Basic Training, Part 3 – Teaching Your Dog to Stay

 

Now that your dog has learned how to sit and lie down when asked, teaching her to stay in one place without moving can provide you a measure of security that she won’t run off when she’s out in your yard, and she won’t be grabbing for her food dish when it’s time for dinner.

Attach a long lead, one that is approximately 15- to 20-feet in length, to your dog’s collar or halter.

Command her to sit, then lie down in front of you, and make sure all of her attention is focused on you.

Once she is lying down, put the flat of your hand in front of her face in a “stop” gesture, and say the word “Stay,” in a kind, yet firm tone.

Back slowly away from your pet, keeping your hand in the “stop” gesture until you are standing approximately 2 to 3 feet away from her. If she stays without moving, go quickly back and give her a treat. 

If she moves to come toward you, go back to your original position, ask her to “Sit” and go “Down,” and start over. Do not give her a treat if she moves.

Once your dog is staying at that distance consistently, begin to gradually move further away every time you command her to “Stay.” Remember to keep using the flat of your hand and the tone of your voice to ask her to pay attention to what you are wanting.

Train at each distance until she “stays” every time, then move away during the next training session. You may need to occasionally go back and repeat a training session at a previous distance as a refresher. 

As in the other training sessions, only spend 20-minutes increments teaching her this new command. Use her dinnertime to reinforce this training by not placing her food dish in front of her until she has successfully stayed in one place for 5 seconds. 

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