Trick Breakdown: Get Out of My Kitchen
This is a fun command to teach your dog to get out from under your feet while you're cooking. You can also use this for any room or boundary in your house. Your office, laundry room, bedroom, etc. You can watch the video for a demonstration of each step, but this post will break it down even more for you and give you some tips to help your dog learn this trick quick and easy. This is a blend of 3 skills: send away, boundary command and a release. If your dog already knows these skills it will make learning much easier on your dog. If they don't already know these skills, your dog can still learn, it will just take a little longer.
Step 1: Luring
Say "Get out of my kitchen." Put a treat in your hand, and your hand right in front of your dog's nose. Lead them across the threshold. Once all 4 paws have crossed, give your dog the treat in your hand. Use your release word, Jason knows "free," and guide your dog back over the threshold and reward again. Repeat. Slowly give less and less guidance by speeding up, not having a treat in the hand that's luring and increasing the distance between your hand and your dog's nose. Common mistakes: 1. Not using a clearly defined line, such at a doorway, or change of flooring. If you do this, your dog will have trouble deciding exactly where they need to go. 2. Moving your hand too quickly when you are first starting to lure. You need to move slowly enough so that your dog can follow your hand to where you want them to go. 3. Reducing guidance to quickly. You will know you have moved to fast if your dog doesn't cross and looks confused. Simply go back a little and progress a little more slowly.
Step 2: Fading out the Lure
Now that you have slowly been reducing how much guidance you have been giving, it's time to start fading it out completly. Say "Get out of my kitchen," toss a treat over the line, step up to the line and reward with your dog on the other side. Release and reward once your dog is back over the line. Repeat. Common mistakes: 1. Tossing your treat to far or not far enough. You want to make sure that it is far enough for your dog to cross with all four paws, but not so far that your dog has to go hunt for the treat. 2. Not saying the command before you start to toss the treat. Your dog needs to learn that the words are followed by your physical cue and then he moves. If you say the command the same time as you move, he will not learn that the words lead to his action.
Step 3: Looking for Anticipation
After you have been doing step 2 for a while, you will notice that your dog starts to move before you toss the treat. This is him anticipating that the sounds you are making are followed by a cue, so he starting to anticipate what his reaction should be to those words. It should look like this: "get out of my kitchen," dog moves, toss treat, walk up to the line, reward at line, release, and reward. Repeat. Common mistakes: 1. Seeing your dog anticipate once and moving on to the next step. Your dog is trying it out to see if that is the right thing to do, they are making an educated guess. If you move on, they can't confirm that. Make sure your dog can anticipate 5 times in a row to ensure that he understands.
Step 4: Remove any Gestures
Once your dog shows you that he understands by anticipating your action based on the words, it is time to stop giving him any physical cues. Say "get out of my kitchen," wait until he crosses the line, step up and give him a treat across the line. Release and reward. Repeat. Common mistakes: 1. Getting frustrated when your dog doesn't immediately cross the line. You have just changed things up, so he is going to need to make an educated guess again and that may entail some hesitation. Give him a few moments and if he needs help walk into him to help him across.
Step 5: Add in Time
You aren't always going to want your dog to come immediately back after you send him out, so now we need to add in the expectation that he will stay out of the room until you say so. Say "get out of my kitchen," wait until he crosses the line, step up and give him several treats one by one across the line. Release and Reward. Each time you repeat this, slowly reduce the frequency your dog gets a treat, so back to back, then 1 second intervals, then 2, so on and so forth until you can get to about 30 seconds. Common mistakes: 1. Increasing time to quickly. If you jump from 1 second to 10 seconds, your dog is going to have trouble. Slow down and progress steadily so your dog can understand. 2. Giving your treats in a pattern. If your dog knows that they are going to get a treat every 10 seconds, then they are going to loose focus during the other 9. Instead try to vary your intervals, So wait 5 seconds between treats, then 2, then 7, then 11, then 1, etc. That way they never know when they will get rewarded and will stay focused.
Step 6: Add in Distance
You are also not going to always be standing right in front of him, so it's time to add in some distance to the command. Say "get out of my kitchen," wait until he crosses the line, step up and give him a treat across the line, take a half step back and reward, take another step back and toss a treat. Release and Reward. Repeat. Keep going until you can walk all the way across the room and to different parts of the room. Common mistakes: 1. Moving to quickly. Like before you need to gradually increase the distance so that your dog doesn't get confused. 2. Not clarifying what you want if your dog comes to you as you back away. If your dog crosses the line before you release him, walk him back and then go one step closer to where you were when he broke and start again. 3. Rewarding when you take him back. It's tempting to give him a treat when put him back over the line when he just broke it, but that will only confuse him and make him think that he should break so that he can back over.
Final Step: Phase out Treats
Time to phase out the treats. Give less and less frequently using the variable pattern we talked about before. Like always, move slowly so that you don't confuse your dog. Eventually you will get to the point where your dog doesn't need them at all! At the same time, give verbal rewards, so telling your dog that they are a good pup, etc. so that they still know they are doing the right thing. Common mistakes: 1. Phasing out treats too quickly. If you phase them out too fast, your dog will get confused and think that they aren't doing the right thing because suddenly they aren't getting rewarded for something they have been getting rewarded for.
Keep practicing! The more you practice the better your dog is going to do. If you teach your dog this trick or a variation of it, share it on Facebook or Instagram. Happy training!