How to Train Your Dog the "off" Command

Black and brown dog sitting on couch waiting for off command

To tell a dog to remove its paws off anything, use the "off" command. It may be your bed, the couch in the living room, the kitchen counter, or any other surface you don't want your dog to be on. Dogs frequently leap up to acquire what they desire, such as a tasty morsel or a cozy spot to sleep. It may be challenging to teach this command, but it is doable. Your dog will quickly comply with the off order if you are patient and consistent.

Stash Treats

Catching your dog on something you don't want it to be on is the key to teaching it the off command. As a result, you'll need to be ready and store some snacks throughout your house, ideally close to these forbidden areas. You may start training your dog and have them available anytime you need them.

Wait for the Behavior

The off command is taught to a dog differently than many other fundamental commands. Instead of scheduling training sessions, you should wait until your dog exhibits unacceptable behavior before teaching it to stop. Watch your dog closely and be ready to interrupt what you're doing if you notice him acting inappropriately.

Give the Command

Tell your dog to "get off" when you notice it sitting on the counter or your couch with its paws raised. To let the dog know you mean business, use a firm voice, but don't shout. Quickly respond after the task has been completed so that your dog can link your order to its performance.

Lure the Dog Off

To entice your dog away, use one of your hidden goodies. Show your dog the goodie as you deliver the off command. To grab the dog's attention, you may alternatively shake the goodie while yelling its name. Give the dog the as soon as all four paws are on the ground.

Problems and Proofing Behavior

If this conduct is not strictly enforced, it may be challenging for a dog to acquire the off command and to understand what is acceptable and what is not. If you force your dog to leave the counter or furniture whenever it climbs up, only then will it learn to do so permanently. If you (or another family member) occasionally let the dog get away with it, it will learn that it's worth a try since it will occasionally be given the chance to grab food or cuddle up on the sofa. Ensure that these guidelines are followed by everyone who interacts with your dog, including family members and dog walkers.

Even after you've finished training, warn your dog "off" any time it jumps up on something that isn't allowed. As required, lure it down with a treat, and be sure to provide the reward any time all paws are on the ground.

Your dog could quickly figure out that jumping on things results in treats. Your dog is training you to give it goodies rather than teaching it to get off of something. Make your dog work for the treat in order to get over that issue. The identical procedure as previously should be followed, but instead of immediately giving the dog the treat, have him or lie down. Only give your dog the treat once they comply with this order. Your dog will no longer associate leaping up on anything with receiving a treat.


  • Use a crate when you cannot supervise your dog. Dogs learn very quickly that they are able to get away with certain things when you are not around. Crate train your dog so it doesn't have the opportunity to jump up on the furniture or counters when you are out.
  • Give your dog somewhere else to go, particularly if it's looking for a comfy spot to nap. Many dogs will get off the couch or bed only long enough to get the treat and then immediately attempt to get back up. Make sure your dog has a comfy spot of its own, like a dog bed. You can train the dog the , and send it to its own bed rather than allowing it to try to get back on your couch or bed.
  • If your dog has been able to snatch food off your kitchen counter, you may need to do some further training to train your dog not to counter surf. This is particularly useful for larger breeds who can stand on their hind legs and reach the countertop.