Teaching Your Dog To Stay

By Michael Albee

Teach Your Dog To Stay

To Teach Your Dog to Stay is reasonably easy. However, your patience will be required to see the training through. It should only take up to a few sessions for your dog to understand the concept of “Stay”. Because your dog will eventually be asked to hold it from a fairly long distance, it may take quite a bit of work to get the desired result.

Every dog must be taught the “Stay” command as soon as possible. The “Stay” command tells your dog not to move from that location until you tell it that it is OK to do so. “Stay” can be used in conjunction with other commands. These commands are “sit” or “down.”

Before you Teach Your Dog to Stay your dog must know the “SIT”, “NO” and “Down” commands first. Make sure that your dog also understands a “release” command before you try to teach your dog to “stay.” This will insure that your dog knows when it is OK to move from the “stay” position.

How to Teach You Dog To Stay on Command


Begin by having your dog in a  “Sit” or “Down” in front of you.

Next, put your hand out in front of you (open palm facing the dog). Your hand should be about 6 inches away from it’s nose.

When your dog is still and relaxed, give the command “Stay.” Repeat the word “Stay” and wait a few seconds. When your dog stays, (does not move) reward with calm praise such as: “Good – Say.” In addition you can also reward your dog with a treat. Give the “release” command immediately after you give the treat and give verbal praise “Good Dog” again. Repeat the training a minimum of 5 times.

Lengthen the amount of time the dog remains in the “Stay” position gradually. After your dog is able to stay for 3-5 minutes you can begin to move further and further away from the dog slowly as the time increases. Don’t be in a big hurry to move away. It is much more important that the dog knows that it needs to stay.


If your dog continues break out of the “Stay” while training, reset him and start over at the last point he stayed for you. (Example: He will stay for 1 minute, but gets up at 1:30). Go back to the 1 minute mark and begin again.

Your “proofing” goal is to be able to get 25-50 feet away from your dog while it stays in place for an indefinite period of time. This will probably take some time. Consequently, you need to remember to be patient.  Don’t forget the praise either. 

When trained correctly, the execution of the “STAY” command is a true measure of a well trained, well-mannered, and respectful dog.


Keep your training sessions short. Your training sessions should be kept to 2-5 minutes in length. Finish each session with your dog correctly doing a behavior.

Always do something that your dog likes to do when the session ends. Playing with the dog’s favorite toy or going for a walk will keep your dog interested in training. Because there is a “fun time” following the training, it will make the dog more willing to train well.


There are several variations of this training that will get the same results. If you need help teaching you dog to “STAY” you can contact us and we can give personal instruction. Contact Us.

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“Teach the Stay Command. It Could Possibly Save Your Dog’s Life Someday!”