How to teach your dog to leave it

How to teach a dog to leave it. A dog learning wildlife avoidance by avoiding a stuffed koala on a skateboard

Wildlife avoidance is important to protect our native wildlife and ensure that our dogs and wildlife can live in harmony. Wildlife avoidance training consists of training you dog to ignore and not chase wildlife. There are two main skills you can teach your dog to help with this. Keep reading to learn more about the steps to teach your dog to leave wildlife.

1) Teach your dog to come back every time you call

The first of the of the skills in our ‘wildlife avoidance’ toolbox is having a solid recall. This won’t only be useful around wildlife, but in everyday life!

Read how your dog can master this skill here.

2) Teach your dog a stop

The second skill in our toolbox is teaching a stop. This could mean stopping in a sit or a drop. If your dog knows one of these commands, or both, pick whichever it is best at to start with. It’s crucial that the dogs understand that command before we add in any wildlife or other distractions. We need to teach the skill, then add in a verbal cue. You really want to make sure you dog understands the verbal command without any visual aids, as they won’t always be looking directly at you.

3) Timing is key

Once you dog understands how to come and stop on command, you can introduce a moving object to the training session. Your dog must see the moving object before you ask them to sit or drop down. But the command needs to happen just before they start chasing or barking, otherwise it can create frustration for your dog.

4) Use moving props

You can start by introducing a moving ball to give your dog sense of movement. As your dog learns and improves their focus, you can introduce a toy your dog really likes – like a tug toy. To introduce wildlife avoidance to the training sessions, you can use koala scat on a koala toy on a skateboard you can pull.

5) Practice consistently and progress incrementally

So just like teaching the recall, practice it in a very quiet environment, before beginning to add any distractions or moving to busier environments. Additionally, you can use your long line to prevent any failures.

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