How to Teach Out

How To Teach Out Command

Teaching OUT:

I use this command when the dog has something in his mouth I want him to give up to me.  Some people use “Drop it” or "give".  I prefer "OUT!' because it's crisp sharp and easy to say quickly.  Whatever word you choose, use it consistently so that there is no misunderstanding in an emergency.

One of the key things about teaching out is that is doesn’t mean you can’t get that thing back, so we often exchange one item for another.  Giving the dog hope of getting it back in the future, though when it’s something dangerous, clearly he won’t.

There are few ways you want to practice this with puppies or easy going dogs.

Playing a game – ie tugging with the dog. 

  • Toy that you have been interactive with and he’s trying to take it way, toy goes limp (dead toy) with you still holding it. When he withdraws his mouth, you say out, praise/reward, etc and then on command play again.

  • He’s got a chew toy – you walk up with a yummy treat. The moment his mouth removes from the chew toy you mark with “OUT” and reward with the treat.

  • You can do this with a toy exchange as well

  • Remember he gets the original item back


At meal time: 

  • You will need him on a leash. (for dogs who are big resource guarders or overly rambunctious about food, I tether them to an immovable object as well. So 2 leashes).

  • Put a portion of his meal in the bowl. Give me the cue to begin eating “ok, Eat” and let him get going.

  • Right in the middle of him eating, give the command OUT and with your leash, move him back a couple of steps and cue him to sit. He waits patiently while you add more food to his bowl, maybe offer him a higher value food item, etc (Not every time).

  • You may find that he becomes resistant to going back into the bowl after a couple of “outs” – no worries. Give him a minute and if he doesn’t finish, ty again at the next scheduled feeding.

  • You are ultimately aiming for him to step away from his bowl and sit on command “OUT” even if his bowl is full of deliciousness, with no leash guidance. So in a few days, you’ll want to drop the leash, and eventually not have it on.

  • If he doesn’t do it, you’re going to mark “No, OUT!” and with leash and/or special pressure get him to back away.

If we are dealing with a case of resource guarding or a dog displaying signs of aggression -- please consult a professional for additional guidance that may include training tools and safety protocols.

You’ll practice this often early, and then occasionally forever more just to keep it tuned up.  This is a command you never want to be without.

Dana Brigman