I am ashamed to say I haven't taught Frosty "working" but "heel" seems to do well enough.
My release word is "Go" - because our instructors often say "free your dogs". Although "exercise complete" means something similar.
So to get Frosty to understand - I put a huge temptation around and she's not allowed to go get it until I tell her "Go Frosty".
So I start with a sit stay - and I'm right next to her, and I chuck treats all around - one by one. And make her stay good dog, stay good dog. Then I say "Go Frosty" and she has no trouble acting on that one. Same sort of deal at dinner time. She doesn't get to go for dinner until I release her and give her the permission to eat words.
The way I teach "free" is.
Ask or put dog in sit, keep shoveling in treats for a few seconds, saying your bridge word, remember not to combine the word and the action (hand with treat at same time as word).
(3) The clap hands twice and say your release word and encourage puppy out of position. Encouragement could be bending down to puppy and taking a few steps back, gently moving them out of position by using lead or for very little puppies, 8wks and the like I will use my hands to put them on all fours.
If your dog knows sit and stay then just start from paragraph 3.
If you do this correctly and remember to leave and start of heeling on the correct foot then a lot of dogs do not need the stay command.
When starting out don't leave a sit/drop/stay for too long before releasing the dog. That way you can praise rather than correct.
Hy, I use heel as my working word as well. With a hand signal that returns the dog to heel.
I use 'go on'.
Education not Legislation
It's silly but I use Mush, pronounced Moosh.
I can't remember how it started, I think it was a "wouldn't it be funny if he did.." moment
I use "Alriiiight!" to break from a stand or stay.
Or if it the signal to eat I say "Take it".
I use "Free" with Keeda. When she was a puppy and I'd give her commands like "Sit" or "Down", when I wanted to release her I always said "Free" in a happy voice and gave her other verbal praise and scratches, then throw the toy for her and let her do whatever she wanted until the next command or training session. That's how she learned that "Free" means the exercise is over.
Thanks everyone! You've certainly cleared up my confusion
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