‘Stay’ is one of the most useful commands that you can teach a dog. The last thing that you want is for your beloved canine to go careening off after other dogs, or the mail van, never to be seen again. With well trained dogs, one simple command, ‘stay’, is all that it takes to ensure that they stay firmly planted on the spot.
Training a dog to stay is pretty simple, and you should start teaching them this skill as soon as possible so that they get in to good habits that they can then keep for a lifetime. So why not follow our step by step guide below, which teaches you how to train your dog to stay swiftly and effectively.
1. What you will need
Before you start your training session, gather together all of the items that you need. Luckily you do not need much, just some dog treats as a reward and a few distractions such as dog toys for the later stages of the training session.
You may also want a leash if you are worried about your dog running off during the training session. However, it is best to train your dog to stay either indoors or in a fenced backyard that they can’t escape from. That way, even if they do find it a little tricky to stay still to start off with, at least you know that they aren’t going anywhere.
2. Establish the basics
Now it is time to teach your dog what you mean by ‘stay’. You can do this by gently but firmly holding their body in a still position and accompanying this with the firm but kind command ‘stay’.
A firm but fair tone of voice is very important here; remember, do not get aggressive with your dog when training it as training should be enjoyable for you both. Your dog will learn better if you are both having fun!
Now, take your hands away from your dog’s body and see if they remain in position. If they do, reward them with a treat and lots of affection! Repeat this process a few times, but don’t let your dog get tired or bored of training. It may take a few afternoons of training until your pooch knows how to respond to the command ‘stay’.
3. Cut back on the treats
Now, start giving treats more sporadically as rewards. You want your dog to stay because you have told them to, not simply because they want a treat! Make sure to always reward your dog verbally, though, with an encouraging phrase like ‘good girl!’ so that they know they have done well.
You have completed this step when your dog stays at your command, and stays in position whether or not you give them a treat. Congratulations: this means that your dog has learned to stay!
4. Get them ready for the real world
The closed environment of the training session is slightly different from the real world. The real world is full of exciting things that tempt your dog to forget that you have told them to stay. But, of course, you want your dog to ‘stay’ when you ask even if they would much rather be chasing after that cute little terrier next door.
You can teach them to stay in the real world by adding some distractions to your training session. Tell your dog to stay then throw a toy: reward and praise them if they stay in position and do not run after the toy.
Another thing that you can do at this stage is ask your dog to stay and then walk over to another part of the room. Or, you could even leave the room completely. Again, if your dog does not follow you, you know that they have been well trained in the art of staying.
So there you have it: now you know exactly how to train a dog to stay. Just follow these steps and they have a skill they will remember for life. Dogs love mental stimulation and learning new things, so acquiring this skill should be fun for them!
Need a helping hand?
Some dogs are more recalcitrant than others when it comes to being trained. If you feel you need a little help here, you could always enroll your dog in obedience classes.
Video Credits goes to YouTube Channel – Training Positive