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  • Writer's pictureAngelina Ly

How to Teach Your Dog to Stay: The Ultimate Guide

If you have a dog, you know how important it is to be able to train them properly. One of the most basic commands that every dog should know is "stay." This can be a lifesaver in many situations and is a basic command that you can build on. In this blog post, we will outline the steps necessary to teach your dog to stay on command. We will also provide tips and tricks for making this process as easy and stress-free as possible for both you and your furry friend!

Training Time

When training your dog, finding a good time in the day to have a training session is important because if your dog is too hungry or tired, they won't be as focused. You will also want to make sure that there are no distractions in the area where you are training your dog. This will help them to stay focused on what you're asking them to do.

Incentivizing Good Behavior

When it comes to training dogs, the best way to teach them is positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog for good behavior. This could be with treats, verbal praise, or petting them. It's best to figure out which incentives your dog responds to best. With my Australian Shepherds, treats are the most effective reward. For Olive, she loves praise and getting pet. Lulu loves verbal praise and also toys like her frisbee. Knowing what your pet reacts to the best will aid in having an effective training session.

Step 1: Understanding the Word

The first step in teaching your dog to stay is to make sure that they understand that you want them to do something. Start by saying "stay" in a clear and concise manner. Once your dog has responded, offer them a treat and praise them. Repeat this process until your dog has mastered recognizing the word.

Step 2: Put it into Action

Once your dog has a good understanding of the word "stay," you can start working on putting it into action. The easiest way to do this is by using a leash. Begin by standing with your dog a few feet in front of you and holding the leash taut. Say "stay" and give them a treat if they stay put.

Step 3: Reinforcing What You Want

If your dog tries to move, gently pull the leash back and firmly tell them "no". In my house, we have taught them a corrective sound in place of "no". When we use this sound our dogs know we do not want them doing something, like eating food that has dropped or walking into the street. Repeat this process until your dog understands that they need to stay in place when they hear the word "stay".

Step 4: Practicing in Different Situations

Once your dog has mastered staying in one spot, you can begin working on getting them to stay in other positions or places. If you want your dog to stay on their dog bed, for example, give them a treat when they lie down on it. If you want them to stay in the yard, have them stay while you stand at the gate and give them a treat when they remain in place. Ultimately, you want them to be able to stay even when there are distractions around, like cars, toys, and other dogs.

Step 5: Remain Patient and Consistent

The key to success in training your dog to stay is patience and consistency. Make sure you are providing positive reinforcement for good behavior and using clear commands that your dog understands. They may not get it right away, but with practice and repetition, most dogs will understand what you are asking them to do. Stay calm and have fun while training your dog; after all, it should be a rewarding experience for both of you.

Once you've mastered this trick, you can apply it in different ways! It can be used when feeding your dogs and making them wait until you put the food down and step away before they can eat. You can also have them stay when company comes over to ensure they are calm and not jumping all over houseguests. I've used the command when teaching my dogs to stay still and balance treats on their noses, and to hold things in their mouth as well since they correlate the "stay" command to not moving.

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