Training your dog to ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ in either a sit or down position can be very useful in every day life.
Choose a verbal cue – ‘stay’ or ‘wait’ are both ok but choose only one and use it consistently. ‘We will use ‘stay’ here.
In a stay, your dog maintains a behaviour e.g. sit, stand or down, until you release them.
1. Ask your dog to go into sit, down or stand position.
2. Add duration to the chosen position via one of the following means:
- Add duration by rewarding your dog in situ – keep the treats flowing steadily at first and then once you are able to achieve stillness, start to reduce them.
- Delay the marker (clicker/’good’/’yes’) incrementally, and then reward.
3. Continue to build up duration slowly. Your dog will learn that by maintaining the
position, they will be marked and rewarded.
If at any time your dog moves out of position or moves from the location, try the following:
- Reduce the length of time before the marker is given
- Ensure the position is not physically uncomfortable for the dog
- Consider changing environment to somewhere less distracting
- Take one step away from your dog, then step back towards them and mark and reward
- Increase to two steps, then three, etc.
- Try it in a slightly more distracting environment