How Do I Teach My Dog or Puppy to Stay?


So, How Do I Teach My Dog or Puppy to Stay? Bringing a new pup into your life is an exhilarating experience, but the path to a well-behaved dog requires some intentional training. One of the fundamental commands every dog owner should instill is the “stay” command. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of teaching your furry friend to stay put. From basic techniques to troubleshooting common challenges, get ready to embark on a journey towards a more obedient and well-behaved canine companion.

How Do I Teach My Dog or Puppy to Stay?

Setting the Stage

  1. Establish a Quiet Zone: Choose a quiet space with minimal distractions for your training sessions.
  2. Gather Treats: Positive reinforcement works wonders. Arm yourself with tasty treats your dog loves.
  3. Use a Leash: Initially, keep your dog on a leash to maintain control during the training process.

The Basics: Sit and Stay

  1. Sit Command Mastery: Ensure your dog reliably responds to the “sit” command before progressing to “stay.”
  2. Add Duration Gradually: Once your dog sits, extend the time before offering a treat. This builds the foundation for staying put.

Introducing Distance and Distractions

  1. Step Away Slowly: Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog. Reward them for holding the position.
  2. Add Distractions: Introduce mild distractions like a bouncing ball or a gentle call. Reward your pup for maintaining focus.

Practice Regularly

  1. Consistency is Key: Regular, short training sessions are more effective than sporadic, lengthy ones. Aim for daily practice.
  2. Randomize Commands: To reinforce the “stay” command, incorporate it into your daily routine in unexpected moments.

FAQs on Teaching Your Dog to Stay

1. How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Learn to Stay?

Patience is Virtue: Each dog is unique, so the learning pace varies. Some may grasp it in a week, while others may take longer.

2. What If My Dog Doesn’t Stay?

Troubleshooting: If your dog struggles, revisit earlier steps. Reinforce basic commands before progressing to longer durations.

3. Can I Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

Age is Just a Number: While puppies are more receptive, older dogs can learn too. It might take more patience, but it’s absolutely possible.

4. Should I Use Verbal or Hand Signals?

Mix It Up: A combination works best. Initially, use both, then gradually phase out one while reinforcing the other.

5. How Often Should I Reward?

Frequent Rewards: In the beginning, reward often. As your dog grasps the concept, gradually reduce treats but continue with verbal praise.

6. Is Professional Training Necessary?

Options for Everyone: While professional trainers can help, many successfully teach their dogs to stay at home. It’s a personal choice.


Mastering the “stay” command is a testament to the bond between you and your dog. With patience, consistency, and a pocketful of treats, you’re well on your way to having a disciplined and well-behaved companion. So, next time you find yourself asking, “How do I teach my dog or puppy to stay?” remember, it’s all about positive reinforcement and enjoying the journey of mutual learning and understanding.

Avatar photo

Cat Hocking

Having had dogs all of my life I have learnt so much and continue to learn more with each individual dog that enters our family. These amazing creatures can teach us so much! In the Dog Care Guru I share information, resources and accessories for our canine children.

More to Explore