Last weeks post went over charging the clicker. Now that the clicker is charged, we can begin using it in our training sessions. The first thing I teach with the clicker when I get a new dog in, is teaching an applied leave it. A lot of the time the dogs I work with our strays that had to scavenge for food. So it is necessary to teach the applied leave it, so they can begin living in a house environment. The things you need for the applied leave it is a clicker, kibble, and high value treats. Begin by clicking when ever the dog gives you eye contact and rewarding with the high value treat. Then throw a piece of kibble on the floor, make sure the leash is tight so the dog can't get to it. As soon as the dog looks at you click and reward. Keep throwing one piece of kibble on the floor until the dog stops lunging at the food and remains focused on you. Once this happens throw a handful of food on the floor. If the dog remains focused slowly walk towards the food. The next goal is to have the dog walk over the food with out eating it. So if the dog goes after the food as you begin walking towards the food make a loud sound to distract the dog. As soon as the dog gives you eye contact click and reward. As soon as you can walk over the food pile with out the dog lunging at the food you can begin slowly work on basic commands while near the food pile. The hardest command is down so you may want to do this command with only one kibble on the floor or do it farther away from the food. In summary when you teaching the leave it, do not use any words you want an implied leave it. Work slowly from one kibble to an entire pile of food. The below video shows how to introduce leave it. The dog in the video is Gandolph he was rescued from a high kill shelter and now in training to be a service dog.
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Tera Jurrens founder and executive director.