The ‘Out’ command is so valuable in a multitude of situations by helping dogs learn how to disengage mentally and physically. For example, get off and stay off the couch, drop whatever is in your mouth and walk away from it, move away from the door, etc. ‘Out’ is one of the commands that I use to show a dog his new boundaries and that he’s not allowed on furniture and people anymore and how to get off them promptly and to go to place instead! When the dog is small you may ask, but he’s so small why not just pick him up? The answer is because I’m looking to make a shift in mindset so that next time he chooses not to impulsively jump on people or on furniture. This will help empower the human to take back control of personal space and the home.
When dog has been used to controlling the personal space of people by sitting on laps, jumping on people, sitting on furniture and on the tops of furniture, this sort of pushy behaviour also feeds into the overall sense of rudeness and entitlement (jumping up, barking at people and other dogs, reactive and controlling behaviour) that has spilled over into other areas like controlling the walk with reactivity. So we’re going to be leveraging every single opportunity and facet of the dog’s life to provide him with the strict rules and firm boundaries that dogs need to prevent them from slipping back into his old bad habits and rock and roll ways.
In this video, Frankie and I are practicing ‘Out’ from furniture and we’ve also done this exercise with my lap, the couch top and sitting on my shoulder like a parrot as we do not want Frankie making these controlling choices anymore but instead want Frankie practicing independence, good manners, polite attitude and following and holding his owner’s commands like a dog (of any size) should. One of the things I always say to my tiny dog clients is to imagine that their dog is a 90lb pitbull or rottie… is that still a safe and acceptable behaviour to allow? Nope! So we aren’t going to allow it from a tiny dog either.