The goal of training your dog to'stay' is to have them stay in one place until you return to them. This is a good behavior to teach your dog for any time you need them to stay in a certain location, such as to keep them out of the way while you are gardening or cooking!
This can be difficult for dogs to learn since we are asking them to remain at a distance from us for a lengthy amount of time, regardless of any distractions. That's difficult to accomplish, especially when we spend so much time training our dogs to come to us and pay attention when we ask!
But any dog may learn to stay put, especially if training is consistently enjoyable and rewarding. This is accomplished by employing reward-based training and extremely slow progression so that our canines may feel secure at every level.
Begin cautiously and be by your dog's side while they learn to remain motionless
Train your dog in a peaceful environment at first, such as your house or garden, to set it up for success. When you ask your dog to sit (or lie down if that is more convenient or comfortable for them), immediately give them a treat. Encourage them to get back up, then do it again. As you start to distance yourself from them, this stage rewards them for the position you finally want them to have.
Prior to awarding your dog with a treat, have them wait while you command them to sit. Then, before repeating, urge them to get up and walk about. Increase the interval between commanding them to sit and rewarding them gradually until your dog can maintain attention for five seconds. You will still be standing right near to them at this point.
Add "stay" as a cue word
You can now include the phrase "stay." When you ask your dog to sit, say "stay," wait five seconds, and then give them a treat. Encourage them to go and take a brief rest after that. You want your dog to be able to listen with only one request, so only say "stay" once.
Extend the amount of time your dog spends motionless
Increase the amount of time your dog spends sitting motionless gradually. Once your dog can remain still for 10 seconds, start to vary the amount of time you require them to remain still before rewarding them. As an illustration, ask for three seconds to pass before paying them and allowing them to move, then four, then two, then five, then eight, and so on. As a result, your dog won't be able to anticipate how long you will want them to remain still. As a result, they shouldn't be ready to move about until you have made it apparent by coming back to them and praising them.
If your dog gets up before you've given them a reward, it may be because you've been training them for too long and they're growing bored or sleepy, or it may be because you're expecting them to sit still for too long at this stage. Return to some shorter stays, complete the exercise, or carry out a basic task that your dog is familiar with and adept at performing. Stay upbeat! If you express your discontent to your dog, they could get confused and anxious.
Begin to back away from your dog
Ask your dog to "remain" while sitting. To get them acclimated to you shifting your body away from them, simply lean slightly to the side. Reward them by returning to your starting position. Encourage them to take a brief break by standing up and moving about, then do it again.
Next, teach your dog to sit and "stay" while moving one step to the side. When they have stayed seated, treat them when you return.
Prior to giving your dog a treat, always go back to them. We want them to believe that their current posture is very rewarding since it always leads to your return and the provision of a treat, making them completely unwilling to change. Your dog will start to get up as soon as you start to come back to them if you give them the treat as you're heading back to them. This is because they've learned that getting up earns them the treat. Make sure you only praise your dog when they are in the position you just left them in.
Increase your movement's speed and direction gradually. We want to be unexpected, so try taking one step to the side, two steps to the side, one step backward, or four steps ahead. This is similar to building up the duration. This variation teaches your dog that no matter which way you move away from them, they will only receive their treat reward for remaining precisely where they were when you commanded them to "stay."
It's time to put your dog's staying skills to the test now that you know the basics of how to educate them, and they should be a pro in your own house. Your dog could first believe that "stay" simply refers to "remain" within the home, garden, or another location where you've been practicing! When you begin to teach them in different locations, you will need to start from scratch. Don't worry, though; your dog will become faster every time and quickly begin to understand the notion wherever you are.
Build distractions in gradually by selecting your practice areas and their level of activity wisely, especially because it gets much difficult for your dog to remain still the more activity there is around them. Start in the garden, go on to a deserted park, a location with far-off people or dogs, then closer ones, and so on. In places that are particularly difficult for them, you may utilize goodies that are much sweeter and more special!
You may also create your own diversion. Can your dog stay as you skip away, converse with someone else, roll the ball slowly (then quicker) or move out of sight, for instance? The options are only limited by your creativity, and they truly assist your dog understand the meaning of "stay." Never forget that you don't need to rush! Your dog's behavior should be more dependable if you gradually increase the challenge while providing your dog with the best chance of success.