One of the key skills here at The DogSmith we like to teach puppies and all dogs is the ‘take it’ and ‘leave it’ cues. We start by holding a large treat in our hand and presenting to them while we say ‘take it’. After a couple of seconds we say ‘leave it’ as we remove the treat from their mouth. We start out using a low value treat so if they do not ‘leave it’ when we say ‘leave it’ we show them something of more value that they get as reinforcement when the ‘leave it’

When they have this mastered we then use high value tug toys. We start using low key voices and keep them calm during the first exercises. When they have mastered this we will tug and play with them and use the ‘take it’ and leave it’ cues to give them permission to grab it and play with it but they must relinquish it when we say ‘leave it’ These kind of exercises are very valuable and can be used to take or remove things from a dog. If the puppy is trained at the onset then it can help prevent resource guarding behaviors as they get older. The dog gets used to relinquishing items and it is all done in a friendly and fun manner. This is also an important cue for families who have children. Dogs need to learn they cannot just grab food or other items from childrens hands and they must wait for permission before they ‘take’ something

This first video is the first ‘take it’ and ‘leave it’ session we did with Jessie. We then progressed onto using a tug toy that he loved to play with. To learn how to become a DogSmith Dog Trainer and Dog Behavior Counselor visit