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Every day commands for when you want your dog to leave the furniture or dangerous item alone, or when you want him to retrieve the fun toy during play time.

The “LEAVE IT” command is very useful and can be used in lots of situations: to leave food, objects they shouldn’t have, other dogs or people etc.

  • Have a bland biscuit in one hand and a high value titbit in the other hand.

  • With both treats in closed hands, raise them up to your chin.

  • Lower the hand with the bland treat towards your dog’s mouth and then open your hand so the dog can see the titbit.

  • As the dog starts to go towards the treat say “LEAVE” sharply and close your hand and keep it still (do not raise it up) and wait.  When the dog decides it can’t have the treat or gives up trying to get it, immediately say “YES GOOD BOY” and give him the high value treat from your other hand.

In a very short time you will see your dog look at your other hand when you say “LEAVE” and he now understands that when you say “LEAVE” he gets something better.


The secret of teaching the retrieve is in the object you are asking your dog to retrieve.

If it is not valuable enough to the dog he will not run out and pick it up. If it is too valuable to the dog he will not want to bring it back to you.  Choose an article that your dog is interested in but not obsessed with.

  • Start by enticing the dog with the toy, wave it around on the floor just beyond the dog’s reach.

  • Once the dog is interested in the toy, encourage him to go forward and take it.

  • Praise the dog and take the article from the dog’s mouth then remain very calm and quiet.  If you continue to praise the dog after the article has been taken the dog will start to spit it out rather than retrieving to hand.

  • When the dog is confident in taking the article, you can then recall the dog, on lead, using the command “COME” and gently pull the dog towards you using the lead.

  • When the dog reaches you, the article can be taken from the dog’s mouth.

You can progress this exercise by increasing the distance you throw the toy.

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