New Jersey Dog Training-Hillsborough
a labrador dog

Gail Kulur


P.O. Box 7241 Hillsborough, NJ 08844


dog a labrador dog
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‘Release the Hound’!

‘Release the Hound!’ aka ‘Excusing or Releasing’ your dog from your command.


Dog owners come to class to improve their dogs behavior, which in turn improves their relationship with their dog. That’s what training does! It gives a dog confidence, teaches self control, helps to teach our dogs to make better decisions! Training gives them direction. Training shows them that we can lead and protect them. That we are clear in our communication of necessary information…..well, except when we are not………


Wait, What? Except when we are not? YES! Lots of owners struggle with praising/rewarding their dog at the precisely correct time, (within 2 to 3 SECONDS of the event), telling the dog WHICH action is being rewarded. More importantly, however, is that owners struggle to remember to use a ‘Release’ command.


You might call it ‘OK’, ‘Free’, ‘Forward’, ‘Let’s Go’, ‘Get Up’ or even ‘Release’! The word you use itself doesn’t matter! The MESSAGE and the meaning behind the word is what matters!


Anyone can get their dog to sit – usually with no problem. He plants his butt down and looks at you expectantly. Not necessarily for a food reward (although some dogs will ONLY do it for food, if that’s how they were trained); he’s waiting for the NEXT ACTION or COMMAND from the leader who told him to sit in the first place!


Think about it. We want our dogs to behave, we want them to be calm, we want them to listen and obey commands. But, if we only give them 1/2 of the information, how can they be successful? That being said, what IS the other half of the ‘Sit’ command?


For most pet dogs, the end of ANY command should be a conscious ‘OK/Free/Let’s Go/etc.’ command, where the ‘leader’ signifies to their dog that they no longer are under command, and they¬† can get up, move around, get a drink, enjoy the resulting freedom! If you tell your dog to ‘Stay’, and then walk away, and forget about them, when will he get up? Should the dog ‘stay’ in position for 5 seconds? 5 minutes? 5 hours? 5 MONTHS? You need to give your dog this information, or he will decide himself how long to sit there.


Is this making sense now?


How many times a day can you catch yourself not giving your dog ALL or enough of the information he needs to ‘get it’ completely ‘right’?


Practice with your dog – have FUN practicing your commands at a fast paced manner. Start focusing more on the ‘Release’ part of the equation. Make it short, then add a little more time before releasing. Make a few ‘short’ releases, then add another little bit of time. You will start to see your dog paying attention more, and obeying for longer periods of time – when it’s important that he do so!


Let us know if YOU need more information to be successful!


Happy Training!






One response to “‘Release the Hound’!”

  1. Agnes Grzebyk says:

    We would like to sign up for some classes with our dog.

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