Basenji Companions

Devoted to Basenjis as Pets

“Leave It” Command

By Jean Skaggs, Oregon, updated 2013


LEAVE IT! is the command most of the dog training schools out west use. You train by putting the dog on leash, dropping a piece of food just beyond their reach and saying “LEAVE IT.” The dog will of course lunge, jump, pull, etc. to get to the treat. HOLD YOUR GROUND. When the dog finally looks at you, say “YES,” and give him/her a treat from your hand and lots of praise.

Pick up the dropped piece of food and repeat the exercise until the minute you say “LEAVE IT,” the dog comes to you. Vary the treats you drop. When you think the dog has the idea, switch to dropping a favorite toy. Say “LEAVE IT!” When the dog turns to you say “YES!” treat and praise.


When he/she is really solid on the leash work, take the leash off, drop a piece of food at your feet, and say “LEAVE IT!” If the dog makes a move for it, cover it with your foot so he can’t get it. When he looks up at you say “YES!” treat and praise.


Eventually whenever and whatever you say LEAVE IT! for, the dog will obey. I can call my guys off a squirrel with the LEAVE IT! command. I can break up an argument between my dogs with the LEAVE IT! command. Help at first by either stopping, pulling the dog toward you, or veering away and pulling the dog until she’s got the command down. It’s a very worthwhile exercise to teach your dog.


Copyright © 2013 by Jean Skaggs

All rights reserved.

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2013 by in Tips and Training and tagged , , , , .
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