What should the
word "off" mean to my dog?
word, "off" can mean a few
things. Think of the times that
you want the dog to stopping
jumping on you, to get "off" of
you. It is more clear to say the
word "off" than to tell
the dog to get "down" as "down"
typically means to lie down on
the ground. Think about wanting
the dog to get off of a couch.
The word "off" then means to
remove your body from the couch
or get "off" of it. You can also
use the word, "off" to tell the
pup to stop mouthing you, to
take his or her mouth "off" of
Only AFTER the
puppy has learned to be
gentle with his mouth and
does not nip or bite your
hands, teach the puppy not
to initiate mouthing - no
canine teeth on human skin.
Teaching dogs the word "off"
To teach the
word, "off", get a food treat
and hold in in your hand in
front of the pups nose. As the
pup goes for the treat, in a low
tone and with lots of air, say,
"off". If the pup backs up
at all, praise and then give the
food treat. Repeat this exercise
a few times each day until the
pup has learned the word.
If the puppy initiates mouthing,
tell the pup, "off" to mean remove your mouth from
my hands. As soon as the pup backs off, praise
profusely and then allow the mouthing to continue.
Once the puppy learns not to initiate the mouthing,
then teach the pup that it is never acceptable to
mouth or touch human skin with canine teeth. For
example, hold a bone for the puppy to chew on. When
he or she begins to include your hand in the
chewing, give the Instruction
"off." If the dog
stops chewing your hand, praise him or her lavishly.
Once the dog has responded appropriately (by not
mouthing your hand), move the bone back towards the
dog so that he or she may continue to chew on the
bone. This can be repeated several times so that the
dog learns how to consistently respond to the
MORE on puppy teething.
use this Instruction to teach "off"
furniture. When the pup is on the furniture hold the
treat in front of the pup and move the treat toward
the ground luring them down. As they jump down and
the word "off" and give the treat once all
four feet are on the ground.
If you have used these techniques to teach your dog
not to mouth and the mouthing still persists,
consult with an animal behaviorist. (...)
MORE on puppy biting.