How To Teach “Stay”

The point of teaching Fido the “Stay” cue is so that he may learn to remain in one place until you’ve released him. This behavior is useful in many situations and can come in handy when you take your dog to an outdoor café, when off-leash hiking together, or simply when you want your dog to settle somewhere and keep out of your way around the house.

Step #1: Ask Fido to sit or lie down and tell him to stay. You may hold out your hand like a traffic cop after you’ve delivered the verbal cue to help him.

Step #2: Stand in front of him and mark and reward several times in a row as long as he is keeping his seated or down position.

Step #3: Take a half step backwards. Return to your dog. If he did not get up at anytime during the exercise, mark and reward. Repeat this step until you are confident that he is able to tolerate and be successful when you move only a half step away.

Step #4: Take a full step backwards. Return to your dog. If he did not get up, mark and reward. Repeat this step until you are confident that he is able to tolerate and be successful when you move a full step away.

Step #5: Increase the intensity of the exercise appropriately by moving away farther each time.

Step #6: When you want to end the exercise, remember to give Fido permission to get up. Tell him, “Okay” and encourage him to walk away.

Training Tip #1: Remember that with all exercises you want to set your dog up for success. If when increasing intensity of the exercise, you find that Fido keeps failing, note that you are making the exercise too difficult. Make it easier.

Training Tip #2: When you have mastered asking your dog to stay as you walk away, go back to Step #1 and work on increasing distraction or duration instead. Work on these two components separately.

© Give Paw Dog Training LLC 2017