The Most Effective Methods For Training Your Dog To Stay

The stay command is a useful one for any dog owner to have in his or her repertoire. The ability to teach your dog to remain stationary, even when tempted by distractions, can help you avoid accidents and keep your pet safe. 

However, the stay command is not easy to teach and takes consistent practice over time before it becomes second nature for both you and your pup. 

It’s also important to remember that no two dogs learn the same way; some are more sensitive than others or need more motivation when it comes to training with treats or praise. 

So, how do you know which method will work best for you? Here’s everything you need to know about training your dog from indoors before going outside, using treats as rewards.

What’s the Most Effective Dog Training Method?
Building a support system can help with grief and loss.
The Most Common Questions About Service Dog Training Answered.
Expert advice can help with training your dog to stop barking.
Avoid common mistakes when training your dog.
Start puppy training early and with patience.
Customize your dog training techniques to fit your breed.
Top 10 Dog Training Tips: set clear expectations, prioritize positive reinforcement, and more.
Obedience training is essential for dogs.
There are various types of dog training, such as agility training and behavior modification techniques.

Train Indoors Before Going Outside

This can be a great way to start your training indoors. The conditions are easier to control, so it’s easier for you to achieve the desired result. 

For example, if you’re trying to teach your dog not to jump on people when they come over, you’ll want them in an area where there is minimal foot traffic and distractions. 

If your dog has no idea what is expected of them when they encounter guests at home, they might be tempted to jump up on their friend’s legs or try and play with their guest’s belongings (like their purse). 

This can lead to frustration between both parties as well as possibly causing physical harm (if your guest falls because they were startled by your dog).

Having a service dog can bring many benefits, but training them to be a reliable companion takes patience and dedication. Our article on The Most Common Questions About Service Dog Training Answered provides expert advice to help you navigate the process.

Use Treats To Reward Your Dog For Staying Put

We recommend using a treat that your dog loves, and that is easy to carry around. Food treats are the most effective means of rewarding good behavior, and they’re also a great way to ensure that your dog sees staying put as an immensely desirable thing and not just something she’s doing because she has no other choice.

Treats should be small enough so that you can reward them quickly without making a mess or getting in the way of another activity (like teaching your dog other commands). 

If you have a particularly small breed like a Chihuahua or dachshund, keep this in mind when selecting treats. You don’t want something too big or hard for them to eat—but at the same time, if it’s too small then it might not seem worth their time.

Type of TreatBenefit
Zuke’s Mini NaturalsSmall size and variety of flavors make them a great option for training
Stella & Chewy’s Meal MixersHigh value and protein-rich, making them a great motivator for training
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail TreatsGrain-free and low calorie, but still tasty enough to keep dogs engaged
Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy TreatsAll-natural and made with simple ingredients, making them a healthy choice for training
Merrick Power BitesProtein-rich and easy to break into small pieces, making them a versatile option for training

Place A Leash On Your Dog Before Beginning Training

To get started, you’ll need to get a leash. The leash will help you control your dog’s movements and keep him from wandering off or moving too far away from you during training.

You can use the leash to teach your dog to stay in one place by keeping him from moving around too much when he’s trying to remain still. 

You could also use it as a kind of reward system: if your dog is not doing what he’s supposed to be doing (such as sitting), then he will get pulled on his leash until he does. 

Either way, having that extra bit of physical control over them should make it easier for them to learn how to behave themselves without needing constant supervision over every single second that they’re around other people or pets outside of the house (which itself can become exhausting after long periods of time).

Excessive barking can be frustrating for both dog owners and their neighbors. Fortunately, with the right approach, training your dog to stop barking is possible. Our expert advice article shares tips to help you get started.

Practice The Hand Signal For “Stay.”

Practicing the hand signal for “stay” before you give your dog any command will help him learn to respond to that particular gesture. 

It’s also important to maintain consistency in your hand signal—don’t use one hand signal for “sit” and another for “stay,” as this can confuse the dog.

Once your dog has learned how to respond when you give him a specific hand signal, it’s time to add a verbal cue in addition to the gesture. 

The verbal cue should be short and simple; “freeze” works well, but you can use any word or phrase that fits with the behavior you’re trying to teach.

Another key part of training is making sure that your hand signal does not look like another command: don’t make eye contact or point at the ground if this is not what you want your pet do! 

It may also be helpful if both members of the household employ similar styles of communication when giving commands; even if they mean different things (such as sitting rather than staying), they’ll still both look similar enough that it won’t confuse Fido into doing something else!

Start With Short Durations, Then Gradually Increase Them

Start with a short duration, and then gradually increase it. The dog will learn to stay longer as he gets better at the command. It is important that you reward your dog for staying put, and praise him as well.

Training your dog can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can hinder progress. Check out our article on 15 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Training Your Dog for tips to help you stay on track.

Begin By Training From Short Distances

When training your dog to stay you should begin with short distances. This will help your dog understand what you are asking of them which makes it easier to increase the distance later on.

When your dog can stay for a few seconds, increase the time and if they can stay for a minute or more, then increase the distance.

Use A Verbal Cue In Addition To Your Hand Signal

A verbal cue in addition to your hand signal will help you get your dog’s attention, especially if he’s distracted by something else. When you say “stay,” let it become associated with the hand signal that follows. 

This way, when you give the hand signal, it will automatically trigger your dog to stay put — not only because of the physical command but also because of the word that goes along with it.

You can use any word for both commands; just make sure they’re consistent between uses so your dog knows what to expect!

For example, I sometimes use “Okay” for both my sit and stay commands because those words have no other meaning in our household (other than being used as a phrase).

