STAY. It’s a single syllable command, yet it holds so much power. Teaching a dog to stay is essential to their well-being and safety. It can also help give you peace of mind as well as control in chaotic situations.
When it comes to teaching a dog new tricks or introducing new habits, consistency is key. Over time, your dog will become more in tune with your commands and following your instructions will become second nature. If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here for you.
In this blog post, we’ll share our favorite tips and tricks for teaching a dog to stay. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Stay Is More Than A Single Step, It’s A Process
Maybe repeating the word “stay” over and over again worked for your neighbor and their dog. But chances are you’re going to need to do more than just that to teach your dog to stay. To be effective, it’s best to give your dog two commands: one to start the process and one to finish it.
What do we mean by that?
Let’s say you pair the stay command with a hand gesture. That’s totally fine. But what happens next? Is your dog expected to know when to resume normal activity? Does she have to stay indefinitely? When your dog does in fact stay, they’ll also need a release command to end things. Words/phrases such as “all done” and “okay” can signal to your dog that they no longer need to stay. When a dog knows there’s an end in sight, they’re more likely to obey.
Try using the same phrases each time. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to teaching a dog to stay!
Start Slow Then Build Up
If today’s your first day teaching a dog to stay, it’s best to start slow. Don’t expect your dog to remain in the stay position for a long amount of time. Maybe start with a few seconds, or a minute at most. To teach a dog to stay, it’s best to gradually build up. Give the release command, and reward your pup for a job well done. Now you can begin increasing the amount of time little by little.
Keep Rewards Readily Available
Speaking of rewards, you’ll probably want to reward your pupper once they successfully complete the stay command. This could be in the form of belly run, a loving pat, or enthusiasm shown on your end. Your dog’s favorite treats, however, may work best. It’s important to keep your dog happy and motivated when they’re training. And for most pets, nothing gets them quite as excited to learn as their favorite treat.
When it comes to training the best treats are made with quality ingredients, and can be eaten quickly. Now isn’t the time to pull out the world’s longest lasting dog treat. Something your furry friend can nibble on, enjoy, and continue with training is usually best.
Carolina Prime Pet’s Cheeze & Sweet Potato Tiny Bites make the perfect reward for teaching your dog to stay. They’re bite-sized, delicious, and made from just a handful of high-quality ingredients. Our Salmon Topper-Trainer Treats are also a wonderful choice for those dogs wanting something a bit meatier.
How To Teach A Dog To Stay: Duration, Distance, & Distractions
Ever heard of the three D’s? We’re referring to: Duration, Distance, & Distractions. When teaching your dog to stay, it’s best to keep these three factors in mind.
We’ve already mentioned gradually increasing the amount of time your dog stays, so that covers duration. Now let’s talk about distance! When you first begin teaching a dog to stay, you’re going to want to stay present in the same room or space. If you move to another room before you release your pet, you’ll likely confuse them. As with duration, you’ll want to gradually increase the distance between you and your furry friend. Work in small steps and start in a low-distraction setting. Eventually you can try giving your dog the stay command and then relocating to a new room, or a further distance, before releasing them.
Finally, you’ll want to include a few distractions to ensure your dog is an expert at staying, no matter the circumstances. While little Max may hold his stay for 30 seconds in the living room, the park is a whole different ball game. When you do try a new setting, start with just a few short seconds because now new sounds, colors, people, and other animals may be thrown into the mix. When teaching a dog to stay, training in the real world (outside) is crucial.
We’re certain these tips will help you teach a dog to stay in no time! Remember, be consistent, use plenty of rewards, and have fun with it. If you’re in need of some new training treats, be sure to check out our entire selection of delicious treats!