Once again, it was mentioned that our “leave it” training may be a little cruel and unusual. In my opinion, It is also a little unusual to take a dog to the grocery store, a restaurant, or a movie theater, and that requires some specialized/intensive training. But there are even more reasons for it. Let me include a scenario for you, and if you have dogs, you know this very well.
First off, why are these type of training sessions important? Because these dogs go to baseball games and movie theaters and restaurants. We don’t want the dogs eating things we can’t see under the table, or dirty old popcorn, or perhaps something that could be dangerous like chocolate. And in the case of watching Major leave it while our little puppy walked around eating, it really does require a special temperament for a dog to be a DAD. These dogs must have self control, must be able to handle stress, must have self control, and must be able to maintain composure under difficult situations. These scenarios will happen when kids dump french fries in the cafeteria, or knock over nachos at a little league game, and we need to be assured that they won’t take off a hand that reaches in to try and clean it up, or bolt from their stay to eat it as fast as possible.
But even more so than those extremes most dogs may never see is this: The kitchen in our house is the hub of the family. Lots of things take place there all day, and normally there is a dog by your side. If you are making the kids lunches, there is a lab there. Prepping dinner? Lab there. Working on homework at the kitchen table? Yep, here is a lab there. Why? Because we have kids. And we are human. While doing homework, an occasional goldfish cracker swims off the table. It will be cleared up by a lab. While preparing lunches, the occasional bread crumbs fly off, or maybe a piece of turkey. No problem, a lab will assist.
We also keep meds in the kitchen, and it is where we do site changes. There has been a time or 2 when an insulin bottle has hit the floor and shattered. Glass and insulin everywhere. I also had a heart attack several years ago, and take blood thinners and statins, and occasionally, one will wind up on the floor.
It is very comforting to know that as soon as one of those pills leaves my hand, I can say “Leave it!” and get my dogs complete attention. This isn’t necessarily a training that only is done with service dogs. This is training EVERYONE should do with their dogs