Training is crucial for any dog, and even more so, for a larger breed such as the Golden Retriever. There is no reason not to do this, especially because Golden Retrievers are incredibly intelligent and they’re very eager to please.
Without any training, your dog would be left to do as he pleases, and most of the time you’ll find that this is different than what you had in mind. Remember that it’s impossible to learn how to train a dog perfectly just by reading; you need experience as well as knowledge.
There is such a thing as a right and wrong way, and it usually varies from breed to breed. Some dogs respond well to praise training, they usually are dogs that have a strong desire to please. Other dogs respond well to treats. In any case, teaching your dog to stay is one of the most basic, but most important, commands.
Teach Your Golden Retriever To Stay
One of the most important things you need to do is to find a place where there are no distractions. You need someplace where you’re sure nobody’s going to come and bother you. Especially when he’s not trained at all your Golden retriever will have a difficult time focusing his attention on you.
Going to the park and trying to train him is not going to work no matter which method you use. It’s not the dog’s fault, he’s not stupid, there are simply too many distractions for him, and he can’t focus on you.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that your dog’s attention span is not very great when he’s a puppy. So break your sessions into 15 minutes per session with playtime between them.
1 - For this first part timing is everything. Have your dog sit and grab a treat in your hand, making sure he sees it. Pull it close to him so he starts to reach for the treat.
Now close your hand and as soon as he pulls his head back a little bit praise him and give him the treat. Keep repeating this step until your dog pulls back whenever he sees a treat instead of reaching out for it.
2 - After you’ve taken a break start by repeating the same exercise. However, this time you’re going to wait at least a second before giving him the treat. Here it’s important that your dog is sitting when you’re giving him the treat.
If he stands, pull back and try again. Repeat this exercise until your Golden retriever can sit for up to five seconds before you give him the treat. It’s important that all throughout these exercises you stay near him.If he won’t sit and stay while you are near him; what are the chances of him staying when you move away?
3 - For the next sessions repeat the same exercise and gradually increase the time he has to wait before you give him the treat. However, there is a small catch. Now you want to incorporate the command words as well.
When you show him the treat use a firm voice and say “stay”. Then when you give the treat to him say an approval word, the most common is “okay”. We call this a release word. The goal of this lesson is to have your dog sit for 30 seconds without moving.
He will likely try to move where you will use a short, firm “uh-uh”. You might wonder why you shouldn’t use “no”. You use “no” when you want to tell him that this behavior is unacceptable, whereas you only want him to understand that “uh-uh” means no treat.
4 - After you take another break move on to this exercise. Repeat everything as you did in the third lesson, but also take a step back and then return to where you were. Also try stepping sideways once and then back.
Consider yourself successful when you can complete a circle around him and he won’t move. If he does, just use the “uh-uh” and try again. The key is not becoming impatient. Take it slow and expect some failures from your Golden retriever.
5 - Now do the same exercise but move further from the dog. Try taking as many as five steps away from your dog. If you can still get him to stay for 30 seconds you are doing great.
6 - Now you need to add in some distractions. Practice the command in other areas around the house, where there will be at least some distraction. But don’t go directly to five steps away and 30 seconds.
Instead start with the shorter stays and stay near him. You will see that your dog is catching on to what you want him to do, especially because he has already done it successfully in the past.
From now on just repeat the process until you can stay up to 30 feet away from your dog and he will stay in that position for one minute. Remember that training should be taken slow; it won’t happen in one day. We need to be consistent and patient, rushing it will only make you more frustrated and the dog still won’t know what to do.