Quick & Dirty Dog Training Tips: STAY!

Stay is a dog training command you may find more useful than some others. If your dog is bad about bolting out open doors, following you where it shouldn’t go, or gets in right in the way while you are trying to do something that needs your full attention, then stay could help you keep your dog in check and out of trouble.

Stay is a simple command, but sometimes people have trouble teaching their dogs, especially puppies and hyperactive dogs, stay as it requires conditioning them to allow more and more distance between you and them.

Before you teach your dog stay it is important that you have already taught them sit or down, or stay will be much more difficult to teach.

Whatever position you choose to have your dog stay in won’t affect the effectiveness of the stay command, but is more about what would be more comfortable for the dog.

When teaching your dog to stay be sure to set time out each day in order to work with your dog. The process takes time, and at times will be difficult. Below are a list of steps that will can help you with training your dog how to stay.

  1. The first step in teaching your dog to stay is to get them to sit or lie down. You will begin by telling your dog to sit, and then stay. Do not reward them on the sit command as you are now trying to get them to stay. If your dog won’t stay don’t treat them until they begin to stay, but don’t chastise them either as they will not associate it with the command.
  2. After telling them to sit and then stay for a second or two release your dog release your dog with a treat and a scratch under the chin. As your pet gets more used to staying have them hold the position for longer periods of time. It is important that you use a command word to develop a release that that they will be able to associate with the end of staying. You can develop this saying the word every time you treat them by saying the word as you give them their reward.
  3. In order to make stay really count you must get your dog used to holding the position with distance between the two of you. This process may take the most amount of time. After your dog is used to staying, begin increasing the distance between the two of you with your hand out in a “stop” like manner while repeating the phrase ‘stay’. Do this over and over, getting a little further before you treat them.

As you get further in to training your dog, and they begin staying regular with you at some distance from then you can begin telling them to stay with your back turned.

Later, you can even tell them to stay and walk to another room.

No matter what you do, if your dog starts having trouble following the command, or has difficulty with a new added step, go back to what they had previously been doing, and continue with that step for a bit longer.

No matter what happens with you and your dog, don’t yell at them excessively or get inordinately upset with them, as this can harm the owner/pet relationship and further discourage your dog, as the most important thing to them is to please you.

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