Dog Training How-To: The Sit-Stay


All dogs should know the sit-stay.  This is how you will teach your dog this basic exercise: 

Hold your hand, palm down, near the dog's nose and command "Stay!"  Step out, turn, and face your pet.  Stay near him at first.  Pivot reversely on your other foot to bring yourself to a heel position, but be sure you do not circle your dog.  Again, give the command to "stay!"  Signal to your dog with that same hand and move on your first foot.  Do not hold the leash taught, but keep it ready in case of a quick correctional need.  With your pet facing you, hold your other hand up and command "Stay!"  Move away to the full length of the leash.

When your pet is at your side in its heel position, give the stay signal with your first hand, palm facing back.  When the dog is facing another person, the signal is given with the opposite hand.  The other person's palm must be held towards the dog with the fingers pointing down.  This is so that the signal is recognizable to the dog.  This needs to be established immediately in this part of a dog's training.

Circle slowly in the direction of your second hand and pass behind your dog into the heel position, do this while facing your dog at full taught of the lead.  Take up the slack in the leash with your first hand and then hold it at the opposite side of your dog.  You may keep both hands on your pet while circling him if it is necessary.  Stand quietly by your dog and praise him.  You may now let him go and play.

During another training session, stand behind your pet and tell him to stay.  Stay close, in case you need to help your dog.  The dog should be allowed to turn only his head.  Step to the heel position, but do not praise him. Tell him to stay again and then step to the full length of the leash.  Come back to his heel and then command stay before facing him.  Walk around the dog, but don't command him again.  If he does move, then again shout "Stay!"  Do not allow too much time to pass if your dog makes a mistake.

Drop the leash quietly and command him to stay.  Pick up the leash and command stay.  Drop the leash again and then pick it up before moving to his heel.  If your dog moves from the sitting position, pull the leash or swat his snout.  Make sure to have the leash slack when stepping away.

Use a firm voice and stress the command, not the dog's name.  If he is sitting, let him be, only repeat the command when your dog disobeys you.

By Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies - the place to find dog treat jars online