When you have a dog in your life, you want to ensure that they are not only obedient, but that they are safe at all times. Sometimes, you may find that it is beneficial both for you and for your dog if they know how to stay on command. This is a part of basic obedience and it is something that you will return to time and time again throughout the life of the animal.
Although many dogs will sit on command quite readily and they pick up on that command easily, the act of staying in position is sometimes difficult. That is especially true if you are dealing with the young puppy or if you have a dog that tends to be somewhat hardheaded. If that is the case, it is going to require some persistence on your part but the persistence will pay off considerably once your dog understands this basic command.
One of the most important things to consider when teaching your dog to stay is the area where you do so. Dog training can be stressful for the animal, especially when you’re first starting out and they don’t necessarily know what to expect. Try to choose an area that is relatively free of distractions and someplace that they are familiar with. This will allow the dog to focus on you and you will find that it is much easier for them to stay in position. You can then begin trying to get them to stay in unfamiliar areas once they understand the meaning of the word.
Don’t expect a dog to stay in position for an extended amount of time at first. You may even find that they are only able to stay for a second or two before they come bounding in your direction. When a dog stays in position, even if it is only for a moment, be sure that you give them plenty of praise. You should also continue to maintain eye contact with the dog, because it helps them to be comfortable.
As you continue to teach your dog how to stay, you will find that they are holding the position for a longer amount of time. After they understand how to stay for an extended amount of time, they really have an idea of what you expect out of them. This is when you can take things to the next level and start moving out of eyesight, perhaps just around the corner while they are in a stay. This is going to take some work, but it will be something you use on a regular basis throughout the dog’s life.
Persistence is very important when you are teaching a dog one of these advanced commands. Avoid being overly harsh on the dog, however, but don’t be afraid to use a stern voice if they understand the command and are just not listening to you. Above all, be sure that you are willing to give your dog plenty of praise and perhaps even a treat or two when they get it right.