Last month we continued our in depth look at the seven basic commands you should to teach to your dog with the down command

Next, let’s continue teaching your dog these seven basic commands with the “stay” command

three labrador retreivers

Teaching your dog the stay command

Stay is the third command you should teach your dog. The stay command is more complex than sit and down, but is crucial for a well behaved pup.

Just like with sit and down ,stay can be taught through lure training using treats or toys to “lure” your dog into following your directions. While lure training works great, it’s important that you pay attention to when your dog is ready to follow your commands without the incentive so they begin to follow your commands without reward.

To teach your dog the stay command:

  1. Establish a release word like “ok”, “go” or “free” in combination with a hand signal which will indicate to your dog when they are free to move from the stay command. Be consistent with your word choice.
  2. With your dog in the sitting position, using the sit command, toss a toy or treat (the lure) on the ground while using your release word.
  3. Repeat step two until you are able to say the release word to get your dog will move before you release the lure. The repeated training ensures your dog is motivated by the word and not the lure.
  4. As your dog gets more comfortable with the release word and training, begin increasing the distance you stand from the dog while practicing stay and release.
  5. While increasing the distance you stand from your dog while training the release command, also increase the amount of time you make your dog “stay”.
  6. Continue building your distance and time with your dog – if they move before the release command or have difficulty with the time duration try getting closer or shortening the stay time until they are able to obey the command consistently.

It’s important to reward good behavior, but never force your dog to lay down. Present your treats when the dog lies down to reinforce the behavior, but don’t encourage the dog to move from the stay command too quickly to gain another reward or treat.