dog stay command

8 Simple Tips to Train A Dog To Stay At Your Command

Our lab puppy, Tango used to create a lot of problems whenever we were doing household works or guest  visiting us. In one particular occasions, Tango was about to dive out of the car before we put his lead on.

We decided to train him stay command to prevent any canine behavior problems at public place.

We initially found “Stay” is difficult exercise to teach, because puppies just hate being still! However, with short, frequent practice sessions, Tango  mastered this command.

8 steps we followed to train our Labrador dog to stay

1. We used to put Tango into the position where we would like him to stay in  using sit command. After 2/3 days effort Tango used to stay in the position for 2/3 seconds. We used pat him, scratch behind the ear once he stayed more than 2 seconds in that position. As soon as we give him the pat, the behavior is over (this is our signal for puppy to release from his stay)  and Tango is used to move away.

2. Next we stated to give him a small treat for a longer stay  ( 4 seconds or more) as a reward. This acts as a positive reinforcement. This step is little difficult. Whenever, Tango used to break out less than 4 second we used to say "aah-aah"! We used to start the process again without the teat. This step is a key for training a dog to stay.

3. As a next step we added a verbal command and hand signal in step 1.

It goes like this - once again we stand directly in front of  Tango and place him in the position we would like him to stay in. Along with saying "stay" command verbally we used to hold our our palm facing out towards our dog's nose (like a stop sign motion).

For successful stay of 2 seconds we used to reward and treat him.

This is important step because here we were building an association in Tango's mind between our verbal "stay" command and the act of staying in the one spot.

4. It took us around 2 weeks to sot out the basic stay command. Next is proofing stage as  we started to follow the three D's - Duration, Distance and Distractions in our training program.

We repeat step 3 for another week but we used to move little bit. We used to increase the duration of stay and we started moving moving 10/12 steps in various directions at random.

In spite of success or failure we used to come to Tango to restart the process. We used to reward his correct behavior every time but no reward  if he gets up to move away. Even we found Tango maintains the stay position if we go out of sight for some seconds.  The key is to make him follow stay command under distractions.

5. Next we start our training session in  our basement garage because there are few distractions such as other people or animals. We used to train him outside after first meal of the day. Gradually we started changing practice session timing and length. We used to check the success of  training of stay command while preparing his favorite dinner.

6. Next we started playing hide & seek game to reinforce the "stay" command.  My son & Tango is to enjoy the game very much.

7. I must admit it took almost 2 months for Tango to completely master the command and it was really very safe for us to take him in public place.

The reason for the delay was we never taught him the Release cue. This is a critical step for success and thanks to Dan from Kingdom of pets for pointing out this point.

8. Later we adopted all these techniques to my neighbor's pet which is a pug. It also took a pug 2 months to master it but we found pugs are very choosy on the place to stay.

Here is a great video on how to teach a dog to stay on command


  • When training a dog to stay do not keep your dog in a sit-stay  position for more than 2 or 3 minutes. If you need your dog to stay for longer periods use the down-stay. If you're considering training your puppy or older dog yourself at home, please consider following Sit Stay Fetch which is a complete dog training package as your guide on "how to teach a dog to stay". This guide is build by organization known as kingdom of pets. You will get best tips on dog obedience training for any breed to build rewarding relationships with your dog. 
  • It is a good idea to take help from a reputed dog trainer if your dog is adult German Shepard or pit bull. This is based on advice I received from my readers.
Share your experience below on how you can teach your dog to stay in one place without getting up

labrador retriever training

Obedience training tips for Labrador Puppies

My son got a Labrador retriever puppy as a birth day gift. This was the first puppy even in my life. We had no idea on training a puppy.

We searched advertisements titled "training your dog" in local newspapers and also sieved through the internet. One of the articles we read on dog obedience training said that it was the dog owner himself, who needed to receive training first. We approached a few dog trainers near our home in Atlanta & attended a few classes for dog owners to get some idea. We also purchased few popular books on dog training. Age of your dog is important while undergoing obedience training. Small puppies learn commands more quickly than adult dogs. The breed of a dog also plays a role in training, as some breeds learn commands more easily than others.

