Training Dogs using the Stay Command
The stay command is one of the most important commands for any dog to learn. Teaching your pup the basics of staying in one place can lead to a well-behaved, happy dog companion.
How to Teach the Stay Command
When teaching the stay command, it’s important to be calm and patient with your pup. Here are some tips for teaching this basic command:
- Start With Short Durations: Begin by asking your pup to stay for just a few seconds. When they stay, reward with a treat or praise. Gradually increase time as your pup realizes what is expected of them.
- Use Hand Gestures: To help reinforce the stay command, use a hand gesture to help your pup remember. The classic outstretched arm, palm facing up is a symbol used in many dog training classes.
- Choose a Place: When teaching the stay command, pick a spot where you’re pup can stay comfortably. Stick with that spot and practice in the same place in order to avoid confusion.
- Reward & Repeat: Rewarding your pup for following the stay command is key for reinforcing good behavior. Positive reinforcement such as treats, toys, and verbal praise will help your pup learn and remember.
Stay Duration and Increase
Once your pup has mastered short durations, you can start to increase the time. Be sure to take breaks between each trial and reward your pup for being focused and calm.
- Intermediate Stay: To increase the trial time, start with 10-15 seconds and eventually increase to 1-2 minutes. Boost the challenge by adding distractions such as noise or movement.
- Long Stay: Work up to even longer lengths of stay, gradually increasing to 3-5 minutes. You may even start to decrease the distance between you and your pup as they master the command.
Don’t be discouraged if your pup finds it hard to stay. Remember to be patient, consistent and offer rewards when they succeed. With time and practice, your pup will soon master the stay command and will be able to stay for longer periods.