Teaching Your Puppy Basic Commands – Stay
In order to bring your dog to its fullest potential and deepen that bond between canine and human, proper training is vital. All dogs evolved from wolves and still have the instinct of following the Alpha dog. As a result of this, it is very important for the dog to view the owner as the Alpha dog, or else the dog will step up and become Alpha himself. If your dog doesn’t view you as the Alpha dog, it will be very difficult training him to follow your orders. You have to bond with your dog at an early age, and be both firm and rewarding for him to respect you. Follow these points to find out how to teach your dog to stay.
- Put your dog on a leash and command it to sit (facing you). The leash should average in length; long enough to allow the dog to move around a little bit, but short enough for you to keep your dog’s attention on you so you can maintain being the Alpha dog.
- Keep facing your dog and step backwards as you say the command “stay”. Remember, your dog will most likely not learn it within a few times; repetition and consistency is key. It’s completely up to you which hand signal you want to use as long as you use it every time you say the command “stay.”
- After you step back, your pooch will either stay there sitting and watching you or follow you with curiosity. If he stays, let him know that’s what you wanted him to do by giving him a treat and praise. It is so important to reward your dog after he did what you wanted, but remember to be consistent in your training methods. If your bond is tight, your dog will want to please you, so long as he knows that you are pleased with him. Most likely, your dog will go after you, closing the gap between the two of you. If this happens (which it probably will while your pooch is still learning), simply tell him to sit and try it again. Don’t be upset if it takes a few times until he gets it; never hit your dog or yell at him during the training process.
- After your dog learns how to stay when you step back, try increasing the distance a bit. Be sure to reward your pooch when he stays put. If he needs more time to get it, just try it again. Again don’t be discouraged; practice makes perfect. One thing you should know when it comes to training your dog is that too much training at once will make your dog less and less focused and therefore can be rather counter-productive. Dogs have very short attention spans and you have to work with that, not against it. If you take breaks regularly, your dog will be much more inclined to train with you because he knows he’ll get treats if he does good and free time afterwards. You can try again with the stay command in a couple hours.
Dogs learn best through consistency, so be patient and keep trying! Good luck with your training!