Dog Wisdom Connection Blog

What If You Don't Say "Leave-it"?

Last week's training tip explained why teaching "Leave-it" is a really bad idea.  Here's a review of the 3 reasons not to teach it:

  1. It is contrary to a dog's instinctive awareness of his environment.
  2. It crushes a dog's self-confidence and creates anxiety.
  3. It undermines trust in your relationship because it may not be clear to the dog why you are punishing him.

Can I assume that you don't want to crush your dog's confidence, make him anxious, or undermine trust?

On the other hand, I know you do want to keep your dog safe from things that are dangerous or unpleasant.  Our beloved dogs are curious scavengers and predators by nature.  What is disgusting to us is often a delicacy to them! That might be why saying leave-it has become so common!

So if it's a bad idea to say "Leave-it" and yank on the leash, what should you do instead?

Fortunately, the answer is not a simple, quick fix.  That's right, I said ...

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