‘Stay’ is a useful training command for a variety of situations, whether it’s waiting to cross the street, welcoming a visitor into your home, or opening the car door to let your pup out. Being able to stay can help keep your dog safe as well as make life a little easier on you. With some patience and lots of practice, your dog can master this important command.
Energy level: Begin a training session when your dog is relaxed, but not tired. An energetic dog may be too restless and excited to focus on training, making the process more difficult and frustrating. Relieve some of that extra energy by playing a game of fetch or going on a good, long walk before a training session.
Prepare your training treats: Whichever treat you use, be sure to break them up into small, pea-sized pieces so your dog doesn’t get full too quickly. This is also a good way to control her calorie intake.
Practice training before meals: Most training methods use treats as rewards, but if your dog is more motivated by a toy or verbal praise, then use that to your advantage! For the rest of us who need to use treats, you’ll find that your dog is more likely to succeed if she is food motivated. If your dog has just finished a meal, she may be full, therefore not very motivated to earn treats.
With that said, let’s begin!
Decide on a release word, such as “OK,” that you’ll use to communicate to your dog that the action is complete.
Practice at the same ‘level’ about 8-20 times before making it more challenging. If your dog doesn’t successfully stay, go back a level or two by reducing the duration or distance. To help solidify your dog’s training, practice at different times of the day and in different settings. A dog that has mastered ‘stay’ will remain in the same place until they hear their release word.
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