Gross! You seriously don’t want to touch that…

“Gross, you seriously don’t want to touch that.”  “Please don’t go after the neighbor’s cat again!” “No, that’s a kid toy, not a dog toy!”  If you’ve caught yourself saying these things to your dog, then I think its high-time your dog learns to LEAVE IT!

Leave It is a command we use when we don’t want our dogs to get something. If they already have something in their mouth, that is DROP IT (and taught in our Intermediate Class, the next level!)…  So, right now we are going to work on being proactive and teaching our dogs not to even go near something…

Sara and Jobu working on Leave It

The way we first teach our dogs to leave something is by using a treat. We first want them to understand to move away from something, then move towards something (dogs are very aware of space, so this is something that they are able learn quite quickly).  You first hold a treat or piece of kibble in your hand, close your hand, and put it right at their nose level. You don’t want them to jump up for the treat.  So, nose level and *right* next to their nose.  Don’t hold it a few inches away because we are not the ones learning leave it, we want them to ultimately make the decision not to get it!  Hold the treat at nose level, right next to their nose and say, one time, Leave It.  Then wait.  Don’t talk; don’t move your hand away.  Let your dog think it through on their own. They will probably nibble at your hand to try to get the treat and that’s fine (think about how dogs have been bred to be persistent throughout the centuries – If a Border Collie decided that 10 hours of herding sheep was enough so he quit before the day was done, he wouldn’t have been bred! Yes, being persistent is in their blood)….When you notice your dog stops trying to get the treat – Even for a split second, quickly open your hand and say “take it!”  You want them to learn that NOT getting the treat is going to allow them to have it. Make sense?  So, that’s step one…  Want to have one of those awesome dogs that can see a treat flying through the air and NOT run after it?  Enroll in our Beginner Class this Saturday and you *will*!!

Click Here for full Dog Face Class Schedule >>  

Okay, so this doesn’t have anything to do with Leave It, but… Jock is taking our Teenager Class right now, and he’s too cute not to share! He is available for adoption through
Shelter From the Storm 
(and we love him, so please share!)

As always, thank you allowing us to be a part of your family, your dogs learning and growing – We love what we do and we’re honored to help!

Giene Keyes and the Dog Face Behavior Team 

About Dog Face

Giene Keyes, CPDT – KA Owner & Founder of Dog Face, LLC & Shooting Star Portuguese Water Dogs Giene started working with dog behavior in 1990 when she adopted a 4-year old Greyhound from the racing track. To date he is the most severe separation anxiety case that she has seen. He taught Giene about the psyche and learning process of dogs. It wasn’t until Giene was training her little pot-bellied Labrador puppy in 1995 that she really became interested in the actual training process of canines. Starting her small training business in 1997 she developed her own methods and ideas of positive reinforcement. She took what she had learned from her Greyhound, as well as positive methods she used to train horses, to create what is now the base of our training methods in the classes we teach today. Giene is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist in Southern Wisconsin. After winning Best of Madison for two years in a row, Giene sold her Madison Dog Daycare to devote her time to dog behavior and helping owners create harmony with their pets in their homes. Specializing in aggression and difficult dog cases, Giene also works with rescue groups and shelters, evaluating dogs for adoption, developing Canine Aggression Management programs, and educating staff on dog language and behaviors. She has provided behavior consultations for service dog organizations, rescue groups and dog daycares throughout the Midwest. She is often contacted by police departments to work with individuals that have dangerous dogs. As a mother of 3 young children, Giene also realizes the importance of family dog training. She incorporates realistic training methods and helps to incorporate dogs into the family. She is an Instructor with the American Red Cross in Pet CPR and First Aid, a Certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator with the American Kennel Club, and a Licensed Judge with the WI Dept of Ag, Trade & Consumer Protection. Giene routinely presents seminars on Dog Behavior, Training, and Operant Conditioning as well as educating her staff on dog body language and pack mentality. Giene is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer. Giene has been a regular guest on popular Madison radio shows and interviewed on numerous evening newscasts. Giene has also been featured in a number of local magazines, including the cover for Wisconsin Woman in 2010. Giene has also been highlighted in the Wisconsin State Journal for her work with Chicken Clicker Training, improving dog training skills along with timing and observation, and recently interviewed for a Nationwide Podcast. She enjoys holding training workshops across the state. If you would like to learn more about Giene, Dog Face and the services they offer, please go to the Dog Face web site at Please feel free to contact Giene of any member of the Dog Face Behavior Team anytime!
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