In this article, we shall share our experience on Labrador retriever puppy training for the first basic command "SIT"Obedience training is quite simply training your dog to be obedient. It includes training him to distinguish between the basic commands such as: sit, stay and heel, come and so on. There are two basic approaches to obedience training. One school of thought employs negative reinforcement techniques like choke collars and electric shock, while the other utilizes a simple click and reward.

We studied both the techniques to prepare our own strategy. I'm sharing our strategy here.

Training your dog to sit on command is a good place for you and your dog to start your obedience training. It's a nice and easy command, which your puppy or dog will learn very quickly. Another benefit of training your dog to sit is that, it gives you a good alternate behaviour to request of your dog. This comes handy when you are annoyed by his barking and want him not to bark. In any case, sit command is easier than asking your puppy to jump or run. This will make his behaviour more predictable and you can avoid many undesirable incidences, when your guests visit you.

Six General Rules to Remember When Training Your Dog to Sit

1. Keep the duration of your training sessions short and small. Five minutes is plenty to begin with, especially when teaching a young puppy. Incorporate the training schedule into your daily routine and let the puppy take it as a play for himself. Make the puppy calm before you start training.

2. Get your dog to sit before you feed him or make him sit before you throw his ball at the park. When applied in this manner, obedience training will be fun in your dog's mind and also rewarding.

3. Make it perfectly clear to your dog what you are asking of him - what you want him to do. Make training your dog to sit fun; don't make it feel like a chore or an undesirable activity for you or your dog.

4. Training sessions should be full of consistent repetition, praise and positive reinforcement. Be patient and don’t expect your dog to immediately learn this or any other obedience command and then never forget it. It's up to you to reinforce the meaning of your command through repetition and consistency throughout your dog's life.

5. Gradually phase out the food rewards you may use in the learning period of a new command. Giving a food treat or reward every now and then doesn't hurt your dog though, even if he responds to your commands without one.

6. When training your dog to sit for the first time, make it easy for him/her to succeed. Start your training sessions in a familiar environment to your dog, free from other distractions.

Two Techniques I Adopted To Train Sit Command to Our Labrador Puppy

Technique 1

This first training technique is great for young puppies. When you are with your pup and you see him about to sit or in the act of sitting, say "sit" in a clear and firm tone. As soon as your dog's rear end hits the floor, give him praise, a bite of his favourite food and maybe a bit of a scratch behind the ear. In your dog’s mind you are building an association between your verbal "sit" command and the act of him sitting. Most puppies make this connection very quickly. Before long, you will be able to say "sit" at any time and your puppy will understand what you are asking of him. It is important to always reward and praise your pup as soon as his bottom hits the floor in the position of rest. Your pup will love it, he'll be thinking "all I have to do is sit down and I get attention, treats and praise!"

Technique 2 - On Leash

If your dog doesn't respond to the methods outlined above or if you prefer to use a collar and leash in your training, this technique will do the trick. Stand next to your dog, both of you facing the same way. Hold the leash straight up, directly above the collar. At the same time gently press down on your dog's back (down near his hips) and call out "sit". As soon as your dog is in the sitting position, reward and praise him. You can give a shake to the collar of the dog to give him an indication of what you want from him. Within no time you won't need to press down on your dog's back or even hold the leash up. He will understand that your "sit" command means that you require him to plant his backside on the ground. And he'll be happy to do it for you because he knows that he receives praise and attention when he does. You can also make use of reprimand to make him learn the desirable behaviour.

Several of my friends tried these strategies on dog obedience training  for dogs of other breeds successfully. Always keep the temperament of your dog in your mind and try to develop a friendly relationship with him.

Next, we'll share with you how we taught Tango  "stay" & "fetch" command.