Teaching your dog “Okay” and “Come”

Narrated from: Dog Training

Teaching your dog to come is one of the easiest things to do and it’s one of the most important!

Start training him the very day you get your dog or puppy and this command will become embedded in his brain. This command will keep him out of trouble and it will help you maintain control of your dog at all times. Put some dry treats in your pocket. Say his name and then “Come”. When he comes to you give him one of the treats from your pocket and tell him what a good boy he is.

If your dog is older, or even somewhat fearful, put a long leash on him then do this exercise using the “come” command, and then reel him in gently with the lead, praising him when he gets to you. Always treat and praise at first. When he gets consistent with the “come” command you can use a clothes line or special 30’ training lead and practice this outside. He may have some difficulty with all of the distractions outside, but practice makes perfect!

This next piece of training is the one thing most pet owners forget or simply don’t know to teach their dog.

Think of “okay” as a fun word for him. It’s not your average command, and it should mean something good is about to happen. As you pronounce the word “okay”, it’s almost hard to make it sound negative. Your pet pays more attention to your tone than he does to the words you say, so “okay” is a great word to use to release your dog from a command. Let’s say you tell your dog to “stay” or “wait” but you don’t mean indefinitely, so you need a release word.

If you think about it, dogs really don’t have a fun word unless you teach them the “okay” command. It’s super easy to teach and you will find many uses for it as your dog grows and changes. Use it when he brings a ball back to you, use it when you feed him, use it when you give him a treat, use it to release the “sit”, “down”, “wait” or “stay” commands.

To teach the “okay” command start saying “Okay” every time you feed him. Meal time is always good so he will begin to relate happiness with the word. Say “Okay” with enthusiasm so he can read your tone and body language. Add the command to everything that he likes. It’s okay to play with that toy, it’s okay to go out the door and it’s okay if he becomes fearful of anything.

This command works really well once it is learned, as it will help your dog feel less stressed, but you can’t use it before he understands it to mean something is good. After he really understands the “okay” command, you can use it during fireworks, thunderstorms or any other situation that makes your dog feel stressed. Just stroke him and say “okay” to help him calm down. He’ll love you for it.

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