Why I don’t cue “leave it.”

Why I don’t teach or use “leave it.”

  1. Because it’s doesn’t tell the dog what you DO want him to do. It’s a concept that is frustrating and confusing to dogs.
  2. Because it can make the “leave it” item seem more valuable.
  3. Because what will the dog do when you’re not looking? Sneak?
  4. Because when I train a “drop it” cue, I can teach them to “drop it” in a basket or on a target or in my hand. When I cue “this way” I can use it in agility.
  5. For all the same reasons we never use a “leave it” cue in agility.
  6. Because people get grouchy/punitive when they say “leave it” and they typically don’t reward the dog even if he leaves it.
  7. It they DO reward the dog they are often rewarding a problem behavior chain.(IE: the dog digs at the garbage in order to get a “leave it” cookie from you.)
  8. Because when the default behavior is “wait for permission” we don’t need to say “leave it.”
  9. Because when your dog is trained to get reinforcement from YOU, you don’t need to say leave it.
  10. Cuing “leave it” is a lose/lose game.

Anything I should add to the list?

Published by

Jenny Ruth Yasi

author, sailor, animal trainer,rally, agility and freestyle competitor, owner/proprietor Whole Dog Camp, now located in Freeport, Maine. For 31 years we lived on Peaks Island Maine. Now we are sailing with our 2 dogs in the Bahamas, and will return to Maine in 2017

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