1. Start with a low value treat in one hand. Bring it to your dogs nose but do not let them have it. When they stop trying to get the treat, say YES or Click and them give them a higher value treat.
Repeat this several times.
2. Then, show the low value treat and say "Leave it!". Wait for the pup to stop trying to get the treat then mark and reward with the high value treat.
Once your pup has the hang of the leave it game, you can progress to more difficult objects like your kids toys or a shoe etc.
You can also practice dropping a treat or object behind you and commanding "leave it" followed by body blocking your pup from getting the item. As soon as your pup stops trying to get the item or sits down, mark the behavior and reward with a treat.
Note: Leave it should be used on ANYthing your dog is never ever allowed to have. Once you give a leave it command you should remove the item from your dog or your dog from the item. We have not done more advanced skills that would allow your dog the ability to leave an object for long periods of time.