Teaching the ‘leave it’ command can be very helpful and even lifesaving for your pet. The leave it command can be used in a wide range of situations.
A few examples are:
- To interrupt your pet from picking up items from the floor that might be harmful, such as dropped medication, toys, eyeglasses, bottle caps, and dropped food, among other things.
- To interrupt your pet from picking up items from the ground, such as plant material, discarded food, or trash.
- To interrupt your pet from taking items from children or other pets (e.g., toys or food) or removing them from counters or tables.
- To interrupt your pet from tugging on clothing or chewing on things.
- To interrupt your pet from interacting with people, pets, or wildlife (e.g., engaging in playful behavior, jumping onto or attacking a pet or person, chasing a rabbit). This can be particularly helpful among the elderly or very young who may be too fragile to engage in play or when you are approached by another dog.
A step-by-step guide to teaching ‘leave it’ has been published by Victoria Stilwell of Positively.com. You can read about it and view her video here: https://positively.com/dog-behavior/basic-cues/leave-it/