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Training Your Dog To Stay

Training your dog to stay is not only important when it comes to having an obedient dog, but it may also have increased safety benefits.

You will use the same type of positive reinforcement you would use when training your dog to sit or any other training technique. It is a good idea to have mastered the down and sit commands before you proceed, because face it, having your dog sit down only to bounce right back up means very little.

You will use the same type of positive reinforcement you would use when training your dog to sit or any other training technique. It is a good idea to have mastered the down and sit commands before you proceed, because face it, having your dog sit down only to bounce right back up means very little.

How To Train A Puppy

The seven steps towards success
It is a good idea to start with a leash, but there are also owners who prefer dog clicker training. This basic walkthrough begins with a leash, but it would be possible to use dog clicker training if that is what your dog is already used to.

  1. Place the collar and leash on your dog, and tell your dog to sit (another reason it is important you have already been training your dog to sit.)
  2. Once the dog sits down, give it a dog training treat and praise them (but make sure they remain seated).
  3. Say the name of your dog…and follow it up by saying “stay” with a clear, firm voice. It is possible to motion with your palm out, hand up (as if you were making a stopping motion).
  4. Training your dog to stay is about positive reinforcement, so if they stay for those short few seconds reward them with another dog training treat and use an upbeat tone.
  5. Encourage the dog to move and release the dog from your command. This is important so they understand the difference. Another reason people often find they need to start a little later because they understand that learning how to train a puppy can be difficult.
  6. Repeat the process again, sitting and praise, giving the stay command, and taking a few steps back from your dog once it is staying. If the dog stays, you reward them just as before. If they move, you simply start back at step #1 and continue from there.
  7. Continue to repeat the process several times, each time walking a little farther away, and keeping them in ‘stay’ position a little longer. Gradually your dog will understand that the command means to freeze in place.

Even though it may take a while, training your dog to stay is certainly very doable. Follow these handy tips to make sure that your dog quickly becomes a pro at it.

  • It is important to increase the distance between your dog and yourself gradually. Do not leave their sight until they have fully understood the command. Once they no longer move while you are in sight, it is possible to try leaving the room.
  • It is a good idea to try the command in lying down or standing positions. The reason it is good to try different positions is that you do not want your dog to associate staying with sitting.
  • Once you feel the dog understands the command, start using some distractions. Squeak a toy or have a friend talk. Despite the distractions, the dog should stay put.
  • Once the dog has mastered staying, you no longer have to reward them with treats every single time. However, it is a good idea to reward them with praise. Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement.

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