7 Steps For How To Train Your Dog To Stay

Teaching a dog to stay is one of the most basic things that you can do to train your dog. Getting your dog to stay in position is useful for many situation. One such situation is when you are having guests come to your home to visit and you are worried about your dog potentially jumping up on them.

Another situation where you will want your dog to stay put is when you are trying to carry bags of groceries inside the home and putting them away without the dog getting in your way. So, if you can get your dog to stay, it will make life easier for you and others. Here are the steps to help you with how to train your dog to stay.

1. Get Some Tasty Treats For Your Dog

(Photo courtesy of Eric Sonstroem via Flickr)

Nothing is going to motivate your dog more than to have something delicious in his/her mouth. So, you will want to get started by ordering up some treats to reward your dog. Canine Carry Outs Dog Treats is a great option that comes in different kinds such as hot dog, chicken, burger, and steak.

2. Have Your Dog Sit Down

In order to have the best results with training your dog to stay, you will want to have him/her sit down first. If you have already trained your dog to sit, you should be able to have him/her sit down with only the sit command. If you haven’t trained your dog to sit yet, I would encourage you to check out this post.

Before you command your dog to sit down, it would be best for you to find a spot that isn’t cold, wet, or anything like that. Once you have found a spot for your dog, go ahead and give him/her the sit command.

3. Combine The Stay Command With A Hand Signal

Once your dog is seated, that is the time for you to give him/her the stay command. What you will want to do is to combine the stay command with a hand signal. So, as you are giving the stay command, simply put your hand just above and right in front of your dog’s face with an open palm. Doing this hand signal will help your dog associate the stay command with staying. You will want to do the stay command in a happy tone as well.

4. Take A Couple Steps Back And Wait

Now, take just a couple of steps back from your dog. Make sure that you continue to say the word “stay” with the hand signal that I described in the previous step while you are stepping backwards from your dog. When you do that at first, you may find that your dog will get up and come to you. That is fine because it will take multiple tries before your dog will understand this.

So, if you dog starts to get up and come to you, give him/her a firm “no” to get him/her to sit back down. This is probably the hardest step of training your dog to stay. So, continue to repeat this step as many times as needed until he/she gets this.

5. Praise And Reward Your Dog

(Photo courtesy of Dave Fayram via Flickr)

If your dog stays put after you have commanded him/her to do so following the previous step, be sure to praise and reward your dog for obeying you. Be careful that you don’t make your dog come to you before you give him/her the treat because then he/she will think that getting up and coming to you will get him/her the treat rather than staying.

Walk back to your dog first and then hand him/her the treat. As soon as your dog gets the hang of staying put on your command, you can add a command for him/her to come to you if you would like. To learn how to do that, follow along with this post.

6. Release Your Dog From Staying In Place

You don’t necessarily want your dog to stay put forever. You will want a beginning and an end to this. So, once your dog has become used to staying put on your command, you will want a way to free your dog from staying. You can do that by dropping your hand and saying the word “release” at the same time.

If your dog gets up and moves, be sure to praise and reward him/her with a treat for that. If your dog doesn’t get up and move, just step back and clap your hands. That should signal to your dog that it is ok for him/her to do so now.

7. Take Your Stay Training To The Next Level

As soon as your dog gets the hang of staying put on your command using the previous steps, it is time for you to take the training to the next level.

Gradually Increase Distance And Time

For one, you will want to gradually increase the distance that you step back from your dog after giving him/her the stay command. So, start out with just a couple steps and then increase it to five steps, ten steps, and so on. Be sure to continue to say the word “stay” together with the hand signal I described earlier while you are stepping backwards. That will help to ensure that your dog stays put as you are gradually taking additional steps backwards.

Don’t forget to praise and reward your dog with a treat every time he/she obeys your stay command. You will also want to increase the amount of time you have your dog stays before you reward him/her. So, start out with just a few seconds and then work your way up to a few minutes.

Add Distractions To The Mix

Once you have mastered the art of getting your dog to stay, you will want to challenge your dog with distractions after commanding him/her to stay put. So, start out with simpler distractions like waving your other hand and jumping up and down. If your dog stays put even as you are doing these things, praise and reward him/her with a treat.

Then start doing more complex distractions like bouncing a Jolly Pets Soccer Ball as you walk backwards and having somebody else walk or run past your dog. Praise and reward your dog with a treat if he/she withstands these distractions while staying put.

These are the steps for you to go about how to train your dog to stay. After all is well and done, you will ideally be able to get your dog to stay with just a simple stay command without even needing the hand signal to back it up. You will ideally also be able to turn your back on your dog and walk away after giving the stay command.

What are your thoughts? Does your dog stay put whenever you want him/her to? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Leave a Comment