Training a puppy not to pick up something that you don't want him to put in his mouth, (such as a rotting rabbit carcass) is essential. You'll find all you need here to teach your Cocker Spaniel to 'Leave It'! and walk on by.
Training a puppy to 'Leave It' on command is probably one of the most important dog training exercises you'll ever teach him, and you'll be surprised at how often you use it!
There are many situation inside your home where you might want to use this command. For example, your puppy is about to chew on an electrical cord, (yikes!) or you catch him making his way towards your best pair of shoes or your favorite handbag.
Outdoors, the command may be used to stop your puppy
from drinking from a dirty puddle, eating spoiled and rotten food from rubbish
bins, or nibbling on poisonous plants.
There are many other situations where you'll find training a puppy to 'Leave It' very useful. You may, for example, want to stop your puppy from approaching a young child, an injured bird, or another dog.
The 'Leave It'! command will stop him in his tracks. He will learn that he's not to sniff, pick up, or bite what's currently caught his interest.
There are several progressive stages to training a puppy to obey this command and they're set out below. Take each one a step at a time and don't rush; move on only when you feel your puppy is ready.
Before you begin teaching your puppy the 'Leave It! command, you need to teach him to 'Take It'!
Ready? Let's go!
When you're training your puppy, don't forget to reward him with lots of praise and pats as well as his treat.
It won't be long before your puppy links the words 'take it' with being allowed to have the treat and will wait, anticipating your giving him the relevant instruction.
It's important that you don't give your puppy the treat from under your hand or foot. You are rewarding him for looking at you and ignoring the food under your hand or foot.
As his training progresses, it's best if you never reward him with the treat on the floor. Instead, reward him with a treat from your hand or your pocket to make sure he doesn't come to expect to be given the treat from the floor each time.
There will be many situations where this will come in handy.
Imagine your dog stumbles across a dead rat outdoors. You don't
want to condition him to believe that he'll be rewarded with the rat
because he obeyed your command.
The final part of this training exercise is designed to teach your puppy to follow your 'Leave It' command whilst on a lead.
When your puppy has mastered the 'Leave It' command indoors, move on to training him to outside, in the garden. But don't leave it there, you must continue training your puppy from time to time to strengthen his learning otherwise he may forget, and all your (and his) hard work will have been wasted.
Remember to give your puppy lots of praise, as well as food rewards, when he gets it right.
When training your puppy, it's not only important to take your time, it's also important to praise him when he gets it right.
This will let him know that he's doing what you want him to do.
Don't reward your puppy if he gets it wrong. Instead, give him a 'verbal sign' that he got it wrong, for example, say 'No', 'Too Bad', or 'Ah Ah'. Use it every time he gets it wrong and he'll soon understand he got it wrong.
Don't get annoyed if your Cocker Spaniel gets it wrong. Don't shout at him, keep it low key and move on. Pick up the treat and try again in a few minutes.
The exercises given in the above 'Training A Puppy To
Leave It!' article are also suitable to use for training adult dogs
and, although it may take longer to achieve, you just need a little more
Remember, practice, patience and perseverance are the keys to successfully training a puppy - find more puppy training tips here.
You'll find a link to all the puppy obedience training commands here.
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