On and Off

These are exercises to ensure that your dog will get off the furniture, in or out of the car, in or out of the kitchen or whatever the room in question may be, quickly and happily when you ask him.

Anywhere that you could possibly need to move your dog on or off of or in and out of, should be where the work is done. For instance, the bed, the couch, and a table that simulates a vet examining table, as well as the car, the kitchen, the bedroom, the crate, and out from under the coffee table or bed. All of these areas should be considered during this exercise.

The whole idea of these exercises is that the puppy is rewarded for going to the location that he may consider less desirable. We need to make that appear to be the more desirable spot, the spot that the dog will happily go to, because we have taught him that when he leaves a place that he may be inclined to guard, good things happen.

For example, if your dog is hanging out under the coffee table chomping on something delicious and you want him to come out and give up what’s in his mouth, you had better make it worth his while. Otherwise, you will encounter a dog that growls and bites at your hands as you reach under there to drag him out.

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Start with the puppy beside you on the floor.

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Coax the pup up onto the couch. If the pup is too little to jump on any furniture, simulate the furniture with some pillows or a foot stool.

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When he gets there, no big deal, give a few wimpy pats on the head and that is about it.

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Coax the puppy off the couch onto the floor, pat the floor, make a kissing sound, do whatever you need to do. Once the pup gets off, the good stuff happens: delicious treat, big pets and belly rubs, ohhs and ahs of admiration for the wonderful deed he has just done!
In other words, boring to get up on the couch, exciting and wonderful to get off.