Dog Training 

Back to basics: teach your dog to stay

Perhaps the most important clue a pet parent can teach their dog is not only useful in the home setting but can literally save their life.

The first time you bring a dog into your heart and home, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the plethora of opinions Dog training and obedience. There are a number of different training methods, a variety of tools that you can use to train your dog, and plenty of people ready to give you training advice (whether you ask for it or not!).

However, training your dog in basic obedience and appropriate behavior is the responsibility of each pet owner. Perhaps the most important lesson to teach your dog is to stay.

Before you start training, you will need some tools for the job. First, make sure you always have tasty workout treats handy. An easy way to do this is with a treat pouch attached to your waist or belt loop. And he should always wear a collar, ID tags, and a leash.

Why is “staying” so important?


Most pet owners start teaching their dogs basic commands as soon as they bring him home. The first “trick” that almost all dogs learn is the command to “sit”, followed by “down” and “come”. While these are all helpful teaching tips, the most important behavior of all, “staying,” too often is ignored.

A dog that has been taught to be solid, reliable is almost always safer than one that has not been trained. Imagine a visitor coming to your home. Without understanding that you are staying, your dog could lock the front door. Dog owners often come across squirrels, rabbits, or other dogs when they go for a walk. Without a reliable indication of where to stay, your dog can chase an animal without being aware of oncoming traffic or other dangers.

Even inside the house, “staying” is a useful clue. If you ask your dog to sit down while they greet a guest or lie down while your family has dinner, a dog that has not been taught to stay can jump back from their seat or get out of bed right away Beg to beg dining table.

If teaching “stay” is so important, why is it so often overlooked?


The answer is simple. Technically speaking, staying is not an order or indication, but the absence of an order or indication. A dog should be taught to stick to the cue given to it such as “sit”, “sit down” or even “play dead” until it is released.

Teaching a dog to stay


Training your dog to stay is not taught in the same way as other cues, commands, and tricks. In many ways, it’s even easier. That’s how it’s done:

  1. Give the dog a keyword or command such as “sit” or “sit down”. As long as the dog is in this position and technically “stays”, it is not necessary to give your dog a verbal command to “stay”.
  2. When the dog is in position, e.g. B. Sit or stay as directed, verbally praise, such as “good boy / girl”.
  3. Release the dog from the original cue with another cue such as “okay” or “free” to signal that it is free to stand up or move from its position.
  4. Reward the dog with praise, treats or toys – whichever is most valuable to him. Only reward the dog for waiting to be cleared of the original cue to move.

As you can see, it is actually quite easy when done right. However, when teaching a dog to “stay”, many dog ​​owners make simple mistakes that can cause their dog to fail.

Important tips to remember

When you are training a dog to “stay” you are going very, very slowly, both in terms of the distance you are from your dog, the length of time it needs to stay in position, and in terms of how long on the distractions around you during your workouts.

Distance: At the beginning, start by standing right in front of your dog. Ask him to sit or lie down and give the release notice (“okay” or “clear”) without moving away from your dog. Once he fully understands it, start increasing your distance from him. At first, you might only be able to move a foot a few inches back before your dog gets up or moves. If your dog gets up, you’ve gone too fast and too far. Save and repeat on the last successful route.

Duration: As with removal, you want to increase the length of your dog’s first “stays” in very short increments. Give your dog their first cue first, then wait for just a second or two before giving and rewarding the release word. Gradually increase the amount of time your dog has to remain seated. In some dogs, this process can be relatively quick, while others may need several weeks of practice before they fully understand the concept.

Distractions: Distractions involve any outside element that can distract your dog from their cue. Home distractions include other family members, other pets, a knock on the door, the postman making a delivery, and more. Outside, distractions can be anything from a passing animal or car, an interesting new smell, or a dog barking from the street. It is absolutely essential to practice getting your dog to “stay” when there are distractions as you will definitely encounter them in real-life scenarios. Again, start small, inside the house, with few distractions, and slowly integrate them. Keep rewarding your dog for sticking to a certain cue.

Because dogs do not generalize well, it is important to practice these and other training cues and commands in different indoor and outdoor locations under different circumstances.

If at any point during the training your dog is unsuccessful, simply return to the last successful “stay” and start again, moving more slowly if necessary. Eventually, your dog will learn that whenever he is given a cue, he must always stay in this position until he is released, regardless of whether or not he is verbally told to stay.

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Perhaps the most important clue a pet parent can teach their dog is not only useful in the home setting but can literally save their life.

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