- Place a small pile of treats on the floor, show your dog where they are, then as he goes to take them, cover over with your hand.
- Let him sniff, paw, whine at your hand but persist, keep it still and be patient.
- When he moves his head away, uncover the treats
- When he goes back to get them, cover them back up
- Repeat until he will stay away from the treats while they are uncovered
- Give the command ‘leave it’ when the dog is looking at the treats but not moving towards them, wait a second with your dog patiently leaving the treats.
- Offer another treat from your hand (not from the floor) and give the command ‘take it’ as he takes the treat from your hand
- It is important to reinforce ‘take it’ as much as the ‘leave it’ command or your dog may refuse to take anything believing it’s not actually accessible to him.
Never allow your dog to get the treats on the floor, nor reward your dog with the thing you have asked him to leave. This will make sure he understands that when he is asked to leave, he never gets the item he has left.
Leave is different to drop, use drop once your puppy already has the object in his mouth. Leave it is for before your pup has got the object or food.