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Stay


The stay command is when you want a dog to remain in position and not move. Many people struggle with this command. You are in luck, we have found the easiest way in the world to train stay.


The Way Most Train Stay and Problem Associated


To start we will mention the way most people train stay: A person tells their dog to stay motioning with their hand like a police officer stopping a vehicle. They back away and then they call the dog to them and reward the dog. The problem with this method we have found is that you are rewarding the dog for breaking stay not staying in stay. In this case the dogs can be quick to break command.


The Easiest and Fastest Version


  1. Exercise the dog so they are good and tired (Energy Spectrum - Hyper vs Tired). This means the dog is typically happy to stay. Many people try and train stay when the dog is hyper. We have tried that and it doesn’t work well.

  2. Tie the dog up - The dog is tired and doesn’t really want to move anyhow. By tying them up you have now made it impossible for the dog to get this command wrong (unless they chew through or break the leash).

  3. Say “stay” and motion with your hand signal for stay. Walk away from the dog and come back to reward the dog. Don’t concern yourself if in the beginning the dog is standing, sitting, laying down or just going crazy on leash. Go back and reward the dog anyhow. The dog will quickly learn they get rewarded for not really having to think. Many dogs will start sitting or laying down right away and just wait for you to walk back and reward them.


This method allows you to put distance between you and the dog very quickly. It also allows you to go out of sight. This is usually a big issue for many people. The dog will stay but only if you are in sight. As soon as you go out of sight the dog wants to follow.


Good Times to Work on Stay


  • Dog has been exercised.
  • Just finished playing with other dogs and is tired.
  • Dog looks tired.
  • Meal times for yourself, exercise the dog first and then have them practice stay while you are cooking, eating and cleaning.
  • E-mails or TV - Same goes as meal times, exercise first and then work on stay.


This allows you to take time in the day where you can’t focus 100% on the dog for training and still train a very important command. The better a dog is with their stay command the more places you can take them and not worry about them getting into trouble.


Phase in Energy


Typically the first week we work on stay, we do it when the dog is good and tired.


Week two we work on stay when the dog is half full of energy.


Week three we work on stay when the dog is ¾ to full energy.

Week four work on stay when the dog is right full of energy.


High energy levels are a distraction for the dog when it comes to stay. You still want your dog to understand how to stay when they are hyper. You do this by using the Core Rule: A to B Rule by phasing in energy each week as the dog gets better.


Super Proofing


Practicing the stay command when you are out of sight for long periods and to long distances away ensures that when you are away short periods of time or close distances it is a piece of cake for your dog to stay. A good time to practice stay with you out of sight is when you are preparing, eating and cleaning up a meal. This can take around an hours worth of time. You can have the dog stay on their mat just around the corner our of view. To start with they will need to be tired and tied up. The dog knows you are close by so it is a fairly easy jump in training. In a few weeks time the dog can master an hour long stay with you out of sight. We rarely need a dog to stay for an hours time so anything less than an hour will seem very easy for the dog to do.

Training Phase vs Management Phase


To ensure you have a bombproof stay with your dog make sure you follow the Core Rule: Training Phase vs Management Phase. Once your dog seems to be excellent with their stay being tied up you will want to mark that date down on the calendar. Then continue tying your dog up for another 1-3 months of perfect behaviour anytime you practice stay. This helps ensure the habit is ingrained in place. Otherwise a dog may try to break command from stay or sneak over in a crawl (We had that happen with one of our dogs when we tried to shortcut the management phase. She would army crawl a little closer to you when you weren’t looking).

Stay Command

Stay 1 Stay 2 Stay 3 Stay 4 Stay 5