“STAY” is an extension of the basic commands "SIT", "DOWN", and "RECALL". The dog becomes reliable when he can execute ten consecutive series of commands impeccably, like the one mentioned above. Then, you add "STAY". At one point, you call your dog and you make him "SIT". He must now .STAY" in this position. The command can be very useful when you have to leave the premises for a few minutes, or you meet so me people on the sidewalk and you want to talk to them. The dog must understand that he must stay in the required position and stay there, until you free him from the command by giving the release cue "OK.". Do this with aif you are beginning and you want to work outside.
Stage 1: Introducing the command “STAY”
- Call your dog and make him sit. Give the command “STAY”, and at the same time, use the hand gesture which consists in placing your hand in front of his snout.
- Postpone the reward for a few seconds, and take a few steps if the dog is already in place and that you find yourself directly in front of him. Begin with “STAY” for a duration of 2 to 4 seconds.
- If the dog “STAYS”, return in front of the dog. Free him with the “O.K.”, congratulate him with the SR “SOUND + GOOD!”, and give him a reward. If after having said “OK.” the dog doesn’t move, incite him to get up by saying “STAND”, or, run towards your dog so that he will understand the “OK.” means “over”.
- At this stage, if the dog violates the “STAY” command before hearing “OK.”, give him the VW “HEY!” to correct him. Thin, redirect your dog towards the correct act in the “SIT” position and start over the exercise. Do not use the spray until the dog can “STAY” for a few seconds.
Stage 2: Increase the duration of “STAY” and introduce the movement variable
For example, gradually increase the time the dog “STAYS” from 1 second to 5,6,7,8,9, them by increments of 10 seconds: 10,20,30, then minutes. You can add 30 seconds a week; if he succeeds, he gets the SR “SOUND + GOOD!” and a reward. During the “STAY” period, walk around your dog, or touch him; at first, the dog might attempt to follow you. You must say “HEY!” and place him in the correct position.
Note: Once the dog has reached the objective, that is, he understands and masters the command, you will have to respond with the “HEY!” each time he falters.
Procedure for a dog that won’t stay n place, but understands and masters the command (Re: Sequence Chart 2)
- Give him the VW “HEY!” with an assertive tone.
- Repeat the “STAY” gesture
- If the stands again, give him the VW “HEY!” + SHORT SPRAY.
- If the dog assumes the correct position, congratulate him (SR “SOUND + GOOD!”)
The dog must not stand before he has been given the release cue "OK.", freeing him from the command. If the dog is incapable of executing the "STAY / SPRAY / PAUSE" sequence alter having received two consecutive sprays, isolate the dog, either in his cage or a pre-determined area, so he can think it over. It is important to correct the behavior each time the dog doesn't "STAY" for the required period of time. If you never let your d09 win, he will stay put for long periods of time. The dog can remain in the "STAY" position for many minutes without any problems if you practice regularly, and deal with any obedience problems promptly. Practice while you watch TV or when you're doing the housework, cooking supper, etc. Then, the family will be able to sit down and enjoy a meal without hassle, while your dog "STAYS" in his appointed place. You can organize a competition between family members, as to who can keep a reward in hand the longest while the dog "STAYS". Be vigilant when you see that the dog wants so stand before having heard the "OK." release cue.
As for other commands, gradually decrease using rewards and practice the exercise when the dog thinks you're absent. Vary the length of execution of th e command for each desired position. The dog must stay in place, even if you leave the room, or even the. During the education period, dedicate one or two repeats of the command "STAY", as you leave the room. If the dog moved while you were gone, give the VW "HEY!". If he has remained in place, give him the SR "SOUND + GOOD!". You must gradually increase the time of absence, until he can "STAY" alone for many minutes.
Practice the "STAY" command when the dog is subjected to many distractions, at the park, for example. Try to make him derogate from his "STAY" position by running around him. if, despite all that, the dog "STAYS", he will "STAY" in any circumstance.
When you educate the dog to execute the command "STAY", you must never:
- Strike the dog.
- Forget to praise the dog and reward him from time to time when he "STAYS" until he hears the release cue “OK.”.
- Give the release cue "O K." cue only because you notice that the dog is about to stand, thus breaking the command.
- * Underestimate the dog; all , with patience and persistence, can improve their performance. If you think otherwise, the dog has already grabbed control.
- Give the command, and then forget to free the dog with the "OK: release cue.