teaching your dog to stay out of a room

Similar to outdoor border training, teaching your dog to stay out of rooms in your home is time-intensive and takes a ton of patience.  It is a process that takes a couple of months and there are no short cuts.  As always, it is done with positive training methods.


Before starting, your dog must be able to perform a long stay with distractions.  If you have not done that yet, do not attempt the below as it will be a complete waste of your time (as well as your dog’s).  Also you should teach “out!” to your dog before engaging in the below. 


To teach “out!” start with your dog in the kitchen.  Toss a high value treat out of the kitchen and say the marker word “out!”.   He will naturally go to get the treat and then come back to you in the kitchen.  Rinse and repeat until you are able to point and say “out!” and have him leave the kitchen without a treat tossed.  We will use the kitchen as the room you want your dog to stay out of, except when specific permission is granted.


To begin, practice your long stay with your dog right outside the kitchen area and your position in the kitchen.  If that is working perfectly, start throwing a high value meat like cooked chicken on the floor about 5 feet in front of your dog.  Do a few tosses of the high value food.  If your dog breaks command, tell him the marker “out!” and put him back in his stay spot and just throw one piece of chicken 8 feet from him, inside the kitchen.  When he stays, reward him with a “yes!” marker and give him a different high value treat.  Repeat this process and then start adding more pieces of chicken and start shortening the distance between the chicken and your dog.  Assuming he stays, move on to the next step.


The next step is to do the last part above but then exit the kitchen to an out of sight area for a few seconds.  When you come back, reward your dog with a high value treat if he has stayed, otherwise say “out!” and bring him back to his original position.  If he does break command, you may want to go back a few steps and get him perfect with easier situations.  Assuming he’s good and doesn’t break command, put more enticing chicken on the floor 5 feet away from him and leave the kitchen again for 5 seconds.   Increase the amount of time hidden away from the kitchen assuming you have success with prior tests.


Then put some meat in the microwave and turn it on for a few minutes.  The smell of cooked food will permeate the air in the kitchen and beyond.  Put him into a long stay just outside the kitchen and move to the back of the kitchen, away from your dog.  Assuming he does well, put him into a long stay and leave the kitchen out of site, at first for a few seconds, and then longer.   You can also put cooked human food on the counter to further entice your dog.   Again, assuming he does not break command, make sure you reward him and praise him heavily for successfully learning to stay out of the kitchen!

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