Take it’ is one of the easiest commands to teach and it is also valuable in developing a soft gentle bite. You don’t want your dog taking your fingers off every time you hand him a treat. And that sort of behavior can be really embarassing when people are eating around your dog or decide to give your dog a treat. Teaching the command ‘take it’ will not only protect your fingers, it will also protect your relationship with your dog.
Start by placing one of your dog’s favorite treats in the middle of your closed hand. Show your dog the treat before closing your hand around it. Allow your dog to sniff around your hand but do not open your hand until your dog is calm and waiting patiently.
Once the dog is calm, open your hand and give the treat while stating “take it” in a calm and firm tone of voice. Once your dog has the hang of the command you can combine this command with “leave it” or “wait” so that the dog does not eat or take anything without you expressly telling them it is ok by giving the “take it” command. This will go a long way to protect your dog from eating something dangerous off the ground.
Some people refer to this command using the word “gentle”. The word choice is up to you as it will matter very little to the dog. Your dog is merely memorizing the sounds and connecting them with the action you want from them. Whichever word makes more sense to you, go with that.