This command tells the dog that whatever is in front of him, whether that is a food treat, a dead bird or a cat, pulling his attention off that, and delivering it to you increases his chances of winning a prize — whether that prize is something you in compensation for the loss of the Object of Interest (a super yummy treat, a chance to tug…) or whether the prize is a chance to
It is helpful in this exercise to use an “Event Marker” – a stimulus, usually a sound, that the dog has been conditioned to recognize as marking good behavior and promising a reward. The use of such a marker allows you to train more accurately, especially in exercises like this, where the timing is “fiddly”. A clicker is an ideal marker (in large part because of its novelty, reproducibility and brevity-it allows you to “capture” a tiny window of desired behavior, reward it, and “grow” it) but you can, if you wish, condition a verbal marker, instead.
(Note: This exercise is NOT designed to keep the dog away from dangerous materials, nor to prevent destructive chewing or “counter-surfing” in the owner’s absence. Also, if you have a dog who food or object guards, those issue will need to be resolved before you can practice this exercise.)
It’s Yer Choice
This is a very nice, default version of the Leave It exercise. The dog is to assume that he may not grab– he must always, always show self-control. He must always, always, wait for your release before obtaining a prize. — whether that is taking treats from your hand, taking a treat off the ground, or grabbing at a tug toy.