teaching the dog to down-stay,
the dog should be willing to lay
down on cue reliably. Then,
start by find the dog in a
situation where he or she is
already comfortably laying down
and tell the dog, "Good
down-stay." Then, call the
dog to you.
Always teach "stay" by
standing in front of the dog
until the dog is capable of
freezing in a "sit" or
"down" position for at least
After giving the "down"
Instruction, face your palm at the
dog in a vertical position a few inches from the
dog's nose and say,
If the dog moves...
Learning to "stay" requires the
dog to increase his or her ability to focus and pay
attention. A common mistake made by people is
to ask dogs to "stay,"
and then forget about the
dog. The person goes about his or her business and
the dog does NOT learn to stay until released.
Always teach "stay" by standing in front of the dog
until the dog is capable of freezing in a sit or
down position for at least one minute. Then
strengthen the dog's understanding by asking the dog
to "stay" as you walk around the dog. If you think
the dog may move, remind the day, "down - stay" as
you circle. Wait in front of the dog for a few
seconds, then praise the dog, then release by
saying, "okay" and encouraging the dog to move.
If the dog has trouble learning
for an extended period, you can
use "close tethering"
Close tethering is leashing the
dog to a solid object and
coupling this with a "Stay"
Instruction, with you near by.
Using this technique, the dog is
not able to go or move away but
you are able to praise the dog
for staying. With this
technique, you can gradually
remove the lead and continue to
praise the dog in the
position. If the dog breaks
the "down-stay," take him
or her back to the original spot
(without scolding), repeat the
Instruction for a shorter time, then
release the dog.
Once the dog
learns to "stay"
for longer and longer periods of
time the dog will be able to be
indoors on his or her best, calm
behavior. For example, you can
teach the dog to stay in place
on a mat or dog bed while you
eat dinner, watch television or
even have guests in your home.
Go at your dog's
individual pace to keep learning
exercises both positive and