I'll just load this page up with Leave-it video clips as we play them.
1- Videos working on LEAVE -IT from a mat first
My favourite mat to use is a yoga mat these days, ever since working on Passive Attention on it in the yard. I've built a Conditioned Emotional Response for that mat now = mat is HIGHLY valued, and REWARDING place to hang out :)
I LOVE that it is big enough for me to:
*work on calming exercises on it, massage, tummy rubs, chill-axing
*easy to take anywhere (outdoors, to a friend's place, in home), rolls up, compact,
*washes up quickly
*comfy with some padding for the dog, no slip....
*big enough so I can throw rewards or treats on it!
My criteria for dog's body position:
*body parts on the mat in a down position.
I'm looking to capture the action of the dog turning his head to 'look back" to me. So they check in with me before chasing something; bike, car, skateboard, person....or even eating something on the ground....
Starting in the quiet of your home with stationary objects is the first step. You'll gradually add tougher distractions once they have solid down/stays, sit/stays, stand/stays... without asking for them. If you build from a solid foundation...the end result will be a dog who looks to you before acting on their impulses. And best of all who becomes desensitized to the triggers that drive him nuts!
I only introduce a word or cue once they offer up the behaviour 99% of the time. That's when it's safe to introduce the word you will use for 'leave it", as they'll begin to associate that word with what they do when you say it. "Leave it" will mean to look back at me from whatever you're engaged with, and I'll let you know what comes next.
What you're going to capture and reward...the purpose of these games:
1- when the dog begins to look away from whatever's on the ground, mark that second in time with a crisp "yes!" then immediately give them a reward. You will slowly get longer eye contact once they understand what the game is all about.
Trouble shooting if the dog moves towards the stationary "distraction"
1- if dog moves forward, use your body and move slightly forward, or cover up whatever's on the ground, normally puts enough pressure on the dog to back up. Using your body language to let them know what you'd like them to do...move away and leave whatever is on the ground alone. No yelling, or charging at them or aggressive displays from you required.
2- or having a cue like "back it up" which lets them know they need to move away..is handy! I'd prefer to redirect them and let them know what I'd prefer they do, if they need my help to be successful in staying away from whatever's on the ground.
Here's a variation with Daizy using a bumper mat. I like these too. I prefer that the mat is larger than the dog when they're laying down.