Teaching the Off Command

>> 8/30/09

One of the handiest commands you can teach your dog is the Off command. This particular instruction is useful when you want your canine to refrain from jumping on you, others or furniture. It lets your pet know what he is not allowed to touch and stops you from using “No” all of the time, which is a word many dogs tend to eventually ignore, especially when it is overused.

Training your dog to respond to Off is a little different than teaching the other basic obedience lessons because you cannot simply take him into a room and have him perform the action. Since it is a correction command you actually need to wait until he naturally does something that would require you to use it, such as leaping up on a sofa, table, bed or a person. You cannot pick up your dog and place him on the item or encourage him to jump on you and tell him “Off” because you are sending him mixed messages and he won’t learn.

Therefore, what you need to do is keep a close eye on your dog’s actions and be ready to correct him. When you finally catch him in the moment here is what you do: In a firm voice tell him “Off!” If he has jumped up on you look him in the eyes and bear your teeth when you say it to let him know you mean business. If he doesn’t respond after a second or two, push him down gently but firmly. If he is on furniture, pick him up and place him on the floor if he is light enough, or give him an encouraging push or a slight pull of the collar to have him move off.

As soon as all four paws are firmly planted on the ground, praise him. It wouldn’t hurt to reward him with a nice little treat as well if you happen to have one ready. Continue to practice this command whenever necessary. You will know your pet fully understands its meaning and respects you as his teacher when he responds to it immediately.

Last, but not least, do keep in mind that the commands “off” and “down” have two separate meanings and should not be used interchangeably. Down is an instruction that means to lie down not to stop jumping, don’t touch, etc. Therefore, take care not to confuse your pooch.

Teaching the Off Command by Sharon Fuss

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Article provided by Sharon Fuss of www.ohmydogsupplies.com, check out our cool variety of small dog costumes online.

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susanne September 12, 2009 at 5:12 AM  

Thanks for the info. Many people get confused with the off command and down. I know i did, it does take time but teaching your dog this command is worth it.I hate it when you go round to a friends house and there dog jumps up.It always seems to happen when i my good clothes on not my old jeans.


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