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How to train a dog to stay

Updated on April 20, 2013

Stay…A life saving command

Among all the basic obedience training, the stay command is the most important one that must be learned by the dog. A dog can lose its life when it crosses the street to follow another animal. But one that is well trained to heed the master’s stay command will remain stationary in spite of the great temptation to follow a prey. All dogs must be trained to stay. Unfortunately, most owners are easily frustrated because an owner that stays put and a dog that moves around is a common sight during the training. Training the dog to stay is rather challenging. Dogs are naturally energetic and it would be quite difficult to make them stay. Add to this is the fact that these animals would always want to follow the master. The dog will only stay as long as the owner is right in front of him. Once the owner moves, the dog will move as well. 

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Training location

The location where the dog will be trained to stay need not be too spacious. Unlike the other basic obedience trainings, this particular training will teach the dog not to move. However the training site needs to be free from a lot of distraction. A fenced in yard or a room inside the house would do well.

The Command

Make sure to use the same command and the same hand signals to train the dog. Changing the command every so often would confuse the dog.

Training the dog to stay

Begin the training by giving the dog the sit command. Reward the dog as soon as it obeys the command. Call the dog’s to get his attention. The dog must remain focused. You can do this by maintaining eye contact. Hold a treat in one hand. With the palm of one hand in front of the dog’s nose, give the stay command. The dog may try to get the treat held by the other hand. Again give the stay command in a firm authoritative voice. This will make the dog understand that you are in control of the situation. When the dog stays immediately give the treat and praise the dog.  These positive reinforcements would encourage the dog to obey the command.

The test

Give the stay command and when the dog has obeyed toss a few treats away from the dog. If the dog stayed you have been successful with the training. But it breaks the stay to go after the food; you need to train the dog further. Be patient and repeat the training. 

The release command

Be sure to release the dog from its staying position. OK, Good Dog Go! or simply by clapping the hand would signal the dog that is okay for him to move.

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