Go” West Young Border Collie

“Go” is a great cue to get your BC into his crate or onto his mat or rug, and later his stuffed goose down micro-fiber plush bed. This is a very handy command to send your dog to a specific location and keep him there while you tend to your business. Before teaching, “go,” your dog should already be performing to the commands, down, stay, and of course responding to his or her name.

While training the following steps, do not proceed to the next step until your dog is regularly performing the current step.

– Find a quiet low distraction location to place a towel or mat on the floor and grab your treats. Put a treat in your hand and use it to lure your dog onto the towel while saying, “Go.” When all four paws are on the towel, click and treat your dog. Do this about ten to fifteen times.

– Start the same way as above, say “go,” but this time have an empty hand, act as though you have a treat in your fist while you are luring your dog onto the mat. When all fours are on the mat click and treat your dog. Do this ten to fifteen times.

– Keep practicing with an empty hand and eventually turning the empty hand into a pointed index finger. Point your finger towards the mat. If your dog does not understand, walk him to the mat then click and treat. Do this about ten to fifteen times.

– Now, cue with “go” while pointing to the towel, but do not walk to the towel with him. If your dog will not go to the towel when you point and say the command, then keep practicing the step above before trying this step again. Now proceed practicing the command “go” while using the pointed finger and when your dog has all four paws on the mat, click, and then walk over and treat him while he is on the mat. Do this about ten to fifteen times.

– Now, grab your towel and try this on different surfaces and other places, such as grass, tile, patio, carpet, and in different rooms. Continue to practice this in more and more distracting situations and don’t forget your towel or mat. Take the mat outdoors, to your friends and families houses, hotel rooms, the cabin, and any other place that you have your trusted companion with you

One Step Beyond – “Relax”

In accordance with “go” This is an extra command you can teach. This is a single word command that encapsulates the command words go, down, and stay all into one word. The purpose is to teach your dog to go to a mat and lie on it until he is released. This is for when you need your dog out from under foot for extended lengths of time, such as when you are throwing a party. Pair it with “down and stay” so your dog will go the mat, lie down, and plan on staying put for an extended period of time. You can substitute your own command, such as “settle,” “rest,” or “chill,” but once you choose a command stick with it and remain consistent.

This command can be used anywhere that you go, letting your dog know that he will be relaxing for a long period and to assume his relaxed posture. You can train this command when your pup is young and it will benefit you and him throughout your life together.

– Place your mat, rug, or what you plan using for your dog to lie.

– Give the “go” command and C/T your dog when he has all four paws on the mat. While your dog is on the mat, issue the command “down stay,” then go to him and C/T while your dog is still on the mat.

– Now, give the “relax” command and repeat the above exercise with this “relax” command. Say, “relax,” “go” and C/T your dog when he has all four paws on the mat. While your dog is on the mat, issue the command “down stay,” and C/T while your dog is still on the mat. When your dog understands the “relax” command it will incorporate go, down, and stay.

Practice 7-10 times per session until your dog is easily going to his mat, lying down, and staying in that position until you release him.

– Next, give only the “relax” command and wait for your dog to go to the mat and lie down before you click and treat your dog. Do not use any other cues at this time. Continue practicing over multiple sessions, 7-10 repetitions per session, so that your dog is easily following your one word instruction of “relax.”

– Now begin making it more difficult; vary the distance, add distractions, and increase the times in the relax mode. This is a wonderful command for keeping your dog out of your way for lengthy durations. You will love it when this command is flawlessly followed.


-While you are increasing the time that your dog maintains his relaxed position, click and treat every 5-10 seconds.

– You can also shape this command so that your dog assumes a more relaxed posture than when you issue “down stay.” When your dog realizes that the “relax” command encompasses the super relaxed posture that he would normally use under relaxed conditions, he will understand that he will most likely be staying put for a lengthy period and your dog might as well get very comfortable.

Another obedience command that can and should be taught is the release command. Do not forget to teach a release command word to release your dog from any previous command. Release is command #14 in my 49 ½ Dog Tricks book that will soon, or is already for purchase. Release is easier to train if your dog already sits and stays on command.

This command informs your dog that they are free to move from whichever previous command you had issued and your dog complied, such as sit, down, and when combined with stay. When released your dog should rise from the position but remain in place. This is an obedience command that can keep your dog safe and you from worrying about your dog bolting off or moving at the wrong time during a potentially dangerous situation. You can choose any command, such as “move,” or “break.” As a reminder, one or two syllable words work best when teaching dogs commands.

~ Paws On – Paws Off ~