Teaching a Dog to Stay
Many pet owners love to enjoy the outdoors with their pets. For some, this can be challenging if your dog has not mastered the stay cue. Whether you are at a social outing, a dog park or any other public location, you will want to train your dog to stay when confronted with increased distractions.
The stay cue is a great exercise to increase your dog’s capacity to tolerate distractions, building his attention span while increasing his focus and response to you. As with all learning cues, repetition is important until the cue is successfully learned.
How to Teach the Stay Command
1. First, you’ll want to make sure your dog is on a leash. This is done for safety and also to help manage his behavior.
2. Second, stand directly in front of your dog and give the “stay” cue both with a hand signal and verbal cue. A traditional hand signal for the “stay” is your flat palm held approximately six inches in front of the dog’s nose.
3. Third, count to three and then immediately drop your hand to your side and release the dog from the “stay” by saying “OK.” Reward with praise and treats for a job well done.
4. Fourth, gradually increase the duration, distance and distraction level one component at a time.
Repeat and Practice
Throughout this exercise, your dog will learn to focus on you. Also, your dog’s tolerance for enduring distractions will increase and provide each of you with greater assurance of the stay cue while in public.
Pets like consistency from their owners. Of course, this is a two-way street with owners being assured of the kind of behavior they can rely on from their dogs.
Animal Behavior College enjoys a national reputation of being one of the premier dog training schools in the U.S. and Canada. As such, providing ongoing education and information for anyone in animal careers, as well as dog owners themselves, demonstrates examples of best practices in the animal care world.
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