Leave It

This is Brussels Griffon Abby practicing her technique.

It’s hard to teach your dog to not do something.

Dogs like to do the things that please us. When you tell your dog something is wrong or bad, all she knows for sure is that you’re cranky right now. Maybe you had a bad day at work? Your dog is not sure, and her normal reaction would be to get out of your way until you can be more reasonable. This makes negative lessons very hard.

So how do you teach a dog to NOT do something? The key is to turn the lesson positive.

An example is LEAVE IT, a great command for leaving alone exciting cars whizzing past, yummy looking bones, and the doorbell ringing.

This is how it's done:

1, Take a small treat that fits in the palm of your hand. Show your dog your hand with the treat firmly hidden in your fist. Tell her the command. Let her sniff and nudge at your hand. When she leaves it alone, give her the treat. Repetition is the key here.

2. Doing this several times a day would be a good idea.

3. Then off and on, whenever you are playing with your dog and giving her treats, hold one tight in your fist first and give her the command.

4. As soon as she stops nudging your hand, give her the treat.

5. When she gets good at this, try putting the goodie on the floor, (like with Abby, above). Then the release command is TAKE IT.

This will keep the command  -- and release -- fresh in her mind. It can also be a lot of fun. An extra bonus, at least from Abby’s perspective: a regular supply of goodies!

Return from Leave It to Training a Small Dog
Return Home

Use this search feature to quickly find the information you're looking for.

This is the front of our card "Papillon Kisses". Ten 5 x 8 cards are $18.50. To pick up your set, click on

The Store At About Small Dogs.

You can find lots of small dog Greeting, Thank You and Sympathy Cards there at surprisingly low prices. All our cards are hand drawn by the Maxwell Award winning artist Sandy Bergstrom Mesmer. We also recently opened our seasonal Christmas Card page.

And as always, free shipping!

(Or do you want to keep on settling for cards that are kitchy, silly or smarmy?)

Small Dog Shopping

While we get often get inundated with demands to buy buy buy from questionable sources, About Small Dogs has found a couple of quality stores that really do deliver great products at reasonable prices. They also have great Christmas gifts.





Didn't find what you were looking for? Use this search feature to find it.