12 Days of Dog Training; Day Three


A stay can keep your dog safe, prevent bolting, promote over-all Zen in your house, build impulse control, and let’s face it begging material for this holiday season.

This isn’t a skill that will come over-night, but with some focused dedication you both will be well on your way. For the purpose of this blog, I am going to give more advanced exercises, so if you are new to the stay gig here is a quick run down.

Give the cue “stay” (treats are delivered during this time) —> Calm Release word (like “okay” or “release”) —> and make Release boring (no treats and make sure you encourage your dog to move out of the stay)

You will start with small movements and gradually increase distance.

Here are some examples:

  • Cue your dog to “stay.” Pivot your body back and forward toward your dog. Reward when you pivot back in close to him. Release. Next time pivot twice, reward release. Continue a varied pattern.
  • Cue your dog to “stay.” Take a full step back and return to dog. Reward when you are close to him. Release. Continue a varied pattern adding more steps.
  • Cue your dog to “stay.” Take a step to the side of your and return facing him. Reward when you are in front of him. Release. Continue a varied pattern working up to walking all he way around him.

It’s important to release your dog before he breaks. If you release him as he breaks your stay cue will become weak and I don’t want that for you.

Here are 6 challenges for a more advanced stay as you work up to three minutes

  1. Toss a tennis ball up and down

Thanks to my son Anthony for filming 😉

2. Throw a ball (or toy) to the side of your dog, past your dog, and behind you.

3. Talk to your dog in a high pitch voice (Because anyone with a cute dog deals with people approaching our dogs in a similar way)

4. Squeak a toy

5. Turn your back

6. Run back and forth in front of your dog

Go ahead now. Get your “stay” on and let me know how it goes!




Michelle Huntting
Building the bridge of communication between dogs and pet guardians 



Check out Michelle’s other 12 Days of Dog Training Tips or the Pet Holiday Zen Tips!
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