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Whenever possible, I like to teach something brand new, not try to un-do something undesirable. It's just easier to teach our dogs a new trick every time!

This is a great opportunity to do exactly that. Teach your pup "leave it." Start first with treats in a controlled envirnment, then you can work your way up to toys, then to other dogs, little kids in strollers holding yummy cookies at eye level, dead animals on the side of the road, all the stuff you want your dog to avoid.


Here's my Cliffs Note version of how I teach Leave It.

Put a leash on your dog. Toss a treat on the floor a few feet away. Your dog will move toward it. As she gets near it, tell her "leave it," THEN lightly pull her leash and redirect her toward you, who of course have a more wonderful treat (and praise as though she won the Nobel Prize) as a reward (I use biscuits on the floor and scrumptious meaty venison or liver treats as the redirect treats to start off. Then I work up to delicious treats on the floor as well).

Don't pull the leash when you say "leave it." You'll see folks doing this all the time. Then the dog learns to associate "leave it" with "I'm about to be yanked into the proper position." What you want to do, of course, is teach your dog that "leave it" is something she does on her own (with a reward for that good behavior).

When you're first starting out on this training, don't actually give her enough leash to be able to reach the treat on the floor, start a few inches short. Otherwise, you have to reach into her mouth and take the treat out if she does get it. She can't EVER take what you've told her to leave. Also, you can't *ever* give her permission to eat something that you've told her to leave. If you later decide that it's ok for her to do so, pick it up, and give it to her, like it's a whole new treat. (I don't do this. I just don't want my dog to get ideas that food that has been the subject of a leave it is ever edible. And I'm always packing treats. But if you run out, it's an option.)

You can toss treats around her, telling her to leave it; you can toss balls (or whatever her favorite toys are) past her in the yard (This is my favorite training exercise with my drivey toy-obsessed dog). When she ignores them all, then you can work outside the yard.

Start in the house and the yard.

Once your dog has shown that she fully understands Leave It means 'ignore that item and focus on my owner who has wonderful things to offer me,' THEN you can begin to use the command when you see other dogs. Don't start too soon. You need to make sure that he really understands the command. Be sure that the first few times you see another dog, you don't yank the leash when you say Leave It; the dog should always voluntarily respond. If she doens't, tell her No, (you can give a light leash correction to get her attention) and repeat the command.

I would then work this on walks (other dogs walking by, running cats and squirrels are good to "leave," little kids, etc) for a while. (Tell her to leave it as soon as you see her alert on that stimulus -- her eyes dart in their direction or her ears turn.

Pretty soon, any time you tell your dog to Leave It, she'll look up at you, or at the very least, just keep looking straight and enjoying her walk with the other dogs pretty much forgotten.
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