How to Teach your Dog to Stay

Looking for advice on how to teach your dog to stay? With the help of our experienced guidance learn the tricks to teach your dog to sit and stay even when you are not present around.

Charles Schulz, the cartoonist who made Snoopy dog immortal with the cartoon strip Peanuts, once said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Dog lovers will agree that there is no better feeling than having a cuddly, fuzzy ball of fur lying at your feet or beside you.

However, dogs are active creatures and do not like to sit still. And, it takes a lot of effort to train a dog to stay still and sit. A dog running around the house can be annoying and dangerous, both for you as well as your pet.

Teaching your pet the “Stay” command can be a really challenging task. Staying still is one of the most difficult behavioral lessons that a pup learns in its life. The “Stay” command trains your pet to stay stationary, to sit still, to not move, and to stay at one place. Dog experts consider the “Stay” command as a life-saving command that every dog must know.

Why Is “Stay” Important?

It is very essential to train your dog to learn the “Stay” command. It can save your dog from traffic hazards, machines, bigger dogs, snakes, and other animals. The “Stay” command is also very beneficial if you have little children and seniors at home.

Here’s why it is important for dogs to stay:

• Prevents the dog from running out of the door.
• No fear of your pet wandering away.
• Easy to introduce guests to the dog.
• Helpful in leash training.
• Assists in improving social behaviour.

Your Guide to Teaching Your Dog to Stay:

Our easy to follow instructions will help you in teaching the all-important “Stay” lessons to your pet. Our step-by-step guide will help to train a dog to stay by your side and also train a dog to stay for a long time:

Step 1: It is important for your dog to know the “Sit” command before you train it to understand the “Stay” command. This step is all about getting ready with all the things that you need to teach “Stay” to your dog:

  • Tie a leash or collar to your dog.
  • Keep reward treats or biscuits at a suitable place to give it or as a distraction if needed.

Step 2: In this step, you will teach your pet to “stay” while you are close to it:

  • Hold your dog by the leash or collar and prevent it from reaching the treats that you have placed in the earlier step.
  • If the dog pulls at the leash, wait patiently.
  • Remember that the more it pulls at the leash, the more you have to keep it waiting for the treat.
  • After a few tries, release it by saying “OK”.
  • With continuous practice, the pet is sure to realize that it is better to wait with you instead of pulling at the leash.
  • If your pup waits calmly instead of leash lunging, appreciate it by saying “ Good Stay”.
  • Make sure you reward it with a treat.
  • With more and more tries, the pet realizes that it is more rewarding to stay still than to try reaching the reward himself.
  • o In the long run, this trains the dog to stay by your side.

Step 3: Once the pet has understood the meaning of the command “Stay” it is important to consolidate on its learning:

  • Hold the pet’s leash close to you.
  • Use the “stay” command and wait for the dog to sit still.
  • Now throw the reward a couple of feet away from the pet.
  • If your dog is excited, then wait for it to calm down before you reward it with a treat.
  • If your dog is calm and remains in stay position, release him with the “Go” command and reward it with a yummy treat.

Step 4: In this step, you further reinforce the “stay” lessons that your dog has already learned.

  • Repeat step 3, but now remember to throw the treat a bit farther away so that you have to release your hold on the dog and walk and retrieve the treat.
  • If the dog breaks its position, tell him to “Stay” again.
  • If the dog remains in the stay position even when you leave to pick up the treat, reward it with the treat and lots of positive reinforcement.
  • Slowly you may throw the treat out of the vision area of the pet and train it to stay even when you go out of sight to retrieve the treat.

Step 5: With a lot of practice, your dog may gradually learn to “stay” in its position. It is now time to increase the time duration of the “stay” lessons:

  • Repeat Step 4.
  • However, when you walk to pick up the treat, increase the time duration before returning with the treat.
  • If the dog breaks its position, tell him to “Stay” again.
  • If the dog remains patiently at its position waiting for you, reward it with a treat and words of motivation.
  • This technique trains a dog to stay for a long time.

Step 6: Once the pet has learned to stay for long durations, it is time to increase the complexity of its training by adding distractions to test its patience and concentration. Distraction training can be done by:

  • Use the “stay” command on your pet.
  • Throw a ball or a toy, jump around, run past it and try to distract it.
  • If the pet breaks its position, command it to “Stay”.
  • If the pet retains its position, reward it with treats and keep it positively motivated.

Training your dog to stay is a 3D training process. It includes training for – Distance, Duration, and Distraction. It will take a lot of patience and positive enforcement for your pet to master the 3D’s of stay training.

Your Guide to Teaching Your Dog to Stay

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