The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Leave Command In Practice

Spilled cereal.
A family member spilled a box of cereal on the kitchen floor this evening and instead of rushing toward the jackpot, Bo's first reaction was to back away from it and look at me. Bo's response was a demonstration of the 'leave' command although no words were spoken by the family member or me. Bo's response was automatic and a result of consistent training on what to do when food falls or spills on the floor. 

It's a skill we practice regularly. In training, we use kibble, dog treats and dog safe foods. We drop the food item on the floor and immediately give Bo the 'leave' command. We then pick-up the food on the floor while Bo watches patiently nearby. When the food is all picked-up, most times we reward Bo with food but sometimes we only give him verbal praise. 
Bo looking at the spill.

When the spill happened tonight, Bo backed away from it and looked to me. I had him wait while the family member got a dust pan to clean the mess. Bo got rewarded with his favorite dog treats for his demonstration of self control. In this picture, Bo is looking at the spill on the floor from a distance. A reliable leave is helpful in protecting a dog from injesting food or medications that are harmful to him. For example, raisins, grapes, chocolate or pills. 


  1. If the dog didn't clean it up, who did? Seriously though, that is a significant amount of self discipline for a lab, great proof that your leadership and consistency are paying off. Great job!

    1. Thanks Chris! Have you and your family met Miss Millie yet? She looks so adorable. I bet the kids absolutely adore her.