Teach Your Dog to Move Out of the Way

Putting "Out" to Work

Ideally, “out” should be trained in a manner that makes it applicable to the real-life situations where it’s needed most. Once your dog learns to respond to the “out” cue, introduce common variables to his training to prepare him for potential situations that may arise. Train your dog to respond to the cue in a variety of places (inside the house, in the garage, in the yard) and with increasing distractions (other people and pets). Practice various situations as well, like unloading groceries, closing the garage door and moving furniture.

The “out” cue should be informational and useful for guiding your dog —don’t use it as a way to punish or reprimand him. Once the behavior is learned, the rewards for attending to the cue can be spaced out. Occasional praise, in combination with an intermittent treat or toy reward, is often enough to keep the behavior strong for most dogs.

Furthermore, most dogs will naturally gravitate back toward the area or person they were asked to move away from after a period of time. If your dog hangs back, an invitational word and gesture, such as a release cue like "free dog” or a pat on the leg or hand target may be used to invite the dog to return to you.

In your specific situation, you may also want to work with your dog on waiting at the door. With practice and continued guidance, your garage-opening experience can become a much simpler and less taxing process for both you and your dog.

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