How To Train A Dog To Stay

Training your dog to “stay” is one of the hardest basic commands to teach but it is also one of the most useful.

How to teach “Stay”
“Stay” is probably the most difficult exercise to teach, because many dogs just hate being still! However, with short, frequent practise sessions, this exercise can be mastered and is useful in a number of situations, such as when your dog is about to dive out of the car before you put his lead on.

- Start with the ‘down-stay’. Ask your dog to go “Down”.
- Say "Stay" in a steady tone of voice and put your hand out in front of you with your palm facing forwards.
- Wait a few seconds, then press your clicker and reward your dog for staying put. Practise this several times. If you are only using verbal commands, say “Yes” to let your dog know that you are pleased with them.
- Next, ask him to go “Down” again, then take a step back and say "Stay".
- After about three seconds, click, step forwards and reward him. Praise him for being really clever.
- Gradually increase the length and the distance of the ‘stay’. But don't try to do too much too soon.
- If your dog breaks the ‘stay’, don’t shout at him. Simply not clicking or rewarding is lesson enough. Getting cross is counterproductive.

Teaching puppies
If you are concerned that your puppy is to young to learn to ‘stay’ or other behaviours, don’t be. Dogs are learning from the day you get them and even before, so best to teach them the behaviours you would like to see. Follow the same sequence as you would for an adult dog.

Puppies can be a little energetic and this can make it easy to lose patience and give up training. Just step back, take a little time off, then return and try again. Your patience and efforts with training your pup will be rewarded when you have a well-behaved dog.

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