“Stay” is one of the most important commands pet parents can teach their dogs. In addition to making for good obedience, the “stay” command also allows pet parents to keep their dogs out of dangerous situations and to control a dog in social settings.
Fortunately, teaching your dog to stay is easy and fun.
Teaching the “Stay” Command
Step 1: Attach a leash to your dog’s collar and instruct the dog to sit. Kneel down to the dog’s level and hold a treat in front of the dog’s face at arm’s length. If the dog pulls against the leash or leaps toward the treat, wait. Once the dog remains still and looks at the treat, praise the dog by saying “good stay” and immediately offer the treat. This lays the foundation for the rest of the training.
Step 2: With the dog still leashed, stand up and toss a treat several feet in front of him. If the dog lunges after the treat, remain calm and hold the leash gently. Once the dog stops trying to reach the treat and becomes calm, reward him with praise, positive reinforcement and a treat.
Step 3: Just like you did in step 2, leash the dog and toss a treat. Make sure to toss the treat further than arms-reach this time. Wait for the dog to be calm and then drop the leash and face him. With an outstretched palm, instruct the dog to stay. As you back up to retrieve the treat, calmly praise him by saying “good stay.” Once you reach the dog with the treat, hold it in front of the dog’s face and say something enthusiastic like “okay” or “release” and give the dog the treat. This will teach the dog to release on command. Ensure that you are providing plenty of positive reinforcement and reward during this step of training.
Step 4: By now, your dog should have the basic structure of “stay” figured out. In order to solidify the command completely, you will simply have to practice. Practice in different settings amid different stimuli and be sure to reward your dog generously for every successful stay. The key to teaching any command is plenty of positive reinforcement.
The Benefits of Teaching Your Dog to Stay
“Stay” is a very important command that can make life easier, safer and less stressful for both dogs and their people. When a dog knows how to stay on command, a pet parent can walk into a store, across the park or simply across the yard without the dog leaving his post. This allows for better safety for Fido and better control over the dog’s behavior for the pet parent. That’s a win-win!