How to Teach Your Dog to Stay

By: Contributors

Dogs don't come ready trained. Rather, they need to be trained to be well-mannered and obedient. Teaching them to stay will not only keep your dog well-trained, but it will avoid potential tiffs with other dogs and strangers in the future. If your dog already knows the command "sit," you're halfway to getting it to stay [source: DPVHS]. Read the tips listed below and learn about how to teach your dog to stay.

  1. Prepare snacks to feed your dog when it has followed your command.
  2. Make up a word and hand signal to teach your dog when to stay. For example, you may say "stay" and open your palm in front of its face. You should also come up with a release word to will let your dog know that it can get it up, such as "ok."
  3. Stand in front of your dog and command it to sit.
  4. Command it to stay and use your hand signal. If your dog doesn't move for a few seconds, reward it with encouraging words and a treat.
  5. Use the release word to tell it to get up from its seated position. Using a release command is very important, because it teaches the dog that it can only break the stay command with your permission.
  6. Repeat these steps, increasing the time between when you command the dog to stay and when you release it. Reward your dog with a treat every time it accomplishes the command for a longer period of time. Start having it stay for two seconds, then increase the time to five seconds. Slowly increase the time your dog stays down [source: ASPCA].
  7. Repeat these steps while moving away from your dog.

Training your dog to stay requires patience and time. Teach it the command slowly to ensure that it properly learns how to stay. Keep in mind that training puppies is more difficult than older dogs [source: DPVHS].