The “Stay” is one of the most challenging skills for dogs to master. It is a command that your dog needs to understand. Encouraging your dog to stay is important for their safety and your inner peace. From allowing you to look at both sides before crossing a road to preventing them from entering your house after a muddy walk, ‘Stay’ becomes quite valuable for various situations. It’s also a great way to work on your dog’s self-control while encouraging quiet and relaxation in some circumstances. Its wonderful to know about teaching this stay command for dogs, but here comes the risk; how to teach a dog to stay? Read on to know the easy & detailed procedure.
How to Teach a Dog to Stay in Place?
Here are the few steps that will guide you through teaching your dog to stay
Step 1: Good Communication
Before training your dog on how to stay, the most important fact is that both you and your dog should understand what you are asking it to do. Lack of communication will hamper your training. Remember that your dog likes to hold a stationary position, most commonly the sitting or the standing position. So, even before starting your training, choose what position you want your dog to stay in.
Step 2: Better Place to Train
Being your training in a peaceful and familiar place to your dog. The area should be comfortable with zero distractions and temptation. Also, you should make sure that your dog is relaxed before beginning this training. If your dog is naturally energetic, you might want to give it a go after a quick walk or stroll.
Step 3: Comfortable Position
Maintain your dog’s attention by standing directly in front of it. Give it your undivided attention, and look directly at its eyes. Choose the most comfortable position for your dog. Don’t forget to use your cue words like sit, stand or stay consistently. Then use a clear hand signal to give your dog the verbal cue. Raise your hand with a flat palm facing away from you for the signal.
Step 4: Choose Proper Release Word
Remember to use a single word for the release phase, such as ‘ok’ or ‘done’. Your dog will remain in a still position like sitting or standing until granted permission to do something different. So choosing a proper word is essential while training your dog to stay.
Step 5: Reward for its Efforts
Move your hand signal away and reward your dog for completing its first position. For the reward, give your pet some treats, an enthusiastic response, scratches, massages, pats, or whatever makes it happy. Wait for a few seconds and ask your dog to sit and stay again. Repeat it several times.
Step 6: Command without Eye Contact
Once your dog gets used to your commands, it’s time for you to break your eye contact. Ask your dog to sit or stay again, but this time after removing your hand signal, break your eye contact and look away from your dog. Eye contact is a strong anchor for a dog’s attention, and this is a terrific approach to see how well they can stay focused. Once comfortable, reward it as usual and move on to the next step.
Step 7: Maintain a Record
Remember that the holding position for every dog is different. It may be 30 sec for some dogs, while for others, it may be 15 sec. So keep a record each time you practice. If your dog is holding up, go back, decrease the time limit and work as it is comfortable. Keep the training on but this time without the reward. Rewarding your dog each time they stay will turn into a habit. As you practice your dog, increase the delay between your command and your dog each time.
Step 8: Practice! Practice!
Now it’s time for the distance. Start putting a distance between you and your dog while in the stay position. It may be difficult for your dog to keep a distance but try to build up as you practice. Move a few steps away each time you command and return to reward or appreciate your dog. Practice it several times until your dog gets used to it. Again don’t reward it each time you return.
Step 9: Test it Now
Once your dog gets used to duration and distance, it’s time to test its impulse control. Walk freely around your dog or add distractions like playing music or dancing. If your dog remains in the stay position, your training is successful. But remember, even if you are testing its impulse, don’t call its name before the release phase. It will confuse your pet.
Step 10: Change the Location
Once your dog gets a delicate gasp of your command, start your training in some different locations. For example, you can start your training while taking it on a walk or while many people are around. Check if the habit slips in such locations and situations, go back and start from the initials. You can also try dog whistles to train them sit, stay, come and others.
Things to Avoid while Teaching a Dog to Stay
- Training your dog to sit, stand or stay needs lots of patience. So, don’t rush the process. If you feel exhausted and frustrated, take a break and return after two days. Always remember your pet needs time to understand your command.
- Please don’t make them stay for a larger amount of time. For example, if your going out of the house, never command them to stay. This will break the trust between you and your dog.
- Don’t train your dog in some unsafe situations. Choose your training location for an easier process carefully.
Training your dog is not an easy task. It needs time, patience, and motivation. Practice regularly by increasing the time. Remember, your pet is a sensitive being, don’t rush upon it. Stay calm and train it every day. Your efforts will show off!