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Teach the Stay Command for Control and Safety


Stay is one of the most important basic obedience commands you can teach your dog.  This particular instruction promotes safety and control.  It can help protect your pet from danger (I.E. running out into a street) and can make other people and animals feel safe in social situations when your dog remains still.


The Stay command is not difficult to teach but it may take some time for your pal to learn so you need to have patience.  Here’s a method you can use to teach your pooch “Stay”.


•     Take your dog to a quiet room and make sure you have a decent supply of small treats he really likes.  (Note: when you practice outside have him on a lead)


•     Have him sit (Note: he should know this command before you teach stay).


•     Place your palm near his face as if you were giving a stop signal and say the word “Stay” in a firm tone.   Do not move away from your dog, wait only a few seconds after the dog has stayed in place and then praise and reward him with a treat.


•     Repeat the above step for about 5 times, but each time you give the command, wait longer before you praise and reward your pooch.  For instance, if you begin with 2 seconds, try to slowly increase the wait time to 10 seconds.  You should only engage in 10 minute sessions at a time to avoid boredom.


•     If during the training session your dog moves before you choose to release him, do not praise him.  Place him back in the sitting position, give the command again but this time do not wait as long and then praise and treat.  Keep in mind, you should only make the wait time longer when he is ready.  Do not rush.  Your end goal should be to have him stay for one minute.


Once your dog can stay in front of you for at least 30 seconds in different environments with various distractions, you can then –and only then - begin trying distance stays.  This is done using the same methods as the original lesson, with the main difference being that you move away from your dog after you give him the command.  Here’s what you do:


•     Put him in the stay position and after a few seconds take one step back.  If he attempts to follow you, immediately step back and correct him.  Have him re-sit, tell him “Stay” and try again. 


•     If your pet remains seated when you move back one step, wait 2-3 seconds and then move back in front of him, praise and reward.


•     Slowly increase the distance throughout the session.  Only lengthen the distance when your dog is able to remain in the stay for 10 seconds.  Always go back to him before releasing him from the command by giving him praise.  Never praise him from a distance as this will only make him want to move towards you.


Over time, you can then try down stays, as well as keeping your dog in the stay position while you move around him.  Just remember to take it slow and always go back to him before praising.
Information provided by Jim Jackson of Oh My Dog Supplies, search for new deals on dog costumes online.
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