What is the step-by-step instruction to teach my dog the “off” cue?
Is there anything more vexing for a dog owner than one who jumps on the sofa or bed and then refuses to get off—or worse yet, won’t let anyone else on? It’s also bad when they jump on counters, because they could also get into something that could seriously harm them—and it’s really impolite when your dog jumps all over people when they enter the house!
• Always get the attention of your dog before beginning any basic command, and make sure she knows you are the pack leader! Stand very straight before her, with shoulders back and hands above the waist to keep her attention.
• Another way to get her attention is to say her name before the command or to use a “non-emotional” marker, before the verbal cue. A non-emotional marker can be a whistle, clap, buzzing sound or whatever works for you!
• Make sure she knows the “sit: command. Even though you won’t be using it in this instance, “sit” is the most basic obedience command, and it’s often the foundation of many other obedience commands. It will be difficult for her to learn others until she has mastered this one.
• For “off,” you should use both verbal and hand cues. Wherever she’s up—be it the bed, counter or other people – say “off” and move your hand slowly and smoothly away from the object and in a downward motion. You might want to be holding a treat. When she gets off the object—and all four paws should be on the ground—praise and treat.
• As in any training, consistency and clarity is ultra important. If you don’t want her on the bed, you can’t be strict one day and lax the next; make her understand that it’s NEVER acceptable to be on the bed.
• Always sound happy and enthusiastic so your dog doesn’t think she’s being punished.