Why use 'leave it' instead of 'no'?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

(Page 1 of 3: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3  
Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 11:34am PST 
Hey there, for those of you who don't know, I'm apprenticing as a dog trainer. Anyway, someone in class asked why they can't use no instead of leave it. The head trainer responded with why but the client didn't seem to grasp it and we ran out of time. I'm now supposed to help come up with a better response that maybe the client will understand and I could use a bit of help.

I mean, I "know" why but not well enough to explain it myself; so perhaps you all could give me a good enough understanding to be able to explain the reason soundly.

Edited by author Mon Jun 10, '13 11:40am PST

Maci & Harley & Jigar

Golden butts
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 11:42am PST 
Personally, I use leave it for leaving the other dogs butt alone and the garbage on the street for example and leave NO for stopping any action in times of emergency. Leave it is trained and practiced.

'No' is used a lot in everyday conversations as well- kind of over used.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 12:33pm PST 
No is used in conversation, it also sounds like a number of other common words.
I use leave it, off and in emergencies stop. Sabi also knows ROAD!


Serious Face
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 1:04pm PST 
No can be used for any number of things and is easy to confuse the dog with. I remember every time my boyfriend would tickle me, I would shout No really loud because it was sudden and I hated it and Misha would get this awful look on his face like he was so distressed and couldn't figure out what he was doing wrong.

Leave it is a bit more clear, and means basically "Don't put that in your mouth, that is not for you." It's not quite the same as saying No, which would end up being used for anything they are doing that humans don't like.

If they want to use a general no-marker to communicate that their dog is doing something they don't like, Ah-ah is a more distinct noise and isn't used in everyday conversation. But then I would follow it with a Leave It or redirect them or something... or else my dog won't know what they should be doing instead and will probably go right back to that interesting thing they found.

The Monster
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 1:29pm PST 
So, your dog is about to do something you don't want it to do. It's about to dive under your feet and go for that potato chip you just dropped. You say "no" and you want your dog to do... what? What about when your dog is barking at another dog outside your front window. You say "no" and you want your dog to do... the same thing as when you said "no" about the potato chip? What if your dog darts out the front door without you? Another "no"? What does "no" mean this time?

We say "no" when we want our dogs to stop doing something. However, dogs don't understand the absense of a behaviour. It's an abstract concept. They think in positives. They work best when you're saying "do this instead" and you make that alternative reinforcing for them.

So, if a dog is in the kitchen and is thinking about diving for that potato chip, you can say "leave it". (Or, I would prefer you train your dog to maintain a position on a mat out of the way with a default leave it, but that's a bit more advanced.)

If the dog is barking at another dog, you can call your dog to you, you can cue it to be quiet, or you can send your dog to a mat.

If your dog goes to exit the front door without you, ask your dog to stay.

If you said "no" in these three examples, you would be asking your dog your dog three different things. And the cardinal rule of dog training is for each behaviour to have a specific cue. You want to be clear to be most effective, and "no" carries very little information to your dog. That clarity is achieved when you show your dog how to be right, not when you punish them for being wrong. How do they learn what you want if all you're ever saying is "no"?

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 5:37am PST 
I think Cohen explained it very well and very clearly.
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 8:26am PST 
I use leave it, but I personally don't see a difference in the word no and leave it. Saying no is essentially telling them to leave it.shrug

I can see it used a lot in conversation, and I personally don't say no, but when you really get down to definitions, it's really the same thing, in terms of training.

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 8:53am PST 
Because I use an Eisenmann style, mine understand that "No" is a negative. "No, we are not walking right now." "No, you do not get a second dinner"
"Leave it" indicates that whatever you were about to mess with...well, don't do it!laugh out loud So it could be food on the floor or street, garbage, that toy you want me to throw, etc.
I use "ignore it" for live stuff..people, dogs, squirrels, etc. smile
Eisenmann is more about educating, rather than command-behaviour chains.
Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 9:17am PST 
I use a variant of 'no', Polish nie, as 'our nice try/no cigar term'. It doesn't have the emotional charge of NO! (which is a major issue). My confession is that, after training for 5 plus years, I use nie for 'leave it' as well as many other situations where I'm calling for another solution from the Chark. Charka properly interprets it as 'try something other than your first inclination'. Sooo... it becomes everything from 'leave it' to the much more difficult to articulate 'ignore the dog charging their fence and barking at you, and continue your walk' or 'don't even think about picking up that dead squirrel'.

I do suppose you could use 'no' if it weren't NO! for 'leave it'. That's too hard for me. NO!, btw, is not part of my emergency command set. Our variants of 'come', 'down', 'heel', 'sit' plus hand signals for direction are the tools we work with. NO! or even nie in an emergency? thinking What IS the expectation of response from the dog???

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 9:51am PST 
When you're teaching other people training...perhaps you can suggest that "no", especially if you have human kids in the house is often a word we overuselaugh out loud...meaning some dogs...like some kids become immune to nonononoo.

As many posters have said, in practice we usually come up with our own words based on degree of urgency. I use "Hey!" as the universal whatever you're doing-and you know exactly what you're doing-so stop right now. If I say their name with stop, very rarely...they KNOW they've been busted

"Leave it" is more reserved for nasty leftovers on the street, small yappy confrontations, the surly cat on a front porch...meaning "Leave it and walk with me, that's not worth your time"
  (Page 1 of 3: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3