe

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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 11:09:14 AM »
Thanks Dawn! Yeah I know it's gonna take some work, I don't expect him to not take it when she's waving it right in his face...just maybe hesitate a little! LOL  He is a very impulsive dog and does not have very good willpower or self control...so I have a big challenge with him.  :wall:

We had a trainer over before i had the baby and she said the same thing about him. It would take Abby maybe one or two tries before it clicked with her...George...eh...maybe 100. LOL The trainer just laughed at him and said he was "special"  :laugh4
Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 11:14:03 AM »
That was very interesting Dawn and made a lot of sense.  I think I will try it with Precious too so Jack can have his snacks on the coffee table or on the floor next to him without Precious taking them.  Thanks
Joyce

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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2012, 11:14:48 AM »
Ahh, poor George. He may be "special", but I would still take him in a heartbeat! :smitten:


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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2012, 11:38:16 AM »
I truly believe those are the BEST ones to work with, Kris. I don't see them as "special" - even though I would joke too and call them that many times, but they are just resourcefull and see an opportunity and will take it. I bet you, more than anything, give George the tools and he'll build the mansion in a day. We give our dogs far less credit than they deserve. I know with mine, Rubi will find every which way around learning something. Her ultimate goal is being fed (no wonder she's a porker, lol), and she will slap around the bush trying to get there. She knows what you want from her, but she wants to find the easiest way to get there. So, I find doing the same thing, mutliple ways, and she gets it. Bauer, he's so quick to learn and say, "look lady, I did it. now lemme try something else" that after he gets it, I can move on. They are all different when it comes to learning what we want, and some will give you a challenge, but I thnk they are just more "thinkers" than "doers."
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Bruins_Boxer

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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 02:23:52 PM »
I do /did very similar training to what Dawn said and all of mine have / had a good leave it .

I still test them every now and then and they have to wait for their meals . I put their bowls down and have to sit and wait for me to tell them "take it" .

Though now both Edy & Remy have added a bark to my release command . Not sure if they are telling me off for making them wait or what .  :mad:
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Patti

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Re: How to teach Leave It...
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 12:44:37 PM »
We trained Otis Leave it the same way Dawn explained. He is a great at lstening to that command but when we aren't looking he'll swipe a cracker or cookie. Now that Leo is old enough to give comands it really helps to have him say leave it to Otis too.
Patti & Otis (8/18/2006)