By training your dog the obedience commands of “stay” and “come”, you can avoid your dog running into the road while you get your mail out of the mailbox. You can use the “come” command to get him back in your yard. The “stay” command is useful when a car is moving in the driveway or when you are climbing over a fence to retrieve the Frisbee or ball that went over while you and your dog were playing. Or any of the thousands of other scenarios you will encounter over the years you spend with your canine.
Keep the commands simple. Dogs don’t understand sentences so use one word or very short phrases such as: stay down, stay, come here, or come. Be consistent with the commands and everyone in the house should use the same command words. Also, everyone in the house should praise and reward the correct behavior for a particular command.
Start by teaching the “stay” command. Tell your dog to “stay” and then walk away from him. If the dog starts to move, stop walking away but tell him again to “stay.” Then, start walking away from him again but stop if he moves. Practice this a few times per session for several times every day until he learns to comply with the command.
After your dog is consistently performing the “stay” command then you can go ahead and introduce the “come” command. If you start the second command too soon, your dog might get confused and you would need to restart the training. Teach the commands in different areas of your house and yard so that your dog doesn’t think a specific command should only be performed in one spot.
Also, practice the commands at different times of day or when you are doing something special such as taking a walk in the park. Practice as much and as often as you are able. The repetition will help your dog learn much quicker. End a training practice if you or your dog gets tired or frustrated.
Remember to positively reinforce the training commands with a verbal reward of “yes” or “good” upon completion along with treats and more praise. Always use a praise word along with the food reward. Change the reward treats or have a variety on hand so your dog doesn’t get bored.
Make a huge deal about your dog’s accomplishments of “stay” and “come” training. Not enough emphasis can be placed on praise and reward for your dog’s good learning. Your dog wants to hear your verbal praise and will gladly accept the reward treats that he gets along with the praise.
By training your pet the “stay” and “come” phrases, you will have a bit more control over your dog’s behavior. This is not only vital when you two are out in public places, such as the dog park, but when you have company in your home, as well.