How to Teach Your Dog to Stay


Once your dog has learned how to sit, it’s time to teach them how to stay. It’s important to have both a hand sign and a verbal command for stay so that eventually you can give them a hand sign from a distance. Once again, be sure to teach the behavior before you add the command.

Follow these steps:

  • Hold a treat between your thumb and your hand so that your dog can see it.
  • Have the dog sit directly in front of you, show them your hand, count to two and then reward.
  • Next time, show the dog your hand, count to four and then reward. Be sure to use verbal praise as well.
  • As you progress, begin to move back by adding small steps.
  • Once you know they are starting to understand the behavior, then add the verbal command “stay.”
  • As you move back farther and farther, when it comes time to reward them, move back toward your dog gradually, giving them the “stay” command and then treating.
  • If you go too far and they can no longer stay, go back to the farthest distance where they succeeded and repeat that.

Always remember to end on a positive note and continue the training, fresh, the next day.

Remember, your dog’s mind can focus more clearly if you stop, almost like a Polaroid imprint, when you give the command STAY. If you are constantly moving, it will be hard for your dog focus.

Watch this video to see this training in action:

[brightcove videoID=5467452769001 playerID=HJNwsLuMW height=400 width=700]

About the author: Travis Brorsen is one of the most sought after dog trainers in America today and is Founder of Greatest American Dog Trainers. In 2008, Travis and his 14-month old, highly energetic and untrained boxer, Presley, won the grueling 12 week CBS’ national dog training competition, Greatest American Dog. As a result of the show, Travis discovered he had a passion to help other dogs and their owners create similar positive learning and relationship building experiences. Today, Travis and his Greatest American Dog Trainers team specializes in basic and advanced obedience, dog health and fitness training, as well as behavioral issues. For more information, please go to

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