An Important Skill
The other day I was in my kitchen and decided to cook some dark chocolate cookies. As I opened the bag the chocolate chips went flying all over the floor.
"Leave it". My pups (who were charging towards the yumminess I dropped all over the ground) slammed on the brakes and looked up at me. "Good dogs" I said as I hurried to clean all the chocolate up.
I realized how important of a skill it is and I also realized that not everyone may be able to ask this of their dogs. So here is a quick video that will teach you how to teach your dogs this skill.
How to Teach it
Start with your hand closed with a treat inside. Your dog will mess with your hand (nuzzle it, lick it, chew it, maybe even paw at it). Just wait. As soon as your dog stops messing with your hand, click and treat your dog.
Repeat these steps until when you present your hand your dog knows not to touch it. Once this happens you wait until your dog offers you eye contact. When he/she does you should click and treat the eye contact.
As your dog gets better at this you can to increase difficulty by:
-opening your hand slightly
-moving your hand down towards the floor
-eventually ask your dog to leave something on the floor
-change the food and items that you practice with
This was your dog can generalize the behavior and can handle varying levels of difficulty.
-When you drop any medications
-When you drop food that your pet should not eat
-When you pass roadkill while on a walk or hike
-When you encounter a snake or other critter on a walk or hike