April 24, 2019 2 min read

Teach Your Dog To Stay - Beginner

The "stay" command requires the dog to remain in a designated place and position with no resistance, such as moving, whining, or barking, until you either release or give another command. This can be used in correlation with a command such as “sit” to help the dog know what is expected of them.

This is a fairly easy command to train, as it requires the dog to do nothing except stay in that spot for the length of time that you specify. You can teach your dog to stay by following these easy, force-free steps:

  • Be prepared:
    • Have your dog on a collar and leash.
    • Have the treats your dog likes the most, as training will involve lots of positive feedback.
  • Start in a spot that’s familiar to your dog, without any tempting distractions around.
  • Keep them focused on you by standing right in front of them, giving your full attention, and looking them in the eye.
  • With a treat in your hand, ask your dog to sit.
  • If your dog holds this position for two seconds, give a treat and praise as a reward.
  • Repeat the process, this time having them hold the position for a few seconds longer before rewarding.

As your dog demonstrates the ability to consistently stay on command, start giving rewards every other time, then rewarding randomly — fewer and further between. Practice makes perfect! Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered.  At this point, you can move onto the "advanced" training. 

Teach Your Dog To Stay - Advanced

  • With your dog is in the "sit" position, give the "stay" command.
  • Take a couple of steps back.
    • They will most likely follow you the first couple of times you do this.
    • When they start to come up from the "sit" position, correct them with "no" or "sit".
    • Give rewards and praise once the "sit" position has resumed. 
  • Repeat these steps as needed.
  • Once they stop following you, give treats and heavy praise.

What NOT to do:

  • Never force your dog or puppy into a sitting position.
  • Do not use the leash to pull or yank the dog into a sitting position.
  • Do not physically push the dog’s bottom to the ground.

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