Many say leave your work at the office, and enjoy your home life. With all our ways of connection through email, our phones, our computers, it is so hard to put technology down. Have you come so dependent on checking your Facebook page or posting on Snap-Chat that you are forgetting about many of lifes other pleasures?
Challenge yourself to at least once a day where you can “leave-it” and take your reward from the opposite hand, just like we do with the puppies. They can do it, so can you.
Leaving something for us is often hard. For the puppies it is really pretty simple. They just need to realize the reward has just as much satisfaction as what they are leaving. Start simple at first.
You will want to practice with all sorts of items. Don’t be surprised if just like the wait, you may have to go back to the beginning each time you work on it. With puppies it often depends on what is happening in the “moment” how well they will do. Did they just eat, just wake up do they have to go to the bathroom? All factors to consider. You are teaching patience, you must have it as well.
Leave it is a lot of fun to ‘play’ with your puppy AND you’re teaching an important behavior that will no doubt come in handy. Start off by just using a few pieces of your puppy’s kibble or favorite treat. Get their attention, let them know you have something they want, and place it on the floor with your hand over it. When your puppy goes to try and sniff, lick, push, or dig their way to the treat use the ‘leave it’ command until they turn their attention to you.
‘Reward with a treat from the other hand! Once your puppy is doing well with this, stop dropping treats from a standing position. If you’ve ever scrambled to find a pill you’ve dropped in the floor before your dog can find it, you’ll understand why this comes in handy!
Build your puppy’s impulse control by placing the treats in a circle around him. Put them on her paws. Lay them in a path and walk through. Use other items they have a liking to: socks, shoes, kids toys, rocks, sticks….There’s a lot of fun variations to the leave it command. And once your puppy ‘gets it’, you will have a greater peace of mind.