Teach Your Dog “Leave It” (Animals/People/OTHER DOGS!)

Are you tired of your dog constantly getting into things they shouldn’t? Teaching your furry friend the command “leave it” can help prevent them from getting into potentially dangerous situations with other animals, people, or even other dogs. With some patience and consistent training, you can easily teach your dog this vital command. Read on to learn how to train your dog to “leave it” and keep them safe.

Teach Your Dog “Leave It” (Animals/People/OTHER DOGS!)


One of the most important skills that any dog should know is the “leave it” command. This command helps keep dogs safe from dangerous food and also prevents them from chasing after squirrels, other dogs, or people. Additionally, teaching your dog “leave it” can also help with table manners. In this article, we’ll discuss how to train your dog to obey the “leave it” command, important tips to keep in mind, and online resources that can help.

Why is the “leave it” command important?

Dogs can be easily distracted by sights, sounds, and smells. Without proper training, they may pick up and eat or chew on anything they come across, including dangerous foods or objects. They may even chase after other animals, people, or cars, putting themselves in danger. By teaching your dog the “leave it” command, you can prevent these situations from happening and ensure his safety.

Foundation Training

Before teaching your dog the “leave it” command, it’s important to ensure that he has a solid foundation in obedience. This includes commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “come”. Your dog should be comfortable and confident with these commands before moving on to “leave it”.

Next, it’s time to introduce your dog to the concept of “leave it”. Start with a treat in your hand and give your dog the “look” command. When he looks at you, show him the treat, then close your hand around it. Say “leave it” and when he stops trying to get the treat, reward him with a different treat. Repeat this process several times a day. Gradually make it more challenging by placing the treat on the ground, then moving on to more distracting items such as toys or food.

Timing is key

Timing is crucial when training your dog to “leave it”. Make sure to say “leave it” the instant your dog makes a movement towards the object. This way, he will understand that the command means to stop what he’s doing and focus on you instead.


If your dog continues to go after the object even after you’ve said “leave it”, try placing it out of his reach. Start with a less distracting object and gradually make it more challenging as your dog learns. Remember to reward your dog when he successfully obeys the “leave it” command.

Online Resources

If you’re looking for more guidance on teaching your dog the “leave it” command, there are plenty of online resources available.

Puppy Essentials Training Program

For new puppies, the Puppy Essentials Training Program from McCann Dogs is an excellent resource. This program covers all of the essential obedience commands, including “leave it”. With easy-to-follow videos and step-by-step guides, you’ll be able to train your puppy in no time.

Life Skills Program

For dogs over 5 months old, the Life Skills Program from McCann Dogs is a great option. This program covers all of the essential commands, plus more advanced skills such as loose leash walking and recall.

Signature Training Equipment

McCann Dogs also offers signature training equipment, such as their “place” boards and “heel” stick. These tools can be helpful in training your dog and are available for purchase online (limited quantities).


For more tips on dog training, check out the McCann Dogs podcast. Hosted by Sean and Kelly McCann, the podcast covers a wide range of topics, from dog behaviour to obedience training.


Q: Can the “leave it” command be used for table manners?

A: Yes, teaching your dog to “leave it” can be very helpful for table manners. It can prevent your dog from begging or stealing food from the table.

Q: Is it too late to teach my adult dog the “leave it” command?

A: No, it’s never too late to start training your dog. Even adult dogs can learn new skills with practice and patience.

Q: Can the “leave it” command be used for other animals besides dogs?

A: Yes, the “leave it” command can be used for other animals as well. It’s especially helpful for keeping your dog safe around squirrels, rabbits, and other wildlife.

Q: How long does it take to train a dog to obey the “leave it” command?

A: The amount of time it takes to train your dog to obey “leave it” depends on your dog’s personality, breed, and level of training. Some dogs may learn in a few sessions, while others may need more practice.

Q: What if my dog doesn’t respond to the “leave it” command?

A: If your dog doesn’t respond to the “leave it” command, try starting with less distracting items and gradually building up to more challenging ones. Remember to reward your dog when he successfully obeys the command.