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


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  1. This is life saving training for a dog that saves our kids lives everyday. We teach our children not to eat strange things off the floor in a restaurant. This is no different.

  2. Johanna DeGidio Reynolds

    Informative and well-explained as always!

  3. Must have been people without dogs having this issue? It’s my only saving grace. Leave it = my dog lives another day without becoming sick or injured.

  4. As a therapy dog team, “leave it” is an often-used command. Medications, food, toys, medical supplies, etc. can be found on hospital room floors and I need to be sure Lewis won’t eat any of it. 🙂

  5. Go Major! What fantastic self control. Great training Frank.

  6. First of all, I want to say that I so enjoy reading your blog each day… We have a 17yo daughter who has T1; diagnosed when she was 3…. we plugged along for 12 years with NO low blood sugar seizures and living what became our ‘normal’ T1 life. Recently, in the last 2 years, she has had several low blood sugar seizures (in the night and in the 4H show ring… she shows llamas). As everyone is, we were devastated and now to think she will graduate in the spring and go off to college…alone! We found Wildrose Kennels and Rachel and are thankfully, on the list for a DAD. We are now fundraising and anxiously await our DAD. I wanted to thank you for your words each day, sharing your life and for continuing to raise awareness of this horrible disease.

  7. I am thankful every day for my service dog’s solid “leave it”. It undoubtedly took work to achieve (he is a lab, after all!) but it is invaluable for him and for me.

  8. Nice post. I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts about the dog training. Thanks for this information .I really appreciate your work, keep it up.