Basic Dog Training Commands—Step 4: Off
Teaching your dog the off command is essential to establishing healthy boundaries for you, the people around you, and your home. Along with being used to get your pup off furniture, the off command can also help you train your dog or puppy to not jump on people.
In order to effectively train your puppy to understand the off command, they need to already have a firm grasp on the basic dog obedience training commands: sit, stay and come. It is also imperative that you are consistent in your training. Dogs, and especially puppies, cannot grasp the concept of “sometimes.” So if you allow them to jump on certain people or to jump on furniture some of the time, then in their minds, that behavior is perfectly acceptable. The key to mastering the off command is consistency.
How to Train Your Dog to Keep Off
- Ignore the jumping and bad behavior until they offer to stand still or sit. Then reward with gentle petting and treats.
- If they do not offer that behavior, then use the sit command.
- Once they have sat, you can reward them with a treat and calm praise.
Head trainer and behavior consultant for Canine Country Academy in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Paula Nowak, CPDT-KA and CTDI, explains, “Puppies tend to be very short in comparison to people. They want to get up in our faces to greet us since we are so tall. It is natural behavior for them to want to jump.” To train your dog to keep off, you will need to teach them the correct response by ignoring unwanted jumping and rewarding them for having four paws on the floor.
Nowak elaborates by saying, “Try to ignore them to see if they will offer to stand still or sit. If so, reward them with gentle petting and treats. We want to be calm so they can also be calm.” If ignoring your pup is not working, then use the sit command. Once they have sat down, you can praise them and reward them with a treat. Nowak advises that if your puppy is really having a hard time not jumping, then it is best to limit their opportunity to do so by keeping them behind a baby gate and allowing them time to calm down before trying to work with them.
Consistency is key when teaching your puppy not to jump on people. So when you are out in public, and someone wants to greet your pup, you will need to make sure they do not reward your pup for jumping all over them. Nowak says, “You will need to limit their options by keeping them on-leash and asking your puppy to sit before giving permission to greet. We want them to practice meeting all kinds of people in a polite way.”
Consistency is key!
Quick Tip: This command is best taught in real-life situations, so remember to keep dog training treats on you at all times. When it comes to dog treats, you want those that contain high-quality and nutritious ingredients so you can feel good about treating your pet as often as you’d like. True Chews Premium Jerky Cuts with Real Chicken is great option that makes for a healthy and delicious way to reward your pet for a job well done.