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leave it

Skye is learning a new skill.


Step One.

Hold a food treat in your closed fist so the dog can smell but not get it. Let him nuzzle, lick, paw at, or otherwise bother your closed fist. Wait until he backs off, looks away or gives up for even one second. Immediately open your hand and say "yes- - take it" and let him have the treat. Repeat, do several short sessions like this.

Step Two.

When the dog begins to back off immediately, add the words "leave it" and then start counting to four after he backs off before opening your hand and saying "take it." If the dog backs off and you are counting and he hits his nose on your hand and backs off again, start counting over but count to a lower number so he can succeed. Begin to vary the amount of time you count, working towards 30 seconds. Don't always make it longer, however. Count five seconds, then three, then ten, then six, then 12, etc. Work your way up to longer times over several sessions so the dog won't get frustrated and give up.

Next will be to work with an open hand... :)

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