Posted on: June 23, 2020 Posted by: Kimberly Thibodeaux Comments: 0

Among the most difficult habits for canines to master is the “Stay.” This is a command that needs to be well-defined for your dog. This includes teaching the stay in several phases, along with teaching the habits in reverse, beginning with completion and working backwards for longer and more dependable stays.

The “stay” is perhaps the most important command you can give your dog in order to keep them out of imminent danger, such as darting out the door or into a busy thoroughfare. You most likely can save your dog’s life with a strong and dependable “stay” behavior.

Create a Definite Beginning and a Definite Ending

The very first and crucial guideline of the “stay” is to have a guaranteed beginning and a definite ending. This means pairing your stay command with a release word that indicates that the stay is completed. Typical release words consist of “OK,” “Free,” Release,” and “All Done.” Select one word as your release word and say only that word consistently when the “stay” is finished.

To teach the release word, place your dog as you want, in either a sit, down or stand. Give your pup a “stay” command, followed almost right away by your release word and reward. Don’t worry if your dog does not move following the release word. You can go back, clap your hands, or otherwise participate in favorable interaction to cue them that it is OKAY to move.

Do look out for these typical risks when teaching “stay”:

Do not provide your stay command with food in your hand. This will just draw your pet dog to follow you.
Do not always call your dog to come to you from a “stay.” This will trigger him to prepare for a recall. Practice by leaving your dog and going back to him prior to giving the release word.

Three D’s: Duration, Distance, and Distractions

When you have effectively matched a release word with your “stay” command, you are prepared to move to the next action. Canine instructors refer to these as the Three D’s: Duration, Distance, and Distractions. Duration is the quantity of time your dog is in a “stay.” Distance is how far from your pet you go. Distractions are anything that takes place throughout your pet’s “stay.”

Duration–The amount of time your canine remains in his stay is called Duration. To begin, place your dog as you wish, in a sit, down, or stand. Give your “stay” command, without moving count to three, and then release your canine utilizing his word. Increase the time you ask your dog to stay by 2 to 3 second intervals. If your canine breaks his stay, just reset him and ask him to stay for a lesser time in which he was successful.

Distance–Moving away from your pup is described as distance, and it behooves owners to teach this stage of training. Teaching distance stays take place actually a half action at a time. Position your dog as you want and offer your dog his “stay” command. Go back with one foot, lean back, then go back to your dog and release him. Next, take one complete step back then go back to your canine for the release and a reward. Continue slowly, including only one step at a time. Remember, do not have food in the hand in which you give your pup the stay command. Also, return to your dog before you release him, and do not always call him out of a “stay.”

Distractions–Distractions are anything, big or small, that takes place during your pet’s stay. It is important to have a strong foundation with your release word, stay duration, and distance prior to you attempt and add interruptions.


Proofing–People love their dogs because they help us stay present. Just start simple and gradually increase what you are asking of your pet dog

When we Proof for Duration, we understand that pets know if we are taking note of them or not from the study of canine cognition, no matter what the proximity. Practice this by asking your dog to remain while you sit, lie down, watch tv, or cook. Be sure to reward at different intervals for the “stay,” but do not let them to get up until you have provided the release word.

Proofing for Distance is moving away from your canine and includes going out of sight. Practice this by moving away from your dog at various angles, either leaving to the side, diagonally and/or going behind your dog.

Proofing for Distractions is one of the more difficult jobs. Concepts consist of bouncing or rolling a ball while your dog is on a “stay,” leaping up and down, or running around your dog. Keep in mind that you need to start gradually and move up to things more interesting to your dog. One helpful hint is to use “leave it” throughout the “stay.” Often with Distractions, pets are more most likely to excel with extra details such as advising them to “stay” or to “leave” interruptions like toys.

Bonus Tips

If you believe your pup is going to move, repeat your “stay” command. Set your canine up for success. Do what you feel you need to do to assist them to succeed. The more effective they are, the more trustworthy the “stay” behavior will be.

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