Obedience training has many advantages for you and your dog. If done properly it gives you both the opportunity to bond and learn to work as a team, with you the leader who is in control. Teaching your dog to “stay put” will be successful with a combination of knowing how to get your dog’s attention, and how to make your dog “work” for you.
When learning to train your dog a lot of people and resources recommend using treats. Although this might work you must consider this: every time your dog does something right you are going to reward him with a treat, so when you don’t have treats your dog is not going to obey the commands you are giving him. Also do you want to have your pockets full of treats when you go for a walk. If you answer no to this, if your looking for a more reliable way to teach your dog to stay then this article is for you.
Before you start teaching your dog to stay put, you should buy a pinch collar also known as the prong collar, and place this on your dog. Yes a lot of people think this is an inhumane way to train their dog, however if you have noticed when your dog is wearing a normal collar or choke collar he will pull and you will hear him struggling to breath this is actually causing damage to your dogs trachea and neck. A pinch collar however when used properly with a downwards jerk, will pinch the skin around your dogs neck in the same manner a mother will when she teaching her pups. This pinch gets your dogs attention focused on you and the commands you are giving.
Next you should buy yourself a six foot lead or leash, this is an essential tool to the proper training of your dog. This lead in combination with a pinch collar gives you the opportunity to “work” your dog, gain your dogs attention and opportunity for lots of praise when your dog successfully completes something he/she was asked to do. Before you can start training your dog to stay they will already need to know some basics like down, heel and sit. So now assuming you have already taught your dog these obedience commands and have the lead and pinch or prong collar we will start the stay command.
You will want to start by holding your lead in your right hand with your dog sitting on your left side. Your left hand should be kept free for grabbing the lead to provide a correction with a downwards pull when your dog does not obey. Now that your dog is sitting at your side and you have your hands placed correctly on your lead give your dog a stay command by saying the work “Stay” and also hold your hand down at your side where your dog is. Using your hand as well as your voice will allow your dog to be able to use his Stay command without you even having to say a word to him. He will learn to associate not only the word “Stay” with the command but also the action of a hand being shown to him. Now take a step away from him/her, if your dog begins to move with you give your dog a correction using the lead and pinch collar as explained above.
Next you should repeat the sitting of your dog at your side, as well as give your dog the stay command and take a step again. You may repeat this until your dog stays. Once you are successfully able to take a step in front of your dog without her/him moving praise your dog! Praise is the key to the success of this method not the rewards of food, but praise and attention from you the owner, thus building a stronger relationship between you and your dog! Once your dog has done this you can use the same method and move further from your dog giving him/her corrections when necessary and lots of praises when the dog has done what has asked.
Off leash work, you will be ready to do this when you notice your dog is looking at you and paying attention waiting for his next command. Once you see this from your dog, and he has mastered the stay command on leash it is a good idea to start trying this command off-leash. To start I recommend wrapping the leash around your dogs neck and tucking the end into the pinch collar, that way if your dog does run you can more easily grab you pet. You should start short distances from your pet and in a safe environment. If your pet does take off on you, get down and call your pet DO NOT sound angry or disciple your pet when it returns to you. This would then create a fear of returning to you in the future instead praise your dog because in the end it has returned to you. You may however want to return back to teaching the stay command on leash and trying again off leash a while later.
There are many benefits to having your dog respond to the stay command it is safer for your pet, more enjoyable when you have company, and more relaxing not having to worry as much. You also will have a sense of pride for your dog and you will notice how your dog gets excited to do these things for you, because he/she gets praise when they do what is asked. Your dog will enjoy this time with you and you will enjoy the results.