Sit and Stay There!

November 1, 2016

Our new round of classes is starting at Wooftopia next week and we hope you are as excited as we are. Whether you want your dog to be more obedient, or your trying something new like agility, I want to discuss the importance of the command “stay”. We see people struggle with their dogs to get them to sit and stay all the time and I get it, it’s totally frustrating! Your dog listens to you so well at home, but once you take them somewhere different, whether it’s a friends house, the park or daycare, it seems that all of your hard work has gone out the window!  I’ve come up with a list of tricks and tips to avoid this.

1. Always practice! Whether your dog is a puppy or a senior, having a solid stay with them makes life so much easier. Try and get your dog in a sit and make them stay before opening doors, going on a walk, eating etc. The more you do it, the more likely it will become second nature to them.

2. When you are first starting to teach your dog to stay, always release them from their stay when you are in front or next to them so that their reward comes right away. If you are allowing them to run up to you after staying, this can be confusing at first. So make sure that you are clear with your directions.

3. Your dog needs to know that “staying” is their job. Whether your dog is in a sit, down or stand, they should stay until their handler releases them. I use the word “break” when releasing my dogs from a stay, and sometimes I will throw in other words like “cookie” and “ball” to make sure they are really focused. If by this point they are staying quite well, I will say the word “break” from across the room and they should know to come to me for their reward.

4. When practicing at home, use a lower value reward. I like to use my dog’s breakfast or dinner to have them work for their meals. Once you are going out and it becomes more exciting, bring some higher value treats. My dog’s “jackpot” treat is hot dogs or beef liver. Remember! If your dog is getting a lot of treats during training, they may not need as much of their regular meal.

The hard work of teaching your dog to “stay” really does pay off! In dog sports, such as agility, being able to put your dog into a “stay” will allow you to compose yourself enough so that you know where you are going, rather than focusing on whether your dog will get up before you ask them to. It becomes much easier to get cute pictures of them as well, which really is the most important part.


Let us know your tips on teaching your dog to stay in the comments below!


Keep those tails waggin’ and those kisses coming!

Auntie Emily