Command: Hold / Out

Overview: The “Hold and Out” command is useful for teaching your dog to hold an object in their mouth and release it on command. This skill can be valuable for various training scenarios.

Dog being trained to hold position

Step 1: Introduce the “Hold” Command

  • Start with a suitable object for your dog to hold (e.g., retrieving dummy or toy).
  • Hold the object in your hand and use a calm and encouraging tone.
  • Issue the “Hold” or “Take it” command while gently guiding your dog to take the object into their mouth.
  • Avoid forcing the object; let your dog accept it voluntarily.
  • Praise your dog generously and offer affection as rewards for cooperation.

Step 2: Encourage Holding

  • Continue to encourage your dog to hold the object.
  • Use verbal praise and affection to reinforce this behavior.

Step 3: Practice Holding

  • Repeatedly practice the “Hold” command, gradually increasing the duration your dog holds the object.
  • Begin with short periods and extend them over time to build confidence.

Step 4: Introduce the “Out” Command

  • Once your dog is comfortable holding the object, introduce the “Out” command.
  • Use a clear and firm tone while saying “Out.”
  • Gently offer a high-value treat (equal or higher value than the object) to redirect your dog’s attention from the object.
  • As soon as your dog releases the object, immediately reward them with the treat.

Step 5: Name the “Hold” and “Out” Commands

  • Assign specific cues or commands for each behavior, such as “Hold” for holding the object and “Out” for releasing it.
  • Use these cues consistently during training.

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