The Release Cue
Dogs need to know when they are finished with the behavior that you’ve ask them to do. If you tell your dog to “stay” but don’t tell them when the stay is done you train the dog that the stay is done whenever they choose. In order for the dog to properly learn stay (and lots of other behaviors) they need to know when they’re finished. The is why we call “stay” a paired cue. We always use it with a release cue.
To teach your dog a release, choose a word that you will not use a lot of other contexts. I like to use the word “finished.” “All done” and “break” are also good. If you pick words like “okay” you will find yourself inadvertently releasing your dog a lot because we say that word so often! And your dog will hear it so much out of context it will not mean anything to him.
When training the release start by using your body energy and motion to get the dog out of a sit or stand so that they move toward you. I suggest you throw your hands up in the air and bounce backwards as you say the release word.
Click/yes for the dog’s motion toward you and reward immediately in front of you. (Remember we reward in position. Its nice if a dog finishes an exercise and comes to you.)
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