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My dog won’t leave me alone

“Out” is a very useful command.

Ace is constantly in my business. Hovering. Begging. Drooling.

If I didn’t have commands to direct him, I would go nuts.

I use the command “out” to mean “leave the room we are in.” Other versions of this command could be “go lie down” or, if you’re a redneck, “GIT!”

For Ace and I, “out” initially meant “Get your ass out of the kitchen.” But now I use the command in all areas of the house. When I’m in my office, and I don’t want a mutt begging for dinner, I can tell him “out” and he moves his pity party to the hall.

“Out” was one of the easiest commands for Ace to learn. He obeys it 99 percent of the time, probably because I’m usually irritated and very direct when I say it.

What is the difference between “Out” and “Go lie down”?

Kona the tri-colored English springer spaniel and Ace the black lab mix dog lying down and stayingYou can define each phrase the way you want. Maybe you don’t need more than one command. The simpler, the better.

I use “down” to mean “lie down right where you are.”

“Go lie down” means “go lie down anywhere.”

“Go to your bed” is pretty self explanatory. It should be simplified to “bed.”

“Back up” means just that.

And “out” means “leave the room.”

These commands work well for us. Ace gets the point. And if I want him to stay somewhere specific, like on a certain rug or a certain spot in a certain room, I walk him to that spot myself and tell him “down.” This is a good challenge for all dogs – staying in a certain spot in the house for a significant amount of time.

How to teach a dog boundaries using the “out” command

“Out” is the easiest command ever. Simply tell your dog “out” and then walk him or nudge him out of the room. When he comes back in, repeat the word “out” and nudge him out again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Dogs naturally respect physical boundaries, so it won’t take long for a dog to understand. Some dogs will test their owners more than others, so don’t give up. All dogs can learn this command.

You can use treats to speed up the process if you want. I usually don’t use treats with Ace. He tends to get too excited and drool everywhere. But if you want to use treats, that’s fine. Just make sure you are not training your dog to repeat the pattern of stepping back into the room and then back out to get a treat. He should get treats only when he remains out of the room.

Use your typical release word such as “OK” when it’s OK for your dog to return to the room.

Avoid using the word “stay”

When I say “Out,” it means “Get out and stay out.” The stay command is unnecessary.

People go overboard with the stay command. By doing so we teach our dogs that we are not serious unless we tell them to stay. Cutting out the stay command completely is a challenge of mine.

Teach the “out” command in one room at a time

Keep it simple for your dog when she is first learning the “out” command. Stick to one area of the house such as the kitchen until she understands.

Once she has the “out” command down in on room, work on other areas such as the bedroom or the office. I can even tell Ace “out” when we are playing fetch. When I say “out,” he gives me some space for a longer throw.

What commands do you use to direct your dog when he’s constantly begging or just plain in your way?

Now if we could just get a certain (LARGE!) tan tabby cat to obey the “out” command, we’d be set.


Friday 4th of March 2011

Lindsay, I guess I must be a redneck because I tell Sophie to "get!" when she is in my face! ha. Just kidding, I am NOT a redneck. She does almost always immediatley move away when I say this, but I guess who wouldn't! Teaching the "out" command would be way better. With Elsie I always just say "down" and she is good about doing just that. Enjoyed this humorous post.

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 4th of March 2011

With Beamer, I definitely say "GIT!" He does run away from me when I say this.


Thursday 24th of February 2011

I, too, wish that we could train our cats this useful command! My old boy, Oscar, decided that I needed to be woken up the other night. If only I could have just commanded "Out" and been able to get back to sleep!! :)

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 28th of February 2011

Haha! I have to put my cats in the laundry room at night or they drive me nuts. I'm a mean cat mom :)


Thursday 24th of February 2011

Lindsey, I totally realize that with some houses and routines it doesn't work. Thankfully its worked for us. I think it also helps that we have two different types of flooring in the house. That way its easier to keep them off of one type.

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 28th of February 2011

Yeah that really helps Ace understand boundaries as well, the different floor materials.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 23rd of February 2011

I like the idea of keeping the dogs out of the kitchen. I think it would be too hard for us, as Ace has to walk through the kitchen to get to the laundry room where he sleeps at night. And his bowls are in the kitchen where it's convenient. But I like the idea of having certain areas off limits to dogs. And in my case, a very "hungry" cat.


Wednesday 23rd of February 2011

We have an out cue, go downstairs, go lie down, get on your bed and no begging/manners has turned into the go to your bed while we are eating. We don't allow the dogs in the kitchen whether we are cooking or not. The water and food dishes sit right outside the kitchen. Two reasons for this, Belle would be a counter surfer if possible and two CV had a dog he taught to open the fridge and get him a beer. This dog got upset one day and ate stuff in the fridge, hence no more dogs in the kitchen. It also keeps the dog hair in the food down. :-)

Thanks for another great post!!!