Dog Training 101: Repeat Commands

Here’s rule number 2: say your commands only once.

Why? Because you want your dog to know that “sit” means to sit. Not “sit, sit…puppy sit. SIT!”

If you begin your training by repeating a command, your puppy will quickly realize that when you first say a command, you don’t expect her to respond immediately. And she’ll carry that on to adulthood. So when you have company over and she’s all excited, it’s not until you’ve screamed “sit” about a hundred times will she finally listen!

Consistency, of course, is key for this rule. Believe me, I know training your dog can be a frustrating task! More than once she’ll be way more interested in the dog playing in the yard next door or the chipmunk that ran across the street than in you calling “come!” And when your dog doesn’t listen, it’s only human nature to become frustrated and call “COME!” over and over again! So what do you do in this situation? Call “come,” if puppy doesn’t listen, walk over to her, take her caller and walk her back to the place you had called her from. Then reward her for being such a good girl with treats and playing! Soon she’ll realize that “come” means lots of reward and attention from her awesome owner and that it’s not a word she wants to ignore! And continue this pattern with all commands. And make sure there are lots of reward when she does the right thing!

It’s key to use this concept as soon as you begin training…when you’re puppy is at her peak of learning. As a puppy she will learn to understand your expectations and those expectations will be carried on throughout her life. And remember to remain consistent! Even when you’re late for work and it’s pouring rain and puppy decides to run after a squirrel. Only call “come” once!