(Don't miss your free gift at the end of this post!)
I know! I know! You've always believed that a "leave-it command" was necessary. Honestly, so did I. I even had a system for teaching it to my students in the past.
But because I'm so obsessed with how dogs' minds really work, I can't help but wonder how a negative reaction like "leave-it" from a trusted human affects them emotionally over time. I'm talking long term results of repeated punishment for doing something that is totally normal and hardwired into what makes a dog a dog.
Dogs are naturally curious. They wouldn't have survived if they had been blind to the world around them. Their environment triggers in dogs a need to investigate. Dogs use their senses to navigate their surroundings and to verify the status of something new or unexpected. Is it safe? Do I need to alert my humans by barking? Is it friendly? Can I eat it? Can I play with it? Do I have to pee on it?
Picture someone walking a dog. The dog spots something that his nature tells him to investigate and verify. But he is prevented by his human companion who yanks hard on the leash and sternly announces "Leave It!". It isn't difficult to imagine the emotional and psychological impact of that punishment along with the significant loss of trust.
Investigating and verifying by looking, listening and smelling are the ways that dogs become confident and comfortable in their world. Interrupting that normal process, punishing normal curiosity, too often undermines confidence and creates anxiety.
To put it all in perspective, how would you feel about a parent or a teacher who punished a child's normal curiosity about the world? Most of us would be horrified by the thought of raising a child to be afraid to ask a question!
And one more overlooked reason to skip the "leave-it" method is that it's reactive. The punishment occurs after the dog is already curious about something. Too late to prevent his instinct from kicking in. It warns him that something bad is happening, but why? Can you be sure the dog understands the reason for the punishment?
Don't assume. It's easy to test it. The punishment has worked if the behavior you're punishing is never repeated. That's the definition of punishment: it stops a behavior from happening again.
So what should you do instead?
I'm so glad you asked!
I would LOVE to help you personally with that!
So, do this now: Read on and decide if your name is on one of the 8 gifts I'm offering to the first ones to step up and claim one!
But Don't Worry! Your Dog's Safety is the Priority.
Are you worried that if you don't step in your dog will be "out of control"? Or maybe you reject the notion of allowing your dog to scarf up leaves, twigs, or dead animals!! Of course, we don't want any of that to happen!
The good news is that there's a safe, middle-of-the-road method to accomplish the goal of an attentive and cooperative dog without crushing the dog's confidence, undermining trust, or using punishment.
I know from experience that dog behavior questions are personal and unique to each individual situation. I help people best when I know more about the dog's history and the owner's feelings.
So I'm offering a gift to the first 8 people who raise their hand. Let's get on a private call together and I'll listen to what's going on with your dog now and give you some simple, practical tips that you can use immediately. We'll talk about cooperation without punishment and how to replace "leave-it" with something better.
The call is completely free - no strings. I want to help you, but you will also be helping me. That's because the more I know and understand about dog owners like you and their dogs, the better I can become at doing my job. So I see this as a Win-Win.
If you see it as Win-Win, and you believe one of the 8 gifts has your name on it, schedule your call with me now. There are only 8 spots, so first come, first served. Click here to claim your gift and schedule your one on one time.
I can't wait to see what's inside your gift!