Teaching Your Dog The “OFF” Command

The “OFF” Command Serves Two Important Purposes

Teaching Your Dog The “Off” Command

“The “OFF” Command Serves Two Important Purposes”

Teaching Your Dog The “Off” Command

Teaching your dog exactly what you expect of it is called setting rules and boundaries. As with ANY behavior issue, teaching your dog the “OFF” command is simply telling your dog what you will or will not allow.

If you don’t want your dog on your sofa or another item of furniture it is just a matter of teaching it to stay “OFF” of it.


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Teaching Your Dog To STAY OFF

Begin teaching your dog the “OFF” command by putting a leash on your dog. Sit on the floor next to, or in front of the item or piece of furniture you want the dog to say off of.

Put a favorite toy or a treat on the item or piece of furniture. Give a light leash correction and say “OFF” or “NO” when your dog starts to put a paw on it. You don’t have to sound mean, just use a firm tone of voice to get the point across.

When your dog stops moving forward or looks at you reward it with praise. You can also remove the toy or treat from the item or furniture and give it to the dog as the reward. If you do this, make sure you give it AWAY from the item or furniture so the dog sees that you got it for him.

Repeat this 10 or more times per session until the dog has NO interest in going after the toy or treat.

To “proof” this behavior, while playing with your dog, throw the toy or treat on the item or furniture. If your dog does not go for it, your dog is trained. If you have to stop it from getting the toy or treat you still have some more work to do.

Teaching Your Dog To GET OFF

Is your dog already in the habit of getting on the furniture? Not to worry. Teaching your dog the “OFF” command will still work.

Caution should be used here because some dogs react poorly when grabbed by the collar. As a result of this you should attach a leash before beginning, just to be safe.

Using very light pressure on the leash, pull gently to coax the dog off of the item or furniture. (NEVER pull or pick up the dog). Forcing them to move will not teach them anything!

While you are using light pressure, say, “GET OFF” or “OFF” or the command of your choice. When your dog gets down be sure to praise it or give a treat for getting down. If it tries to get back on the item, use the training method above. Repeat this training until your dog no longer wants to be on the item.

Redirecting your dog is also a good idea. When it gets down, send it to a place that is OK for it to be. Like a dog bed, blanket or another location. To reinforce this location you can treat the dog or give it a favorite toy when it goes to that location.

Every time your dog is in that location, give praise or treat and tell it, “GOOD DOG”.  


Keep your training sessions short. Your training sessions should be kept under 10 minutes in length. Finish each session with your dog correctly doing a behaivor.

Always do something that your dog likes to do when the session ends. Playing with the dog’s favorite toy or going for a walk will keep your dog interested in training. Because there is a “fun time” following the training, it will make the dog more willing to train well.


There are several variations of this training that will get the same results. If you need help teaching you dog the “OFF” commands you can contact us and we will give you personal instruction. Contact Us.

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“Teaching Your Dog The “Off” Command Serves Two Important Purposes”