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How to Teach Your Puppy to 'Sit-Stay'

Aug 18, 2007
When teaching your puppy to "Sit-Stay," put him on a leash at the beginning of the training. Find a quite area without distractions. Command your puppy to "Sit" and when he does, tell him to "Stay." As you say the command, drop your voice at the end so that it does not sound like a question. Swing your flat open hand toward the puppy, palm facing him as if you were going to touch his nose with it. Stop short of touching him and withdraw your hand. This is the hand signal that goes with the "Stay" command. Take one step back and wait.

Do not be angry or disappointed when your puppy gets up and starts to walk toward you. Do not think that he is dumb or spiteful. Be kind, firm, and patient with him. Say "No," then walk him back to exactly where he was sitting. Again, command "Sit," signal him and tell him to "Stay." He will probably think that "Stay" means just that and he may want to get comfortable and lie down. Most puppies will do this on the "Sit-Stay" at the point when he figures out what "Stay" means.

You could be so excited he is "staying" that you do nothing, however, lying down on a "Sit-Stay" means that your puppy is breaking the command. This is where the test in your leadership comes into play. Your puppy knows that if you fail to correct his breaking of this command, he can break any and all other commands. So when he lies down on the "Sit-Stay," say "No, Sit-Stay!" Saying "No" tells him that he did wrong by lying down. "Sit" tells him what he should be doing instead, especially as you pull straight up on the leash and seat him again. "Stay" repeats and reinforces the second half of the command that he is working on.

As many times as he breaks the command by lying down or getting up, patiently repeat the three words "No," "Sit," "Stay" and place him back where he was sitting in the first place. This is the way for him to test his limits and to learn the exact definitions of vocabulary words. Know that he is not being bad and that he is trying his best to please you.

As he begins to understand the meaning of "Stay," you will want to gradually lengthen the time he will stay. Have him stay for one minute the first time, three minutes the second time, and then for thirty seconds the third time. Your unpredictability will make your puppy pay attention to you more carefully because he will not be able to second guess your timing.
About the Author
Jane Saeman loves dogs and strives to keep other dog lovers informed. A whole world awaits other dog lovers.
Find out how cute the dog in your life is at my website which is at http://www.PicturesOfMyDogs.com
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