Easy Tricks

Teach Your Dog To Leave It

“Leave it” is an easy, yet very important, safety trick to teach dogs.

A dog that hasn’t been taught the “leave it” trick can be destructive around the house by getting into the trash, tearing apart toys, and even harmful to others if not properly socially trained.

The “leave it” trick offers you, the trainer, some peace of mind knowing your dog can be stopped when they’re about to do something undesirable.


No stopping us now! Tricks to Teach Dogs – Leave It:


Your dog should be able to complete the following after practicing and mastering the steps below:

  • On the “leave it” command, your dog will immediately quit their action and look at you.



With a tasty treat in hand, get your dog’s attention and have him sit in front of you.

Hold the treat out in front of your dog’s nose with an open palm face up and the treat sitting squarely in the middle of your hand. Now, be prepared. Your dog will go for the treat!

When your dog attempts to take the treat from your hand, quickly close your hand around the treat. Make a tight fist, and command your dog to “leave it.”

Now be patient, your dog will nose, paw, and do anything in their power to get to the treat. Keep your fist closed.

Once your dog has given up, to be honest it may take a little bit of time depending on the dog, open your hand and show the treat to your dog again with an open palm and use the command “leave it.”

Now your dog will do one of two things. 1) Your dog will try to get the treat again. If so, close your fist, and repeat the previous step. 2) your dog will not go for the treat, but will look at you for direction, a kind of “Why are you holding this treat out for me but not giving it to me?!” At this point, take out a second treat and reward him with it. He successfully performed the “leave it” trick! Most importantly, do not give him the treat you told him to leave!

Continue to practice showing your dog a treat and commanding him to “leave it.” You’ll know your dog has mastered the trick when you never have to close your hand around the treat to stop him from attempting to get it.

Time to transfer this trick to other objects. Once your dog has mastered the “leave it” with a trick, move on to using the command with toys or other objects. For instance, take their favorite toy and toss it away from them. When they go to get the toy, immediately tell them to “leave it.” Reward your dog with a treat for turning back, looking at you and ultimately not rushing off to the toy.


Your dog can learn the “leave it” trick in one session. We at Tricks to Teach Dogs love this trick, and it is even possible to train a pup within 5 minutes (depending on the dog’s temperament, of course). However, as with most tricks to teach, mastering this trick will take time and effort, but the safety of your pup is worth it!

Here’s a dog learning to leave snakes alone by listening to the “leave it” command via Pam’s Dog Academy: