The ‘Stay’ command is important to master for any situation where you require patience and minimal movement from your dog (e.g. Staying under the table in a café)
It is longer term than the ‘wait’ and cues your dog to settle down, not anticipate jumping up again quickly.
The ‘Stay’ Command
- Put your dog in a sit or down position (less likely to encourage movement than standing)
- Have a treat in your hand to keep your dog’s attention on you
- Give the ‘stay’ command and immediately reward with a treat (providing your dog hasn’t moved out of his position in that nano second)
- Repeat the process and start to wait for 1 second before giving the reward. Then slowly build up to 2, 3, 4,5 seconds.
- Increase the time you wait before giving the treat up to 10 seconds
- When your dog is consistently ‘staying’ for 10 seconds, move 1 step away and wait for 1 second. When making the exercise more difficult (by moving away) we have to compensate and make it easier in another area (reduce the duration).
- ALWAYS go back to your dog to reward the treat. Don’t call them to you from a stay position. (If you want to call them too you then you are doing a ‘wait’)
- If the dog moves, without saying anything put him straight back to the spot and position he was in before, and start it again, making it slightly easier (e.g. only step half a step away).
- Increase this to slowly moving further away and for longer periods of time.