New Tricks: Teach Puppies to Stay and Come
Teach your puppy the basics with this easy guide:
- Training should begin as soon as you bring your puppy home.
- It is usually best to teach your dog how to sit before teaching it the stay command, as this will then link the commands in their mind.
- Teaching to stay and to come at the same time also reinforces that your dog should only come when you say so and not when they feel like it.
- Begin by telling the dog to sit. Then say ‘stay’ firmly and hold up your hand in a ‘stop’ gesture. Walk away a couple of steps.
- If the dog follows, tell them ‘no’ firmly and do not give a treat. If they stay, come back to them and reward them with treats or stroking. Tell them how good they are. You can choose to give a release word at this time, such as ‘okay’ or ‘free’ to let the dog know they are free to move around.
- Slowly increase the number of steps you are away from them until they are staying on command. This may have to happen several times, during more than one session, before your puppy is ready for the next stage.
- Begin teaching the ‘come’ command at this stage by saying ‘come’ and encouraging them to come towards you. Include a hand signal if you wish. Only reward the dog when they have successfully stayed and came when you called. Do not reward if they do not come directly to you after staying or if you have not called them.
You should train for about 10 or 15 minutes, two or three times a day to prevent the puppy becoming bored from over training. Repetition is key in puppy training, so just keep repeating each step until the puppy completely understands what is being asked of them.