This week we will take a look at some important commands to practice with your puppy.
- Re-Call (come)
Teaching your puppy to come to you enables you to call them back if they are heading towards a potentially dangerous situation. It will also allow you to give your puppy more freedom once you feel confident that they are able to respond to commands off lead (where it is safe and legal for the puppy to do so).
Training steps: Getting a puppy to re-call (come)
- Stand in front of your puppy showing him the food you have in your hand. Have your hand at the height of your puppy’s nose. We don’t want puppies jumping up for food because your hand is held too high.
- Say your puppy’s name and the command ‘come’ in a happy, high-pitched voice while you walk backwards to encourage your puppy to follow you.
- It is important not to use your puppy’s name excessively in other commands because if they ignore your instructions then, it may in turn result in the puppy ignoring their name, which will make re-call commands more difficult.
- When the puppy responds and follows you, give them the treat and praise them.
- Sit Step Away (Stay)
There are many useful situations where a sit step away (stay) can be used on a daily basis and can be used later in conjunction with drop:
- Loading or unloading the car
- Going in and out of the front or back door
- Going through a gate
- Seeing a visitor off in your drive way
- With your dog in the veterinary clinic waiting room.
Drop stays will be useful:
- Around active, excited children
- Around other dogs that might be fearful or non-social
- Veterinary examinations
- Grooming sessions
Only increase distance or time initially, i.e. don’t step further away and ask for an increased time to stay
If the puppy moves you have left them for too long or stepped too far away. Go back to the stage where the puppy was able to stay without moving and reinforce this before attempting longer or increased distance stays again
Remember to reward the puppy with praise each time and use the release cue “free”.
Training steps to get your puppy to stay on cue:
- Ask the puppy to sit and reward them when they do.
- Lean toward the puppy slightly, make eye contact and communicate with your puppy by reiterating “stay” in a firm positive tone, reward your puppy if they have stayed in place with calm, positive praise and pats.
- Repeat this several times, gradually increasing the length of the time you are asking them to “stay”.
- When your puppy is sitting and staying reliably take a very small step away from your puppy, hold there for a few seconds and then return to the puppy and release them from the command with “free” and reward with lots of praise and pats.
When you finish the exercise always give a release cue, such as “free” so that the puppy knows it’s okay to move, this release word should be familiar to your puppy now through previous commands.