So, how do I go about teaching a puppy to stay?

Teaching your puppy to stay is one of the five basic commands of dog training. You'll use it when you want your puppy to remain in the sit, down, or stand position until you release her using the "okay" command. You won't want your dog to remain in the "stay" position for any length of time, a few minutes at the most.

Only teach the "stay" lesson once you have taught a puppy to sit. These two go together and are combined at certain times. One such time is at meal times when a pet can become boisterous.

It will be useful to you to be able to issue the "sit" and then "stay" command so that your dog will remain in the sitting position whilst you get his dinner ready. Then you can place his bowl on the floor, and release him with the "okay" command once you're ready.

Puppies have very short attention spans, so all lessons should only last a short time. Begin this lesson in a quiet place with few distractions and slip on her training lead and collar:

  1. Stand upright throughout this lesson, and maintain a gentle form of eye contact with your dog. Much of this lesson is about how you control the tension on the lead throughout the exercise.
  2. Hold a treat clenched in one hand, allow your dog to sniff it so that she knows that it's there, and is attentive. Hold the lead in the other hand issue the "sit" command. Wait for your dog to sit.
  3. Instead of rewarding her, take up the tension on the lead, hold it directly above your pup's head, and move forward two paces, as you do issue the command "stay". Turn and face her.
    Puppy on a sofa

  4. Providing your puppy has remained in the sit-stay position reward her. If she's moved, be patient with her, and hold her collar with one hand and tuck her in to the sitting position with the other, and repeat the exercise. If she starts to move again give the leash a gentle correctional tug, which should ease her back in to the sitting position.
  5. In the end she'll latch on to what you want, especially when you reward her for getting it right.
  6. Once your pet has grasped the initial part of this lesson it's time to move on. Issue the "stay" command, and then walk around her, still maintaining tension on the lead.
  7. Next, drop the lead on the floor, issue the "stay" command, and walk around her. Reward her, and praise her, each time that you release her with the "okay" command. Repeat the lesson and gradually move further away from her.
  8. Now, issue the command "sit" and then "stay", and then walk to the other side of the room, count to ten, and release your dog. Vary distance, times and add a few distractions to the mix.
  9. Remember the rewards, remember the praise, remember to make the lessons fun.

Puppy training and hand signals.

Your dog understands body language and will read, and respond to your enthusiasm for training, or lack of it. You can transmit a great deal to your dog just through your posture.

Also, there's little doubt that using hand signals in combination with a verbal command will make training your puppy a lot easier. You'll find that your dog will respond to his lessons far quicker.

What hand signal you use for what command is up to you. They should be logical e.g. calling her name to attract her attention, and then issuing the "come" command whilst guiding her with a clear wave of your hand in your direction. And when you want your puppy to "stay" issue the command, and simultaneously show her the palm of your hand, just like a traffic cop.

Teaching a puppy to stay is just one segment of our puppy-training guide.....

Walking a dog

So why not find out All About Teaching a Puppy to Come.
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