Release commands are vitally important and are not used as often as they should be. A release command is an end to a command, like sit, down, stay, heel.... any command really. When you ask your dog to sit and stay.... how does your dog know that the exercise is over? Its an ah-ha moment for a lot of people when I ask them this question while doing private lessons with them in their home.
In fact using a release command can let you get rid of the STAY command all together. Ask your dog to SIT and teach them to stay there until they are released. The release command can be whatever you want, I use BREAK a lot of my clients like OK and the dog in the video at the top of the page is FREE.
The dog in the video is Hunter, she is a 6 month old German Shepherd on her first day of board and train with me. She knows how to sit, but was never taught a release command. Watch how I ask her to SIT and then wait for her to make eye contact with me before I release her with the command FREE and I reward her with a play session. Offering her release while she is making eye contact is rewarding her for doing so. Watch in a couple of days I will post another video of Hunter and her eye contact with me will be constant. Remember what dogs are looking at is what they are thinking about, when a dog is looking at you and making eye contact they are thinking about what you are going to say next. Attention is as undervalued as the release command in general dog training but both are 100% more important then teaching your dog any basic body position like SIT or DOWN.
If you have any questions please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org