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Mastering the “Leave It” Command

Welcome to Jordan Dog Training’s essential guide for teaching your dog the invaluable “Leave It” command. This command is not just about obedience; it’s about safety and self-control. In the bustling environments of Australia, where our dogs encounter various stimuli, mastering “Leave It” can be a game-changer. Let’s dive in!

Understanding “Leave It”

“Leave It” is our way of instructing our dogs to ignore or turn away from certain objects or situations. It’s crucial to note that this command is intended to prevent your dog from picking something up, not to release something already in their mouth – that’s where “Drop It” comes into play.

What You Need

  1. A clicker or a marker word like “Yes!”
  2. Two types of treats:
    • Lower-value treats (e.g., regular kibble)
    • Higher-value treats (e.g., moist, tasty morsels)

Training Steps

  1. First Contact:
    • Start with a lower-value treat in your closed fist.
    • Use your other hand to hide a higher-value treat.
    • Present the closed fist to your dog.
    • Calmly say “Leave It.”
    • Once your dog pulls back or looks away, mark this success (click or say “Yes!”) and reward them with the higher-value treat.
  2. Upping the Ante:
    • Now, use an open palm for the lower-value treat.
    • Be prepared to close your fist if your dog tries to take the treat.
    • Repeat the command and reward the right action with a higher-value treat.
  3. Floor Trials:
    • Place the treat on the floor, covering it with your hand.
    • Command, wait, and reward the correct behavior.
  4. Moving Targets:
    • Gradually drop the treat from varying heights.
    • Use your foot to intervene if necessary.
    • Reward your dog for restraint.
  5. Diverse Challenges:
    • Introduce different items, like household objects.
    • Practice in various locations – indoors and outdoors.
    • Use a treat or toy to reward them.

Transitioning Away from Treats

As your dog becomes proficient, start reducing the reliance on treats. Use real-life rewards like praise, petting, or a favorite toy. But remember, a surprise treat for an excellent performance can always be a delightful bonus!


Training your dog to “Leave It” is an investment in their safety and your peace of mind. With patience and consistency, your dog will learn that obeying this command brings positive outcomes. Happy training from all of us at Jordan Dog Training!

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Justin Jordan Trainer

Justin Jordan

Master Trainer

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