How to teach your dog “stay”

by | Dog Care |

Teaching your dog to “stay” can be very useful. It can help keep your dog from begging at the table, greeting guests at the door and make public outings easier. All you need is a motivating reward such as food, time and patience.

Follow the steps below and watch our video on how to teach your dog “stay”

Helpful Tips
  • Be consistent with the word you use. Use “stay” or “wait”, but not both, as this may confuse your dog.
  • Use consistent rewards that motivate your dog such as food, toys or praise.
  • Make sure to release your dog with an “okay” after each repetition.
  • Always begin learning this exercise from home. Your house has fewer distractions, which makes it easier for your dog to learn.
Teaching “stay”

Step 1: Ask your dog to sit or lay down. Say “stay” and reward immediately before they move. Release them with an “okay.”

Step 2: Repeat this exercise, waiting one second after saying “stay” to reward your dog. Release with an “okay.”

Step 3: Each time your dog is successful, add more time in between saying “stay” and rewarding your dog. Remember to release them with an “okay” in between.

Step 4: Once your dog has a good duration (30 seconds or more), try adding some distance. Say “stay”, take one step away and then come back immediately to reward your dog. Release with an “okay.”

Step 5: If your dog is successful, slowly increase the number of steps you take from your dog. Eventually, you can try walking away in different directions or even around your dog.

Step 6: Repeat the above steps in new environments. First, start in a quiet area and move up to busy environments. Remember that this will be harder for your dog and you may have to start back at step 1. For greater difficulty, add in other distractions such as balls, squeaky toys or clapping your hands.

For more helpful training tips, visit Shelter Health Pro