One Basic Dog Training Command You Cannot Skip

training a dog to leave it

One Basic Dog Training Command You Cannot Skip

If you skip using the basic dog training command ‘release’ in dog training, it’s like telling someone you’ve got a great story to tell and then walking away, leaving the person hanging It’s like saying you’ll be right back, but not coming back. When you are communicating with your dog, the release word is the ever-important basic dog training command allowing your dog to know when something may start or when it’s finished. When you don’t use this cue, it leaves your dog confused and wondering what’s next. Or, even worse, the dog just makes his own choice since you didn’t decide what was best or safest at that moment.

As humans, we have all kinds of tools at our disposal to know when something starts or ends. We use our phones, clocks, or stopwatches. Children hear the sound of the bell ringing at the end of the school day. With young children, we teach, “Ready? Set! Go!” The choice is yours as to what word you choose to use as your release cue (or tool) to offer your dog the same. Some people use “release!”, others use “okay!” for their dogs. With my service dog training experience, it’s preferred that handlers use “break!” It really doesn’t matter what word you use, just be sure to use it.

Here are a few examples of good time you can use the basic dog training command, a release word:

Potty time, not party time

When you use the release word at any door before the exit or entry, this will spike your dogs’ interest, which is necessary for keeping their attention. For example, when your dog is going outside for a bathroom break, ask for your dog to sit, open the door, and use the release word as the cue and basic dog training command. Unless he’s realllllly gotta go, then that’s just plain mean. Release word practice. 

Car Rides

Next time you unbuckle the seat belt or open the door for your dog to exit your vehicle, require that he wait for a second, maybe using your basic dog training command – the “wait” cue. You could even throw in a focus cue and ask for a “watch me!” or “look at me!” Say your release word and open the door. Safety first. You really should make sure the coast is clear and the situation is safe before your dog goes high-tailing it outta’ there, so excited to see where you’ve taken him. Release word safety.

Chow time

Eating a meal is so much more fun when the food is earned and given with a release. Handing over a meal to a dog without using basic dog training commands, such as a simple sit and release word, is like the difference between a microwaved pot pie and someone making you a gourmet meal. If you just plop down the bowl, it just takes the pizazz away. Borrrring. Using the release word just makes the meal more thrilling! Release word fun. 

Wanna’ go for a walk?

We’ve all seen that inevitable excitement, the ants in the pants run around in circles like a coo-coo run-to-the-door madness. Just can’t get enough of a dog’s intense excitement to get around that block, seriously, it’s the best! Next time? Use the basic dog training command –  “watch me”, or the sit command if you think your dog is feelin’ it, THEN open the door, pause, shoot for some eye contact again, then go for the release word. This is a much better way to gain control before that walk even starts. Release word manners.

Chilling Out on the Furniture

Have you ever finished making a yummy-looking sandwich, sat down in your spot in front of the TV, just got comfy, and then wham! Therrrrre’s your dog, up on the couch, in your face, and in your sandwich. Simply use the basic dog training command “release” to stop your dog from jumping up on the furniture. This will not only teach your dog manners but it could save your lunch. Earned affection! Release word love.

Using the release word encourages your dog to basically “ask first.” Using this cue not only teaches your dog basic manners and improves communication skills, but it also makes your dog’s life with you more fun and interesting. At the same time, you are ensuring their safety. What could be better than that? This is just one way to make learning fun and teach manners too. Your dog will love you for it!

Three D's of Dog Training

Dog Training With Wag N Tails

Countless Pet Problems Can Be Avoided

Sometimes, owning a pet can present its fair share of difficulties. Dealing with unwelcome behaviors like ignoring commands, furniture damage, and incessant barking can be quite a handful. The good news is, that these challenges are entirely manageable through effective training. Even better, this journey can be mutually rewarding for both you and your beloved pet!

At Wag ‘N’ Tails, our expertise extends beyond simply addressing common behavioral concerns; we specialize in nurturing enduring bonds of mutual comprehension between you and your dog. Reach out to us today to embark on the training journey with your furry companion!

Learn more here

Picture of Christine Fox

Christine Fox

Leave a Reply

Download a Free Guide

The Mindful Way

Take the steps you need to follow to teach your dog the mindful way.


Group Classes are back in session – rebooted and better than ever. Our group classes are designed to tackle the COVID-related needs of modern pet parents. We address a variety of topics in a casual and fun group setting, including:

And so much more!

Group Seminars returning in the Spring. Inquire for early access.