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Dog training Tips

Updated: October 7th, 2011

By Garrett Ridley

Dog Training Tips - Training The "Off" Command!

At Ridley K-9 Academy we let our puppies jump up on us and other people until they know the "off" command. Especially if we know the puppy needs to have their confidence and arrogance built up. We like and want our puppies to be confident and social. Jumping up shows the puppy or dog has good social attraction and is confident. When giving a temperament evaluations this is the first thing I look for. I want to see if the dog or puppy has the confidence to jump up on me. It really shows how social (outgoing) the dog or puppy in question is.

I understand dog owners want their dogs to come up to people and say hi confidently but politely without jumping up. Do you think your dog will stay happy and confident if you knee or correct them for giving the correct social behavior, in the dogs mind? This is why we believe teaching the "off" command is so important.You cannot expect your friendly social dog to give a human desired behavior without training. You must train your dog to give the correct (human) behavior.

The "off" command is very easy to teach. Here are some steps for you to follow to teach your puppy or dog to learn the "off" command. When your dog understands the "off" command thoroughly it can be used in several s where your dog is "up" on something. (ie. people, counters, tables and what ever they can back OFF!)

Steps to teaching the "off" command:

  1. Get a bunch of your dog or puppies favorite treats.
  2. Hold some treats up close to your chest or face in a closed fist. (Your dog or pup should jump up on you for the treat)
  3. When your dog jumps up on you keep the treat in your closed fist until your dog back off you. On their own!
  4. When your dog backs off you say "Good Off" and reward them for backing off you.
  5. You are now shaping the off behavior. After several repetitions you will start to notice that your dog would rather stay off you and sit in front of you so they get the treat faster. You are on the right track! Keep rewarding and shaping behavior!
  6. Now you just need to finish teaching the "off" command, by waiting until your dog sits in front of you every time before you say "Good Off" and reward.
  7. Now just refer back to my training phases to finish your training.

Above is a short video to help you with the steps to teaching the "off" command. In the video you will see our 9 week old Ridley American Bulldog puppy Tank learning the "off" command for the first time. Tank is a perfect example of a puppy I want to build confidence in. He is a little more shy and I want him to know he can be social and confident enough to jump up on anybody and say hi. Building confidence and teaching at the same time.

If you are having problems with training the "Off" command I would be happy to help. To schedule an evaluation or a training session to teach the "off" command please contact me at or call 530-409-1879 today!

Happy holidays & happy training!

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