Go! is one of the great commands – it’s a fabulous “correction” for mouthing, pawing or any other demanding behavior. It is especially useful if your dog lives with young children. If he’s ever getting excited by happy play, or you see him about to grab something from your child’s hand, or maybe you think he looks stressed in some way or perhaps you’ve dropped a glass and it has shattered on the floor, a simple “Go!” can get your dog out of harm’s way in seconds.
Also, sending your dog away from you is a major correction for most dogs, as it would be for a person. “Get out of my sight,” is a heavy-duty statement, and your dog understands that well. So begging dogs, mouthing dogs, whining dogs, nudging dogs or dogs otherwise making themselves more of a pain than a pleasure can be corrected with a calm “go.
Here’s how you teach it:
With your dog on leash and some treats in your hand, stand a few feet from the doorway you want him to exit through. Say “Go” and then point toward the doorway. As you point, toss a treat with the pointing hand out that door. If the dog sees the treat, he’ll probably go after it and leave the room. Good dog! Praise him!
Next phase, say, “Go” then point. If he goes, great! Praise and toss a treat over the threshold to him.
If he doesn’t go, use body blocking to move him out the doorway. The moment he has all four feet over the threshold – stop blocking, smile, praise and toss him a treat.
Once he understands how to do this when he is near the door, start with him a few feet farther away. When he understands that, start with you standing a short distance away from him, so he’ll “go” even if you’re not right with him.
When you need it to make a statement- such as I’m tired of this mouthing game you are playing – then tell him Go! and body block him out of the room. Insist, with body blocking, that he stay at the threshold. Wait until he accepts that limit then invite him back in calmly. Ignore him when he re-enters so you don’t end up rewarding him for entering the room. That would be counter-productive of “Go!”
Soon enough when you say, “Go,” he will go and you’ll have an easy way to keep your home saner and safer for years to come.
by Sarah Wilson, MySmartPuppy.com