Dog Obedience Training Basics: The Release Cue

release cue


In today’s blog, I wanted to talk about an obedience training cue that often gets overlooked: the release cue.  The release cue is very important since it marks the end of a behavior (i.e., “sit,” “stay,” etc.). This gives the dog a clear cue to know that she can break position. It reduces confusion and prevents unnecessary mistakes.


What you need:

Food Treats

Collar and Leash

Shaping the release cue:

Work in an area where your dog is comfortable, and that’s free of distractions. Have your dog on-leash and your treats on hand.

  1. Without your dog seeing, place a treat in your hand and close your fist around it (this is called “baiting your hand”).
  2. Stand no more than 3 to 4 feet away from your dog. Your dog doesn’t have to be in a specific body position.
  3. Say your dog’s name. Wait one second. If she doesn’t move toward you, encourage her by making silly noises, kissing sounds, patting your leg, or squatting down.
  4. When your dog gets to you, say “Yes!” (reward word) and give her the treat from your hand.
  5. Practice this until your dog responds happily to her name at least 90% of the time, then move on to step 6.
  6. Repeat the exercise above but add the word “Okay” after her name. That is our release cue. She should still come over for her treat and reward word. Repeat this step until she responds to “Okay” as her release 90% of the time.

Did you know that Guthrie Pet Hospital offers group and individual obedience classes?  Does your dog have a behavioral problem that you need help with?  Stefani Fortney is a certified dog trainer and is happy to help shape your dog into the perfect dog.  Contact us today.

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