Puppy training is a crucial part of preparing your furry friend for a lifetime of learning. Knowing when and how to start can be overwhelming, but our article on When to Start Training Your Puppy: Tips and Tricks can help guide you through the process.

Give Your Dog A Small Break Once He Successfully Stays For A Few Minutes

Once your dog has successfully stayed for a few minutes, break the stay by giving him a pat on the head or scratching under his chin and saying “good boy!” This will keep him interested in what you are doing and maintain his motivation.

When setting up training sessions for your dog to learn how long he should stay in one place, be sure not to let him get bored with repetitive commands such as “sit” or “stay.” 

You can also vary the length of time that you ask him to remain still during each session so that he does not become used to sitting for too long at once. 

Make sure that you are consistent in your training methods so that they do not become confusing for your pet; otherwise, it could lead them into making bad decisions while being trained by someone else later on down the road!

Start slowlyBegin by having your dog stay for just a few seconds, and gradually increase the duration over time.
Use hand signalsPairing a verbal command with a hand signal can help reinforce the stay command and improve your dog’s response time.
Reward successGiving your dog a small treat or praise every time they successfully stay can help reinforce the behavior.
Take breaksGiving your dog a small break once they successfully stay for a few minutes can help keep the training sessions positive and engaging.
Practice in different locationsPracticing the stay command in different locations and around different distractions can help your dog generalize the behavior and respond consistently.

Giving your dog a small break after successfully staying for a few minutes is an important part of effective training. Incorporating these tips into your stay command training can help improve your dog’s response and build a stronger bond between you and your furry companion.

Gradually Add In Distractions As You Train Your Dog To Stay Put

A distraction is any object, animal or person that can draw your dog’s attention away from you.

Here’s how to start adding in distractions:

Start with one distraction and add another one every few days.

Make sure the distractors are not too close to your dog so they won’t bother him while he stays put. For example, if you have a friend hold a ball out of reach of your dog when he’s staying, it will be helpful for him to stay focused on you instead of getting distracted by the ball rolling around nearby. 

If this isn’t possible (for example, if there is no way for the distractor to stand far enough away), consider using something else as an alternative way of distracting your dog from breaking his stay command (e.g., having someone throw his favorite toy).

Every breed has unique qualities that require specific training techniques. Our article on The Best Dog Training Techniques for Every Breed provides guidance to help you customize your training approach and achieve success with your pup.

Gently Correct Your Dog If He Breaks His Stay Command

If your dog breaks his stay command, correct him in a gentle, but firm way. For example, if he moves toward you or gets up from the sit position before you give him permission, simply say “No!” and take a step forward toward him.

This will let him know that he did something wrong and that he needs to stay in position until you give him permission again (remember, your dog should be able to see at least one of your hands at all times).

If this happens repeatedly while training, try using treats as a reward for staying still instead of giving them immediately after giving the command. This will help encourage your dog’s attention on what he needs to do next instead of being distracted by getting fed right away.

Utilize The Best Method Of Training For Your Dog’s Personality

The first thing to do is to determine what type of dog you have. Each dog has its own personality and temperament, so it’s important to know where your pup falls on the spectrum. 

Some are more stubborn than others, while some are more food motivated than others. Others are sensitive or energetic and independent as well.

Once you’ve identified what kind of dog you have, then it’s time to start training!

PersonalityBest Method
Energetic and outgoingPositive reinforcement training, agility training
Timid and fearfulClicker training, reward-based training, desensitization
Dominant and stubbornFirm and consistent training, pack leadership training
Intelligent and curiousInteractive training, puzzle games
High-energy working breedsReward-based training, scent training
Laid-back and easygoingBasic obedience training, positive reinforcement training

Utilizing the best training method for your dog’s personality is essential for success. By identifying your dog’s personality traits, you can choose a training approach that will be most effective and engaging for them.


Remember, when training your dog to stay, it’s important to use the best method for his personality.

For example, if he is reactive around other dogs at a distance but not right next to them, then it might be best to start with that distance and gradually increase it as he gets more comfortable with his stay command. 

Another example would be if your dog doesn’t mind being in close proximity but doesn’t respond well when corrected by another person or animal then you might want to consider using a clicker instead of treats during training sessions so that there are no treats involved at all!

Further Reading

For more information about dog training, check out these resources:

Top 10 Dog Training Tips: Small Door Veterinary provides valuable tips for successful dog training, from setting clear expectations to prioritizing positive reinforcement.

Dog Training: Obedience Training for Dogs: WebMD offers a comprehensive guide to obedience training for dogs, covering everything from basic commands to addressing problem behaviors.

The Different Types of Dog Training: K9 of Mine breaks down the various types of dog training, such as obedience training, agility training, and behavior modification techniques.


What are the basic commands that every dog should know?

Every dog should know commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it. These commands help to keep your dog safe and under control in a variety of situations.

How can I train my dog to behave on walks?

Leash training is an important aspect of dog training, and it can help keep your pup safe and happy during walks. To start, begin with short walks and use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.

Can old dogs still learn new tricks?

Absolutely! While it may take a bit more patience and effort than with a younger dog, older dogs can still learn and benefit from training.

How often should I train my dog?

Consistency is key when it comes to dog training. Depending on the type of training and your dog’s individual needs, training sessions may range from daily to weekly.

How can I address problem behaviors in my dog?

The best way to address problem behaviors in your dog will depend on the specific behavior and its cause. Working with a professional trainer or behaviorist can help you develop effective strategies to correct unwanted behaviors.