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Obedience Training: The 'Stay' Command

After your dog learns to sit and lie down, you might want to consider teaching him the stay command. It is the natural extension of the previous lessons and an important part of obedience training. Keeping your dog in one place is also a good thing to have.

Most trainers think that teaching this command is completely unnecessary. While sitting and laying down gets your dog to stay in one place, this may be only momentary. However, given the short attention span of some dogs this is not likely to happen. Teaching him the specific stay command is still your best bet.

If you have already taught him to sit and lie down, then you have half of the work cut out. If you have not, it is better to go back and teach him those things first. Remember that this is a step-by-step process and you cannot afford to skip a lesson.

Start by placing your dog where you want him to stay. Tell him to sit or lie down depending on what you want him to do. Say the command 'stay' and slowly leave him by himself. If he follows, you have to start again. If he stays do not forget to reward him. Note that he might stay in place for only a few brief moments. Do not place too much expectation especially on your first few tries.

Keep repeating this process until you are sure that he understands what you want him to do. Keep in mind that consistency is the key to any obedience training program. Giving him a reward when he stays helps reinforce good behavior. However, relying on this approach too much is not a good idea.

It is also important that he associates this basic command to verbal and hand signals. As soon as he assumes the position, hold out your hand similar to making a stop gesture. You want to make sure that he sees this hand signal.

For better results, you would want to use your voice as well. Many people do not realize it but it can be a powerful dog training tool. You want to say the command out loud with authority. Shouting should never be done though. Speak in a normal tone of voice instead.

It is a good idea to start training indoors or a private place. This is because you do not want your dog getting too much distraction during your first few sessions. When you are confident of his ability, it is time to move your lessons outside. The point here is to get your dog used to all those distractions but still be able to stay in one place unless told otherwise.

The stay command is ideal if you want to keep your dog from following you around the house. Sometimes a dog may get too excited over just about anything. Having him stay in one place is excellent at getting him to behave properly.

As with other basic commands in obedience training, the stay command is invaluable at giving you control over your dog. It is a vital step towards having a good dog.

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