Teaching Your Dog to Stay — The Most Important Command to Teach Your Dog

Teaching Your Dog to Stay

The greatest most important command to teach your dog is teaching your dog to stay. This is a command where you demand he holds a particular position until he is given the sign to release.

Granted, it can be difficult for many dogs at first, as it does require self-control. However, with patience and perseverance, you must teach your dog to stay.

Communicate your demand clearly to your dog because it’s imperative that you set him up to succeed.

Commitment to Teaching Your Dog to Stay

It is not just a commitment from your dog, but teaching your dog to stay is also a commitment from you. Therefore, you must teach this command properly.

Read also: Puppy Socialization Period – Training for a Friendly Dog

Don’t throw the word around and walk away. This will only tell him that he can get up and go. He has to understand completely, and if taught incorrectly, he may not trust that you will return.

First Thing – Teach Release First in Dog Training

Stay ultimately means “hold still.” As such, he also needs to understand when he no longer is required to hold still.

So, the way to teach this is to help them understand a release command from that given position.

For this reason, you have to choose a release word that is not frequently used in casual conversation, as this may confuse him.

An easy way is to use the word “release.”

The best way to teach your dog to stay is to put on his leash and ask him to sit. Then say “release.” Now take a few steps back and encourage him to come to you.

As soon as he does, praise him with words! Do this frequently throughout a day. Let him understand what the release word is so that he can get up and move around.

However, each time he must be properly praised.

Stay Command Is Next

  • Again, with the leash on your dog, ask him to sit and say, “stay.”
  • At the same time that you command him to stay, use the appropriate hand signal. (The appropriate hand signal requires the hand to be opened and the palm facing your dog).
  • Do not hold the leash.
  • Now, step back. At this point, you should not repeat the command. Do not use the hand signal.
  • Wait a few short seconds, initially about five seconds. (If he has waited patiently and obeyed you, praise him). 
  • Release him.

Repeat this practice a few times, as practice makes perfect. Take breaks in between. Once he masters staying for the initial five seconds repeatedly, you should increase that time to 10 seconds, and so on.

At the same time, you should also take a few more steps back so that he is able to handle the amount of time and distance from you during this training. Take it slow to build his confidence and allow him to succeed.

Dog Training 101 – Sit-Stay Position

If your dog moves away from the sit-stay position, a verbal interruption is required. Calmly, make him assume the correct position once again.

If he is failing and continuously making mistakes, go back to the initial training steps to help him through it. And, always remember to praise him when he has succeeded.

The sit-stay command is good for everyone involved, including your dog’s safety. As such, it is important to introduce some distractions to ensure the stay behavior.

For example, roll a ball nearby to see his reaction. If he continues to sit and stay, then he has succeeded and requires a lot of praising, and even a treat.

This dog obedience training exercise is an absolute must in every aspect of daily life. In fact, it can save his life from running out into the middle of the road and possibly getting hit by a car!

It can also make life a lot simpler when the family gathers to eat, without the dog begging for food.

To make him an expert at the sit-stay, be sure to use varying types of situations that could be presented to him at any point, so that he completely understands what is expected of him.

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