How to Teach Your Dog the Stay Command - dummies

By Jack Volhard, Wendy Volhard

When you want your dog to stay in place without moving, teach him the Stay command. You can train your dog to Stay after you’ve taught him the Sit and Down commands. When he knows all three commands, you can pair Sit or Down with Stay to keep your dog in place for different lengths of time. Check out this video to see how to train your dog to stay.


The Sit, Down, and Stay commands are tested together on the Canine Good Citizen test, so it’s a good idea to teach your dog these commands and then practice them in different combinations. Here’s how to teach Stay:

  1. With your dog sitting at your left side, put the ring of his training collar on top of his neck and attach the leash to the collar.

  2. Put the loop of the leash over the thumb of your left hand and fold the leash accordion-style into your hand, with the part of the leash going toward the dog coming out at the bottom of your hand.

  3. Say “Stay” and briefly place your right hand in front of your dog’s face with the palm open and toward him.

  4. Take a step to the right, keeping tension on the collar. Count to ten, return to your dog’s side, release tension, praise him, and release with “Okay,” taking several steps forward.

  5. Repeat Step 3, only this time step directly in front of your dog, turn to face him, count to ten, step back to his side, release tension, praise, and release.

Gradually increase the distance you step away from your dog and increase the amount of time you require him to hold his position. Soon he’ll obey your command to stay, regardless of whether he’s on his leash or whether you’re next to him or across the room or yard.