Teaching a puppy to stay is one of the most basic commands a young dog can learn. It should be taught before your puppy reaches adulthood since younger dogs are more receptive to training. Not only is staying an important command (e.g. when you’re crossing roads), but learning this command also helps to make future obedience training much easier.
Why is teaching your puppy to stay important?
Building a positive relationship by training dogs
Building a healthy relationship with your puppy doesn’t just mean treating them all the time. A healthy relationship involves bonding with your dog, and a good way to do this is through training. Enjoy the process of teaching your puppy to stay and reap the rewards of a better relationship.
Remember: train your dog by motivating them to be well behaved, rather than focusing on telling them off when they don’t do well.
Teaching a puppy to stay is usually one of the first and most important commands in obedience training. Positive training methods set you and your puppy up for a great life together, both now and in the future.
Promote further learning and training
You can use the ‘stay’ command as a basis or template to teach your puppy lots of other useful life skills. Being taken care of may seem easy (your puppy doesn’t have to find their own food, for example) but there are plenty of other challenges they will have to face – such as learning what not to chew, and so on. Having a regular training schedule in place means they can learn these skills.
Once you have taught your puppy to stay, which is one of the most basic commands they can learn, your puppy will understand how training works. Their positive experience learning how to stay means they are more likely to enjoy learning other commands, which makes life easier for both of you!
Training dogs to avoid problems
Teaching your puppy how to stay establishes a common pattern of communication between you and your pet. When your dog knows how to respond to your commands their behaviour will be more predictable – which is important in new situations – and it can even make your dog feel more secure.
The more you teach your dog, the easier it will be to also discourage unwanted behaviours. If your dog knows they’ll be told to ‘stay’ every time they reach for a plate of food, they’ll soon understand that their behaviour isn’t allowed.
Guide to teaching a puppy to stay
What you’ll need:
- A quiet, relaxed environment so your puppy can concentrate and isn’t distracted.
- Treats, so that you can reward your puppy after they have made progress.
- Your puppy should be in a relaxed, happy mood so they’re willing to learn and don’t make the training session difficult.
Step by step:
- Get your puppy sitting in a comfortable spot where there aren’t many distractions. Bear in mind that there must also be enough space for you to walk away from your puppy.
- Hold your hand out in front of your dog’s face and say ‘stay’. This way your dog will begin associate the behaviour with the word. Walk back slowly one step at time, repeating the command at each step. If your dog moves, use a firm tone to say ‘no’, showing that this is not what you want. If your puppy stays, reward them with a treat and praise them. They deserve it!
- Once your puppy has learned to stay as you walk backwards, use a command that signals it is okay to move forward. For example, dropping your hand and saying ‘okay’. At this point, your puppy should have learned the stay command.
- Now try walking across the training area without your puppy moving. The goal here is that your puppy stays for however long you tell them to. If your puppy stays while you move across to the other side of your training area then you have successfully taught your puppy the stay command. Well done!
So, there you have it. Teaching your puppy to stay wasn’t so difficult after all! The best thing is, the ‘stay’ command is useful in all sorts of situations. You can use the command when you are crossing roads, while you are preparing food, or in lots of other conditions (but we’ll let you figure them out).
Now, not only have you have laid important foundations for future obedience training for your puppy, but you’ve strengthened your bond and had fun at the same time!