How To Teach Your Dog To Stay For Longer Periods Of Time
There are times in life when you need your dog to just STAY in one place for an extended period of time, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or changing a baby’s diaper. In order for your dog to be able to do so, you must practice long stays prior to the real situation happening.
This is an advanced Stay and your dog must have a solid Stay of Duration, Distractions and Distance before beginning an extended Duration
Practice this daily until your dog is reliable, then practice it regularly to keep them good at it. You will need a lot of patience when you start, but you will see huge improvements quickly!
The training rules:
- You must be able to see your dog the entire time, until the dog is ready to have you leave the room. (Hint: Start doing this while you watching TV, with the dog between you and the television.)
- You must release the dog with,”ALL DONE”…the timer beeping should not be used as your dog’s release cue. Sometimes release them a minute or two earlier than the timer, sometimes release a few minutes after the timer to be unpredictable.
- It’s a good idea to set a timer, when 30 minutes is over, the STAY is over, providing your dog is not breaking the STAY at the end of the 30 minutes.
- Do not keep resetting the timer every time the dog breaks the STAY, or you’ll never finish!
- If the dog breaks the STAY, take him back to the same spot he was in, get him DOWN and tell him to STAY.
- You may reward the dog during the STAY for being good. But do not keep repeating “STAY.”
- You may give the dog a bully stick or chew toy to occupy his time, but avoid balls and things that roll away, which would cause your dog to get up to go and get it.
- Be patient. If you write down how many times he breaks the “STAY” each day, you will notice a huge improvement in a short time
The command to “WAIT”:
In the car: Say “WAIT” while you get out of the car. Use your leash to prevent jumping out if necessary. Teach “WAIT” for getting in and out of the car. If your dog pushes past you, put him back where he was and repeat.
Stairs: Start at the bottom of the stairwell for safety. Tell him to “WAIT” while you go up one or two stairs. If he charges up, take him to the bottom and repeat. When you get to the top, call him to you or release with “ALL DONE”.
Doorways: Have your dog on leash. Tell him to “WAIT” while you open and step through. You may need to quickly shut the door to prevent his going through. Once you go through, tell him “ALL DONE” so he may come through. Practice this at interior and exterior doorways.
Suggested Cue and Hand Signal
Signal: Fingers spread, palm toward dog.
Release: “ALL DONE!”
“Remember, if you do not make the conscious choice to be the Trainer…you are by default, the Trainee.”
As a dog trainer, I believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are, under given circumstances and situations.