Food and the 'Leave it' command...

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by markclaxton, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. markclaxton

    markclaxton Registered Users

    Oct 28, 2015

    Our choc lab Charlie (almost 2 years old) knows the 'leave it' command well but he chooses when he wants to obey it. Especially with food.

    If we're on a walk and he see's food on the ground before I do, he will gobble it up and despite me saying 'leave it' he will ignore me. I have to physically pull him away and then try to get whatever's in his mouth out.

    Is there anything we can do with his training to help stop this?
  2. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

    Jun 2, 2012
    Fife, Scotland
    Popped on as no-one else has commented so far, but I think it has to do with generalising commands and a bit about self-rewarding.
    The generalising bit is about teaching to leave food (or equivalent attractive things :puke:) not just in the house but in other places - in the garden, in the park, on your walks - I think you need extra special tasty rewards to be better than some of the stuff our dogs find.

    The other part is about self-rewarding, and if your dog is left to his own devices on a walk, and doesn't have a "job" to do, such as retrieving, then he is rewarding himself and that can include foraging for anything tasty or chasing anything that moves.

    I haven't totally cracked either of these.
    Hopefully one of the Training experts can help you out with a bit more detail here.....
  3. TraceyW

    TraceyW Registered Users

    Sep 5, 2016
    Rayleigh, UK
    When we were shown this at training classes for the first time, the reward was a cocktail sausage. On lead we had to walk past a plate of biscuits, a plate of cheese sandwiches. We had to stop before she could get to the plate, get her attention and reward with the sausage. The first time we did this was also the first time she had had a sausage. It was so funny, as where all other dogs just gobbled down, she literally held in her mouth in pleasure. Needless to say, I had no bother getting her attention past all the plates. I continued to put to use in lots of situations starting at home just dropping things on the floor. It still continues to be the best command she has learnt and stops her eating things; away from things if has been sniffing too long on a walk; stops her pulling to other dogs etc when on lead walk as well as stopping her from running towards dogs when off lead. Another tasty reward Pepper likes are Bacon Sizzlers. I have read that an even 'higher' reward would be warm meat or even a tray of cat food. I think you would definitely need to give the 'higher' reward for Charlie.
  4. Dawn_Treader

    Dawn_Treader Registered Users

    Nov 29, 2016
    Welcome to the club. Sometimes one or two gets away and the dog gulps it down before you can do anything. You have to hope for the best and not beat yourself up because you will go crazy.
    Lin likes this.
  5. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Mar 29, 2014
    Tatze is great in the home - hopeless off lead :rolleyes:

  6. Lara

    Lara Registered Users

    Oct 24, 2016
    Indie is the same - great at 'leave it' at home, but doesn't even understand the concept on a walk. But that's because I haven't trained it from scratch in this new context, I just hoped it would generalise from the house (and it very much didn't!). One day I will go out with some warm chicken, find something delightfully yucky that she wants (a cowpat or bunny poo?), then begin to show her that if she backs away from the desirable yuck she gets chicken. And of course make sure that there is no way that she can get the tasty yuckies if she ignores me - so careful management with the lead. But generalisation sometimes isn't indie's strong point, so I think we will have to work separately with 'cow-pat leave-it', 'discarded-tissue-on-pavement leave-it', 'off-lead leave-it' etc....and hopefully she will gradually get better. I am expecting a long and arduous project with this one.

    Incidentally, does anyone else's dog seem to deliberately go for things they know are not allowed just so they get told 'leave it' and get a treat? I noticed this with Indie a while ago - we did so much 'dirty-dishes-in-the-dishwasher leave-it' that she started poking her nose in the dishwasher even when it was clean, then looking at me waiting for 'leave it', which she then would do immediately and gleefully. If she doesn't hear 'leave it' straight away, she shoves her head further in, tries an experimental lick, until I am driven to give the cue for fear that she will ingest some diswasher cleaner or something. She does this loads, the naughty piglet...and she is the same with bringing me back stolen objects, which I reward and encourage because it is much better than her playing keep-away and then eating something potentially dangerous. But now she looks around for things to steal so that she can give them to me, and her thievery has increased ten-fold...:rolleyes: anyone else feel like they are constantly outwitted by their dog?
    drjs@5 likes this.
  7. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

    Apr 13, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    Ha! Yes! Quinn plunks down beside the dishwasher the second it opens now, waiting for her treat without even hearing 'leave it'! She has been doing this less and less as she's gotten older, but she would grab a shoe or slipper and run with it to sit by the counter where her treat jar is, and as soon as someone shows up, drops the item without being asked and trots off happily with her treat.
    Lara likes this.
  8. edzbird

    edzbird Registered Users

    Mar 31, 2015
    Isle of Man
    Who's training who? A question I often ask.

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