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Teach Your Dog To Stay Training - SpiritDog Training LLC

Teach Your Dog To Stay

Teaching a dog to stay is one of the first skills we commonly train.


I do not use leash corrections or verbal reprimands to train a stay. Instead, I communicate to the dog that it is in his own best interest to stay – by showing him that rewards happen in the position I want him to stay in.

A dog will ultimately always do what pays off for him. All he does has only one goal: to get the most out of it for himself. So I need to set up my reinforcement delivery in a way that the dog understands: I win this game if I sit, and I don’t do as well if I decide to get up.


If you teach staying this way, it will be very easy for the dog to realize that he will succeed if he stays. And because he is always working towards his own success, he will stay to earn the reinforcement that comes from being good and staying!


I highly recommend to not use verbal corrections at least in the beginning stages of teaching a stay. It has been shown that these – while they do communicate to the dog that he has done something wrong – do not clarify enough what we did not like. Dogs who have received verbal corrections for breaking their stay take a longer time to sit after hearing their “sit” cue – a definite sign that they are cautious to respond as they are not entirely sure what went wrong the last time they received a correction.

Watch this video to see how to do it instead, and have a happy and enthusiastic dog along the way: