As the snow melts, our dogs are finding little treasures on the ground. These little items can really make your dog sick should they choose to eat them. There are leftovers from a variety places that we don’t even want to know.
To help your dog not pick up these disgusting pieces of garbage, I would like to walk you through how to teach your dog the “Leave it” command so they stay healthy and happy.
Firstly, I would start this training inside without the garbage distraction. Place your dog on leash and toss an item on the floor. Then quickly walk by the item and encourage them to look at you. Tell them “yes” and reward their behavior. If they give the item a quick sniff on the way then tell them Leave it and continue on walking. Once your dog walks right by the item with a quick sniff then you are ready for the real world outside.
Dogs need to sniff things along their walk to mentally tire themselves out as this is like reading a newspaper along their walk. The mental stimulation is good for your dog. However, when you come across something that you don’t want them to sniff/pick up/eat then tell them “Leave it” and keep walking. Try this with a piece of garbage along your walk that won’t hurt them and reward with praise or treat when they listen to you. Then start increasing the distraction to more valuable items which they would normally pick up along your walk. When they give the item a quick sniff and continue with you, please give them lots of praise! Happy Walking!