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How To Train Your Dog to Stay

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Almost as important as coming when called, the stay command can prevent your dog from getting involved in dangerous situations. It will also allow you to keep your dog still and calm while you take care of household chores, entertain guests, or bring your dog to public places. A successful “stay” occurs when your dog does not move at all from the original position. Start with 1-2 second periods of staying and work up to several minutes.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per day

Here's How:

  1. Start with a leash and collar on your dog. Tell her to sit.

  2. Once your dog is sitting, praise her and give her a treat, but keep her sitting.

  3. Say your dog’s name followed by “stay” in a firm, clear voice while holding one hand up, palm out (as if to motion stop) for 1-2 seconds.

  4. Say “good stay” in an upbeat tone and give your dog a treat.

  5. Release your dog from the command by saying “okay” and encouraging her to move.

  6. Instruct your dog to sit again and praise her when she complies.

  7. Give the stay command again with the hand motion while taking a few steps back over 2-3 seconds.

  8. If she stays, say “good stay” and give her a treat. If she moves, start over from step 1.

  9. Release your dog from the command by saying “okay” and encouraging her to move.

  10. Repeat this process 5-6 times, gradually increasing the time period between “stay” and “okay”.

Tips:

  1. Over time, you should gradually increase the distance between you and your dog. Remain in your dog’s sight until she understands how to stay. Then, you can try leaving the room after giving the stay command.

  2. Try starting this command in the standing or lying down positions. If successful, your dog should not change positions during the stay command.

  3. Once your dog has mastered the stay command, try practicing with distractions. Get a friend to talk or squeak a toy. Your dog should not move at all despite the distractions.

  4. If you wish to try this outside without a leash, always be sure you are in a fenced-in area.

  5. Once your dog becomes an expert at staying, you no longer need to give a treat every time – only occasionally. However, rewarding with praise is always a good idea.

What You Need

  • Leash and Collar
  • Treats
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