Dog Training And Tricks: Stay

Chocolate Labrador Learning Dog Training Like Stay

Training Your Dog To Stay

It is good to teach this command to your dog after they have learned How To Sit. If you have not taught your dog the sit command first, it is recommended that you teach it to them. It will be more difficult for them to learn how to stay if they don't know a good position to stay in.

Getting Started
It is best to practice the "Stay" command in a quiet environment with no distractions. Later on you will be introducing some distractions to increase the training difficulty. For the first Dog Training session, your dog should already be in a calm mood, ready to learn a new command. Make sure you limit your session to around ten minutes, and be sure to never get angry or physical with your dog.

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You can practice any time with your dog. It's great to incorporate it into the daily routine. For instance, try to get your dog to practice the "Stay" command right after a walk. This is a good idea because your dog is more likely to be tired and less likely to be hyper and rambunctious.

The Basic Techniques
To start off, put your dog in a sitting position by using the "Sit" command. Once they are sitting down, put your hand about 6 inches from their face in a stop gesture. Your hand should be open, fingers pointing towards the sky, and your palm facing your dog's face. Hold this hand gesture for about 2 seconds, then put your hand back down. Stand directly in front of your dog and wait for a few seconds without saying anything. If your dog doesn't move or get up, reward them with a treat. Repeat this routine 5 to 10 times before moving on.


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Once you have completed the first exercise, you want to add in the verbal command. Now, when you put your hand up in the stop gesture, you should firmly say "Stay" to your dog. As soon as you say the command, you should put your hand back down at your side and wait about 2 seconds. If your dog doesn't move and holds the sitting position, reward them with a treat. Repeat this technique 10 to 15 times before moving on.

Advanced Techniques
Now your dog should be getting the hang of things and will be ready for the next step. Put your dog in the sitting position and give them the command and gesture to stay. This time, take two steps away from your dog while maintaining eye contact and wait for 2 seconds. Now step towards your dog. If they have remained in the sitting position, reward them with a treat. Repeat this process 20 to 25 times while increasing the number of steps you take away from your dog each time. Don't rush this exercise and be patient with your dog.

When you start to establish a good distance from your dog and they remain to stay, you should start to introduce distractions. Use one of their favorite toys to attempt to break their concentration. When you give them the "Stay" command and gesture, walk away from them while maintaining eye contact. Place their favorite toy on the ground and leave it there. Your dog should not change their demeanor at this point. They should continue their eye contact with you during this exercise. Slowly walk towards your dog while the toy remains on the floor. If they remain sitting, reward them with a treat. As you continue this exercise, add in more distractions like other toys. Eventually, you want to leave a treat on the ground. If they don't go after the treat while you walk towards them, reward them.

This exercise should always be rewarded with a treat and the verbal reinforcement of "Good Stay!"


Last Updated: January 25th, 2008

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