I’m a dog trainer. This is the common one-word command I’d NEVER use
I am a dog trainer. This is the common one word command I would NEVER use
Dog training can be a difficult task, but some commands work better than others.
A certified dog trainer has revealed that using the word “OK” around dogs can hinder their progress.
The word ‘OK’ is self-evident to humans, even during dog training. However, that could be the problem: it could mean anything.
“A lot of people and trainers use it as a word of release or to get their dogs to do something they want,” Hannah Gillihan, a certified dog trainer with Zoom Room Dog Training, told me. PureWow.
If you want your dog to let go or stop doing a task, try using words like “loose” or “free” instead of “OK.”
A release word tells your dog to stop performing the technique he is performing, such as “stay.”
This word can confuse dogs and bring them back because their owners use it casually in normal speech.
If you set “OK” as the release word and use it casually, for example, “OK, I have to go to the store,” your dog will think he has been released.
Instead, Ms. Gillihan recommended sticking to more specific commands, such as “release” and “free.” You can also use phrases like “for me.”
‘[These] are much better to release words than ‘OK’ because we don’t use them very often so they are easily recognizable and clear,” Ms. Gillihan said. “Having a specific, unique release word will help your dog better understand when they are supposed to [to] get up from their “wait” or “stay” or “go to your mat.”‘
In addition, Ms. Gillihan suggests being careful with the phrase “never mind.” You can use this if you don’t want your dog to eat something off the floor or play with your shoes. However, if you don’t proceed, the “leave it” has little meaning.
For example, telling the dog to “leave it” and then give him the object later is counterproductive.
“If you want your ‘leave it’ to really stick, you have to treat it like anything you tell your dog to ‘go away’ is going to kill him!” said Mrs. Gillihan. “You should never give your dog what you tell him to leave—never. This will create an “I can ignore it now, but I’ll sneak it later” kind of thing in your dog, even if you don’t realize it.
If you don’t want your dog to put something in its mouth now that it can have later, such as toys or treats, try saying “wait for me” or “not yet.”
“Dogs are sneaky! You may think they know to leave it alone, but as soon as you walk away, they go for that item because they’re used to getting it later anyway,” Ms. Gillihan said.
You can still use “leave” for items you don’t want your dog to get a hold of, such as your clothes or human food that is bad for them. However, when they listen, Mrs. Gillihan suggests rewarding them for the good behavior. This can be a high-value treat, or one they don’t get often, such as cheese or cold cuts.
“Never let them get and reward the ‘leave it’ item [them] having a high-quality alternative treat is how you get a foolproof “leave it” command,” she said. “That will protect your dog in life-or-death situations.” But you have to be consistent!’