Boot Camp Lesson #2:
Feeling pretty good about that first accomplishment? Then by all means, bask in the moment. Because this command: “Stay,” is a little more difficult. Let’s face it, your Golden by nature doesn’t want to stay. She always, always wants to be right next to you. So, you have your work cut out for you.
Basically, as you might guess or already know, the stay command instructs your dog to remain still – regardless of where she is. This is the one command that may, indeed, save your dog’s life someday, so let’s get down to business.
First, place the leash and collar on your friend. Next, perform the “sit” position with her. Now, you’ll just transition right into the “stay” command. Using your authoritative boot-camp training voice, tell her to stay. At the same time, raise your hand, palm toward the dog. You’re going to look very much like a police officer stopping traffic. Each time your pal rises to stand, give him a sharp “no.”
As you feel the leash move, take the slack up on it enough to hold him in place. Repeat this procedure until your pup appears to understand what’s going on. At this time, then, you can remove the leash and instruct him to stay again.
Remember: Every time he follows through and obeys you, praise him. Each time he doesn’t, give him a stern, strong “no.”
After you have a little experience with this command, “test drive” his obedience. Making and maintaining eye contact with your pup, back slowly away from him, all the while repeating the word “stay.” During this time also make the appropriate hand gesture.
If Goldie starts to follow, you know what to do. Give her a stern, strong authoritative “stay.” If she ignores this, reprimand her. However, when she does stay, lavish her with praise (that’s what she really wants from you, after all).
Boot Camp Lesson #3:
You may believe, at first glance, that this command is not very useful. You may believe that it’s a command you won’t use much. And your beliefs would be wrong.
Oh, I know, your new, loyal pal runs to you the moment she hears her name. Why would you need to teach her to come? At times dogs act as if they have an attention deficit. Remember the dog in the movie, “Up”? He’d be in the middle of a sentence (yes, he was a talking dog!) when he’d blurt out, “squirrel” and twirl his head around.
A time may come when you call your dog’s name and he’s bounding toward you, when something else catches his eye – that’s where this command comes in handy. The objective of this command is to get your pal to come to you whether he wants to or not.
After the commands sit and stay, come should be the next one you teach him. Begin this session by reviewing sit and then stay. Then once he’s obeyed the stay command and he’s a good distance from you, tell him to “Come.” Along with this, make a sound or a gesture. This could be clapping your hands or slapping your thigh. This motion helps to excite your dog into motion.
It won’t take your Golden long to connect the two – the verbal command and the gesture. Praise him for his compliance.
If your friend doesn’t respond, put him on a long leash. Allow him to wander off. Slowly reel in the leash all the while, repeating the word “Come.”
When she finally reaches you, praise her lavishly. Repeat this several times. Now, you’re ready to try the procedure again without the leash.
Congratulations! You and Goldie have passed the first three lessons in Puppy Boot Camp. As you and your pup spend more time together, training becomes easier. One of the benefits of training is the bonding that occurs between you two.