Last month we continued our in depth look at the seven basic commands you should to teach to your dog with the heel command

Next, let’s continue teaching your dog these seven basic commands with the “off” command

three labrador retreivers

Off is the sixth command you should teach your dog. The come command can be difficult and requires consistent training and enforcement. When you training your dog the off command, you are teaching and reinforcing boundaries of acceptable behavior and setting physical boundaries like no dogs on the bed, couch, or kitchen counter!

Just like with the other commands we have covered so far, off can be taught through lure training using treats or toys to “lure” your dog into following your directions. While lure training works great, it’s important that you pay attention to when your dog is ready to follow your commands without the incentive so they begin to follow your commands without reward.

To teach your dog the off command:

  1. Hide the lure or treats you have used in other command training in areas where boundaries need to be established. Unlike other commands “off” training needs to be reactionary in nature rather than planned, so you’ll need to be ready with the reward unexpectedly.
  2. Wait for bad behavior, and firmly give a verbal command like “off” or “no”. Be consistent with your command choice. Do not yell your command, but use an authoritative voice so your dog knows it’s serious. Make sure you react quickly so your dog associates the command with the unacceptable behavior.
  3. After your dog reacts to the command, use the lure to reward obedience. If they do not react to your verbal command at first, use the lure to get them to stop what they are doing to pay attention to you.
  4. Continue to use the “off” command every time you want to discourage particular behavior until a lure or reward is no longer needed.

Consistent enforcement and use of the “off” command is extremely important. If you only use the command sometimes your dog will not associate a particular action with bad behavior and will not obey your command.

Additionally, be careful that you are not using the lure to reward bad behavior – make your dog work for the reward after giving the “off” command by making it walk to a different room or acceptable area before offing the lure. You can use “off” command training to reinforce other commands like sit or stay.