ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Teach your Dog to Refuse Food

Updated on June 24, 2013

Teaching your dog to ''leave it'' is fairly easy

Teaching your dog to refuse food on demand can be very helpful in different scenarios. It can help stop your dog from begging food all the time, it can help you teach your dog good manners and it can also be a life saver because it may prevent your dog from eatingforeign objects or toxic substances. In order to effectively teach food refusal your dog should be familiar with or learn the followingcommands:



Drop it

Leave it


How to Teach ''Stay'' and ''OK''

Teaching a dog stay is not a hard task. Have your dog sit or lay down and stop your dog in the tracks before getting up by repeatedly saying the word ''stay''. If your dog gets up regardless, try to put him back in a sit or lay down and repeat. Use your open hand to emphasize the command as you walk away. Then from a distance call your dog to you and praise. Once your dog gets familiar with the command you can apply it to food.

At your dog's dinner time, tell your dog to sit or lay down. Place the food bowl a few steps away and say the word ''stay''. If your dog comes running to you, block him in your tracks and put him back in a sit and repeat the ''stay'' command. Once your dog gets the message that he must stay, say ''ok'' and take a few steps back so your dog understands he may eat now. It takes some time to learn, but most dogseventually get it.

This exercise can be repeated when offering treats. Put your dog in a sit or lay down stay and place a piece of food in front of him. Tell him to stay and then step back and say ''ok''. To work well, this command should be repeated on a daily basis, so incorporating this command each time you give food and treats can be helpful.

The ''stay'' and Ok command are very helpful. It prevents your dog from being all over you when you give water or food, it teaches manners and it makes you look as a leader in charge of your dog's resources.

How to Teach Drop it

In order to teach the drop it command you must have your dog in a quiet room and keep some toys and treats. Have your dog sit and give him a toy. When your dog starts chewing on the toy, say ''drop it'' and show a treat. Very likely the dog will drop the toy and come to you to trade for the treat. Take the toy anf give the treat. Repeat now without showing the treat. Keep it in the pocket and give it only once your dog drops the toy. Repeat unti the dog spontaneously drops the toy with only the voice command.

The drop it command is a great tool for when your dog gets something in his mouth he is not supposed to have. It could save your dog's life if you notice he has a mouse bait or a dead animal in his mouth. The drop it command is also helpful when you want to collect a toy from him and put it away. Always remember to be fair and trade whatever is in his mouth for another toy or treat.

How to Teach Leave it

While drop it teaches your dog to drop whatever he has in his mouth, the leave it command teaches your dog not to pick up the object whatsoever in the first place. This is accomplished by placing a toy nearby and saying ''leave it'' as soon as the dog approaches to get it. If your dog gets the toy regardless, say ''no'' and repeat. The moment your dog ''leaves it'' call him to you and give the treat. When you are ready to have your dog have the toy, put him in a sit, place the toy in front of him, say ''stay'' and then say ''ok''.

How to teach the Off Command

The off command comes handy when you do not want your dog near you. You can accomplish this by sitting on the couch and when your dog comes near you with a hand signal say in your firm voice ''off'' and then toss him a treat for getting out of your way. If your dog gets into the habit of keeping on coming back, say "off" the moment he moves away reward with a stuffed kong or an interactive toy then can keep him busy. Most dogs that are in your face are simply bored and looking for something to do.

This command also comes handy when you are working and do not want your dog anywhere near you. Like if you are painting, you do not want your dog to come nearby and lick off some toxic fresh paint.This teaches your dogs limits and respect for your boundaries. In a food related circumstance, your dog can be kept away from coming close to you and eating those crumbs of chocolate cake that are left on the floor. Of course, if your dog gets near you, you can still resort to''leave it'' and if he gets some cake in his mouth you can say ''drop it'' and he may spit out some crumbs if they are not too stuck in his saliva.

Now that your dog knows stay, OK, leave it, drop it and off, your dog has learned manners and food refusal. However, keep in mind that dogs can be sneaky and they may still eat that piece of cake that was left sitting on the kitchen table if he knows you are not around.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)