Teaching Your Dog to Stay
Remember the 3ds? Duration distance distraction? We use these to help our dogs develop fluency with Any behavior that we are teaching.
Bungee stays are a great drill for teaching stay. In this drill you are teaching your dog about distance while minimizing duration and adding little distraction, your movement. (Remember the 3 Ds? Duration, distraction, and distance.)
As always start training this drill in an area with few distractions, a hungry dog, and some treats.
Once you have mastered a duration of stay at about 20 seconds, with you standing right in front of your dog, you can practice bungee stays.
When the dog is seated, standing or down in front of you, give the stay cue with your hand and the word stay. Back up one step, click/yes, and give your dog a treat when you return to your dog. If your dog is successful you can then back up two steps, click/yes, and treat. Then do three steps. Keep doing this until you can back up about 10 steps and also return to your dog.
A few tips for success:
It’s okay if the dog gets after you click/yes and while you are returning to your dog.
Try to say the stay cue only once and don’t keep your hand up.
If the dog does not keep the stay, don’t worry, just go back to an easier level or a lower distraction. Its important not to say “no” or get upset with your dog. We don’t want him to get anxious about the cue “stay.” Stress, I believe, is one of the primary reasons why a dog wont keep a stay. Staying seated or lying down is so much easier when you are relaxed, right?