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Teaching A Dog To Stay Is Crucial For His Safety

Jul 8, 2008
We as humans have a unique bond with our dogs and it's our duty to make sure we keep them as safe as possible. In order to accomplish this, we need to train the dog properly and teaching a dog to stay is a critical part of this training as it could keep your dog from running headlong into a dangerous situation.

One thing you need to do when training is make sure your dog knows that you are the boss. Frequently using the 'stay' command is a good way to do this. 'Stay' means that your dog will have to be still in one place while you walk around, and can't move until you give permission. If you aren't the alpha in your home, the opposite thing will usually be taking place.

The first step is to teach your dog the "sit" command. The best way to do this is by firmly saying "sit" while giving a hand signal. The signal that I've found works best is snapping my fingers while pointing my index finger at an angle toward the ground. This accomplishes several objectives. First, the snapping of the fingers will get your dog's attention. Some people elect to use a clicker, but I find that this ties up my hands, making it difficult to give other hand signals. Second, the pointing of the index finger shows the dog the correct angle to move his rear end. This method works incredibly well for teaching dogs the "sit" command.

When the dog is in the "sit" position, hold your palm and fingers up and firmly say "Stay". Do not raise your voice any higher than needed to be heard by the dog. Make sure the "Stay" hand signal is not similar to any others you may use with the dog.

Your dog will most likely try to follow you. When this happens, repeat your unique hand gestures for the "sit" and "stay" commands. If your dog continues to follow you, there is a trick to get them to comply with the "sit" command. Hold a treat or one of your dog's favorite toys in your hand. Slowly move this over your dog's head until it is a little behind his eyes. Make sure that it is still in your dog's line of vision. This movement will force your dog's chin to move up. If your dog chooses to rotate around rather than just moving his chin, move the toy or treat over their head again until he does move his chin up and sits down. Praise your dog and try the "stay" command again.

Eventually your dog will "get it" and will stay, unfortunately your work is not done at this point. The next step in teaching a dog to stay is to get him to stay as you move further and further away. So, repeat the stay command and take a few steps away from him. Most of the time, the farther away you get the less obedient they will be. Remember, you are their master and they want to follow you.

One thing you can do to get around this is to put a collar and lengthy leash on your dog. Use a tree to secure the leash behind the dog and hold it in front of the dog. Allow your dog to stand up and step forward, gently pulling on the rope and using the standard voice command and gesture. Be careful not to jerk your dog too hard and upset his concentration. Your goal should be to contain his behavior, not punish him. If you prefer to use another person rather than a tree you can, but it may confuse the dog and he won't know who is giving the commands.

If your dog lies down after you step away while practicing "stay," they will not be remaining still and will therefore not be following your command. You will have to have them sit again, and because of this, you will possibly have to teach your dog an "up" and "sit" command combination before you teach your dog to "stay." Your dog's breed and individual personality will play a role in how long it will take your dog to learn the "stay" command, but almost all dogs will eventually be able to learn this useful skill.

After the dog learns to hold in a stay positions for a few moments, teach "Come" Change your normal tone of voice, and use specific hand signals. The "Come" gesture should not be similar to other gestures used in training.

Teaching a dog to stay can take a bit of patience, but it is quite important that your pet learn this command. Each time you practice the "stay" command with your dog, make sure that you progressively make the stay longer. You will know that your dog has successfully learned the command when you can go back inside of the house and your dog remains stationary outside. Of course, once you do get to this point, make sure that you release and praise him after a minute.
About the Author
Want to learn more about having a perfectly trained, happy and healthy pooch? Get your free dogcare eBook at http://www.dogcareandtrainingtips.com /
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