Impulse control is a concept that a lot of dogs struggle with, and the “stay” command is a good way to enforce it. 

“Stay” teaches your dog to wait patiently for your signal. It’s also a good way to keep them safe – when you drop a glass in the kitchen, while crossing roads, in stores and at the end of the driveway. “Stay” also makes cooking and clearing the table easier (does anyone else have a dog who races in front of them to the kitchen, then comes to a sudden stop and clearly hopes for disaster…or is that just Blue?).

So how do we teach the “stay” command? 

Start with your dog on a loose leash. 

Ask them to sit. 

Hold your hand flat in front you, facing towards the dog, in the “stop” position. 

Say “stay”

Take two steps backwards. 

Take two steps back to your dog.

Give them a cookie and praise them! 

If your dog moves before you step back to them, ask them to sit again and start over! Try taking only one step back. 

If your dog completes the exercise, do it again! 

On your next try, add an extra step backwards!

Check out this quick video on teaching “stay”!

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