Good Pooch! Teaching Your Dog to 'Stay'

Photo: Jen Waller

Photo: Jen Waller

The third most important command in our Good Pooch series is 'Stay'. Ever dropped a glass in the kitchen and needed your dog to stay put? Having your dog perfect the 'Stay' command makes your life so much easier when you need to keep them out of harm's way, especially while you remove obstacles or check out potential danger. Below, we outline easy steps to help train your dog into a master at staying put.

1. It All Begins with Sit
Start by telling your dog to 'Sit', then tell them to 'Stay' while showing them your open palm (like the 'Stop' hand gesture). Slowly walk backwards from your dog repeating 'Stay' every other step while keeping your open palm towards them.

2. Training through Failure 
Once your dog breaks concentration and moves toward you, bring them back to the original position and repeat step 1. The repetition of the process every time your dog moves will help them establish what 'Stay' means. 

3. Reward Small Steps
Start by telling your dog to 'Stay' for three steps. After they have stayed while you walk three steps backwards, tell them to 'Come' and then reward them with a treat. Repeat this process and each time, increase your steps by two until you can take twenty-one steps away from your dog.

4. Train, Treat, Repeat
Continue training your dog for half an hour daily for the next week—this way, your dog will have time to fully master the 'Stay' command before you move on to the next step in training. The second week, continue the same process, but introduce distractions while your dog is staying so you can train their focus and concentration.

5. It's a Big World
After your dog has mastered the first two weeks of 'Stay' training, you and your pooch are ready to take the process outside. Repeat weeks 1 and 2 of training, but make sure you keep your dog on a long leash (or in a safe, enclosed outdoor space). After this, your pup will be a true 'Stay' master!

Want to turn your dog into a Good Pooch this year? Check out our training posts for teaching your pup how to 'Come' and to 'Drop It' on command!
 

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Published on by Beatrix Chan.

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