Puppy Training: How to"Leave It"
Luna is our 5 month old Goldendoode. We love her beyond a doubt, but when her puppy doodle behavior became too much we started taking Luna to puppy obedience classes. Her personality is playful, excitable, and extremely polite. Taking Luna to training classes just further helped us instill the type of good behavior we wanted for her. And she loves it, she’s the type of dog that is very smart and needs a job or will find another way to get her energy out, like ripping apart toilet paper. Since we are new puppy parents who own a dog sitting business we get asked questions about how to improve puppy behavior. In these articles, we talk about the training methods we use on Luna and if they are successful or if we need a bit more guidance. We know doodles have a personality all of their own, just as any other breed ;)
We hope you and your dog build a strong bond with these training sessions.
Please send in any questions or success stories. We’d love to post your success stories to our board!
"Leave it"- How to get your puppy to drop what’s in their mouth
When it comes to stinky, disgusting things your dog is going to be attracted to them immediately. For them the stinkier the better. These less than appealing items may be dead birds, chicken bones, garbage, or cat poop. No matter how gross we think these things are our dogs consider these items found treasures.
Now, how do we get our dogs to leave these items alone if they love them so much? As with creating any good habit, it takes lots and lots of practice. And they can’t do it without you!
First you’ll need a whole lot of treats. When it comes to motivation and training, treats will help you every step of the way. If your pet is older, you may want to consider any dietary restrictions. Specifically, we always use grain free treats. And if you really want to grab your dogs attention get them a really potent type of treat, this will get them focused.
Step 1: Warm up
When it comes to any mental or physical exercise, warming up can help with flexibility. Get your dog to a common area where you have them typically do tricks, get your treats ready (a few in hand), and get your dog ready. Start with your basic tricks like, sit, look at me, and paw. Do these for a few minutes to make sure their attention is on you.
Step 2: Build up
After they have performed the basics make sure your praising them after each action or correcting them. But have fun with it and make your dog feel good about accomplishing their tasks. Now you can start on your more advanced tricks. Asking them to stay as you walk backwards away from them, getting them to come, asking them to get you a toy that’s further away from the both of you and having them retrieve it. This bridges over to “leave it”.
Step 3: Leave it
Place a treat on the floor, you want to make sure they are obsessed with this treat. As they go for the treat place your foot over the treat and say “leave it”. Repeat saying Leave it until they break their stare away from the treat and look at you, immediately reward them and say “yes”. We are very eager in saying “no.” When your dog hears "yes," they know that they are doing something right and will expect a reward.
Step 4: Open treat
Once your dog has seemed to master leave it with your foot over the treat. It’s now time to remove your foot and repeat Leave it. Every time your dog sits and looks at you or away from the treat on the floor, immediately reward them with another treat from your hand. (Never give them the treat from the floor. They will get extremely confused b/c that treat represents the thing they aren’t supposed to have) You can pick up that treat later and have them do another trick to make use of it. Puppies don’t have amazing will-power so don’t get discouraged if they don’t perform at their best each time. Progress not perfection.
Step 5: Praise and reward
Remember to praise your dog for all of their good work. This may be the first time they are learning this trick and they desperately want to please you. So make sure they feel accomplished by giving them an easier trick towards the end of their training session to end things on a good note.
Step 6: Consistency
We have 2 training sessions a day for our puppy. It helps her to stay mentally stimulated and gets her tired faster. Our training sessions are once in the morning and again later in the day. Depending on your schedule, having a consistent training session with your puppy everyday will help your dog feel more confident and build stronger communication between the two of you.