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Address: GSROR
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Tracey’s Training Tips

GSROR is delighted to welcome to our team, Tracey. She volunteers her time helping with any behavior issues and basic obedience/training questions for the dogs in the rescue. We have a special section in our newsletters and on our website dedicated to Tracey’s Training Tips. In these articles, Tracey will share her knowledge of dog training, dog behavior, canine body language and life in general with a dog. Her articles will provide some interesting information, suggestions, and tips in the hopes of helping new and seasoned owners continue to establish a lifelong bond with their canine family member.

June 2011 – Release Command

Perhaps you have taught your dog to sit, lie down, or even heel using the command words “sit”, “down” and “heel.” Have you also taught your dog a “release command?” A release command is a word or phrase of your choosing that you say to your dog when he no longer needs to remain sitting, to stay in a down position or to continue walking by your side. Like an employee clocking out at the end of the day, a release command lets your dog know that he is done with his “job” and can do as he likes. The powerful thing about teaching a release command is that it essentially acts as a “stay” command. Basically, when you ask your dog to sit, he must remain sitting until you release him. So, he “stays” sitting. In trainer lingo, this is called a built-in stay. To teach a release command, first pick a word or phrase. It can be anything. Some favorites are “okay,” “free,” and “all done.” Typically, the word “okay” is not recommended because it is a word that is so frequently used in daily life that it might confuse the dog. You can even be creative and use a word like “kumquat” or “sassafras.” Whatever you enjoy saying and can remember works as a release command. Now, whenever you ask your dog for a sit and they sit, for instance, quickly say your release word before they stand up and then praise them. If, however, your dog stands up before you can say your release word, put them back in a sit position and try again. After a number of repetitions, your dog will start to understand that he needs to stay in a sit position until he hears another word (sound) that means he doesn’t have to sit anymore.

Not only does having a release command let the dog know when it is okay for him to do something other than what you just told him to do, but it will also teach him to “stay” until released.

Remember to have fun with it! Dogs love learning new things!


Content Copyrighted 2011. Tracey Derheim. All Rights Reserved.