Training Your Dog to “Come!” & “Stay!”

Basic dog training commands are easy to teach to your dog as long as you stay consistent in your teaching method, and repeat the training often.  Here are a few to get you started:

Poodle mixes

Training Your Dog to, “Come!”

  • Have your dog sit across from you with a leash on.
  • Say, “come!” and gently tug on the leash so that your dog comes toward you.  If he stops or goes off in another direction, give the leash another gentle tug toward you.
  • Praise your dog as soon as he begins moving in your direction; do not wait to praise him until he reaches you.
  • Once your dog reaches you, offer a treat and additional praise.
  • Repeat often and on a daily basis, but limit each teaching session to not more than 5 minutes to ensure that your dog doesn’t get bored.
  • Once your dog starts getting good at this, make the leash longer so that you have a farther distance between you, and keep practicing.
  • To get your dog to be a real pro, you should practice this command everywhere that you take your dog.  The back yard, the dog park, other people’s houses, etc.  The more surrounding distractions your dog has, the more likely he is to not listen to your commands, so he will need a lot of practice to learn to ignore the distractions, and not tune you out.

Tip #1:  If you want your dog to continue coming to you when called, then only use the “come!” command when the end result will be positive.  In other words, do not use this command if you are going to discipline your dog, or for any other action that will end on a negative note.  Relating the command to something positive will ensure that your dog will continue coming when called.

Tip #2:  By no means should you ever chase your dog when he is not listening to you.  Being chased is every dog’s dream game and he is sure to run away from you and find it loads of fun.  However, unless you are looking to get a lot of exercise that day, most likely you will not enjoy this game as much as your dog.

Training Your Dog to, “Stay!”

  • Have your dog sit in front of you.
  • Put the palm of your hand in front of his nose and say, “stay!”
  • Take a few steps backward.
  • If your dog does not stay, then walk over to him, calmly sit him down, and begin the process again.
  • If your dog stays, be sure to say, “good”, then say whatever command you would like to use to release your dog, such as “ok!”, or “release!”, and give your dog a treat and verbal praise for a job well done (even if he only stayed for a second or two).
  • Repeat these steps on a daily basis each time lengthening the amount of time your dog should “stay!”, as well as distance between you and your dog.

Eventually your dog will get so good at it that you can even walk into the other room, although this will take time along with patient, and consistent practice.

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