The "Leave It" & "Drop It" Cues
Teaching the "Leave It" cue step 1:
To teach your dog the "Leave It" cue, start with food in one hand, show your dog the food but do not let them eat it and close your hand into a fist and say “Leave it" ONCE.
When your dog loses interest, looks away or at you mark with a verbal “Yes" or a clicker at the exact moment your dog disengages and either give them the treat in your hand or a new one from your other hand. The first time, as you saw with me, they might lick, sniff or paw at your hand. You must be patient and wait for them to give up. Do not repeat the cue, unless it's been a while since the last time you said it. Next try an open hand and do the same, if they go for the food pull your hand away.Then you can present your hand again and say "Leave it". Marking and rewarding all good choices
Teaching the "Leave It" cue step 2:
Next have your dog on leash, and throw food on the floor, hold the leash short enough so they can not reach the the food/treat, say "Leave it" and if they back away, look at you, sit or offer any other behavior besides reaching for the food, mark with a verbal “Yes" or a clicker at the exact moment he your dog disengages and either give them the treat with a tasty treat, the first time you can give a few treats as it's a big accomplishment. Keep repeating always ending on a good note. Depending on the dog you can release them to get the food or take it away.For dogs that are always cavaging for food on walks I would not give it to them.
Here are a few examples of dogs leaving high value food.
Teaching "Drop" or "Out" cue.
This is one way to teach your dog to drop an item in their mouth. Start while your dog has a soft toy, rope or tug in it's mouth, if needed start a game with it. Then place a high value piece of food or treat on your dog's nose and when your dog drops the item mark with a verbal “Yes” or Click and reward with the food in your hand.
Practice many times and start building a reward history, after a few times, say “Drop It”or "Out" and place a high value piece of food or treat on your dog's nose, when they drop it mark and reward with the food in your hand. As you progress we will just say “Drop It” and when your dog does mark and reward.