My best friend trained her dog to not touch something by telling her to “LEAVE IT!”.
This dog was obsessed with toy squeakers and my BFF could leave a squeaker sitting in the middle of the floor and as long as she told her dog to “Leave It” that dog wouldn’t even look at it.
Recently neighbor got two dogs and keeps them in the backyard. This made my dog lose his mind. He wants to play, but it comes across as just a bunch of barking and running back and forth along the fence line.
I started training him inside with the ‘Leave It” method. Toys, treats or anything I knew he would go after. This old guy was a fast learner, but needed to be reminded a lot.
After a few months of training I decided to try him outside. As soon as I open that back door he would fly past the pool and go straight for the fence line and bark regardless if the neighbor dog was back there. It took a lot of training, but as soon as he would make a run for it, I would tell him to Leave It. He looked at me like I was just mean for not allowing him that one thing loved so much. It was for his own good and my sanity. Instead of laying in the sun, playing ball, going to the bathroom he would just obsessively bark at the fence.
He still will investigate the fence and sometimes give a few barks, but for the most part he is doing much better…until last week.
I was sitting in the backyard and I could hear the neighbor dog eating what sounded like the siding off the house. My dog jumped up and ran for the fence. I was not in the mood to listen to him bark and I yelled, “LEEEEEAAAVVVEEEEE IT!” and he stopped in his tracks and turned around. It was that easy. To avoid barking, jumping, obsessive behavior all I had to do was remind him to just leave it alone.
I’ve been using that same method in my life.
Recently I have been handed a lot of information about me that was coming from someone I trusted, loved and was certain wouldn’t pull her same drama again. The things that were said were useless to anyone that knows me. They know my faults, they know my character, most of all they know my heart. They all just laughed it off. Now, the things that were being said about me weren’t hurtful or even entirely inaccurate, just dressed up to make me look like I was evil. I’m a hell of alot of things, but evil isn’t one of them.
It was easy to laugh with everyone about the stories they were told. It was even easier to get that sigh of relief because I don’t give a fuck. All I had to do was just Leave It.
I don’t have to listen to this person barking, obsessive drama over something that person created herself and that endless feeling of stress. Next time something arises at work, in my personal life or just in a market that I normally would stand up and get angry about the injustice of…I can just say, “Leave It”.
See, you can train this old dog new tricks.